Fighting spread of COVID-19 with technology

DOCUmation thermal scanners like this one are designed for business lobbies and offices, where customers and staff can get their "touchless" temperature and photograph taken upon entry. Hill Country Telephone Cooperative in Ingram is one of the first Kerrville-area businesses to order them.

DOCUmation, an information technology, software and print services company based in San Antonio, has been offering “thermal scanners” to area businesses, an IT solution for checking clients’ and customers’ temperatures as they enter.

As many businesses and organizations learn to cope with ever-changing COVID-19 recommen- dations, they are providing “thermal scanning kiosks” that make temperature checks contact-free.

One of their current customers outside the S.A. metropolitan area is Kerr County’s Hill Country Telephone Cooperative, which is on the list to get three of the scanners for their business offices.

Robby Brown, vice president at DOCUmation, said the officers at HCTC made the agreement official last week and are awaiting delivery and installation of their new scanners.

The thermal scanners can be described as a portable, tablet-size computer screen that is installed to sit vertically on its thin edge on a stand, most commonly to put the screen at the height of most people.

“It reads and picks up each person’s body temperature within seconds. And the person’s face appears on the screen with the temperature reading shown on the screen below the person’s face,” Brown said.

It’s shown in a green bar if it’s normal or below, and in a red bar if it’s higher than normal, he said.

“If the temperature reads high, the “tablet” also sends an email to someone of that company’s choice in the office, to send an alert, and it takes a picture of the person,” Brown said.

He said with the “wand-type” thermal scanners, the person holding the scanning device has to get too close to the other person to be safe, to use it.

The company flyer lists several advantages of this particular system, including that it’s a contact-free, fully automated kiosk; reads each person’s temperature with 98.3 percent accuracy; integrates with access central; can display an optional verbal message with the LED “traffic light system;” and is a “plug and play solution that works stand-alone out of the box with only power required.

It also has several optional capabilities.

Those can include a mask requirement before it reads a temperature; facial recognition; data retention/exported to an Excel report; and automated email to Human Resources or a designated office when connected to that network.

Among their approximately 3,000 clients, he said some ask for 20 devices. Those clients could be colleges and universities or school districts. And others ask for only one or two.

Brown said this company was founded 30 years ago and is family-owned, with the main headquarters in San Antonio and employing about 150 employees.

But they also have offices across Texas to service more than 3,000 clients.

“The Hill Country Telephone Co-op is a current client, and the thermal scanners are an added service for them,” Brown said. “Most of our clients get online fairly quickly but right now we have a three- to six-week backlog.”

Brown called the thermal scanners “the next iteration of safety devices,” and said any business getting one today would then be offered 10 days of cross-training with technicians.

“We wanted something for our own office, and as a tech company we looked for an innovative solution.

“Each scanner has a full warranty through DOCUmation, not through the manufacturer, which now could be outside the United States. Our devices are not black-listed as a security danger because of where the source is.”

“Unfortunately we’re in an economic crisis, and this hopefully is part of front-line safety and recovery.

“We saw many of our customers and fellow business owners anxious to re-open, but concerned with the health precautions and liabilities,” said Hunter Woolfolk, co-president of DOCUmation. “When temperature checks became the recommended policy, we knew we wanted to be part of the solution to getting our community back up and running.”

A donated scanner was given to an academy in San Antonio and says it’s removed at least one concern for going back to school.

“We want our teachers and students to be safe, and this helps immensely,” the academy superin- tendent said.

Woolfolk said the City of Pleasanton has purchased several of the scanners and sees them as essential to the economy’s recovery.”We have to help citizens feel comfortable going back into public, so we’re thankful DOCUmation has made this step so simple,” said Pleasanton City Secretary Andres Aguirre.

While this technology is available to all, DOCUmation removes the hassle of working with foreign manufacturers; provides easy installation; and can break down the costs into manageable monthly payments.

Brown said some clients also get the scanners using a single, one-time purchase

“We know they’re purchasing masks, sanitizer and many more unforeseen costs of doing business right now,” said Brown, “If we can make this piece of the puzzle easier, it means they can get back to business and hopefully have a better chance of making it through the pandemic.”

Company contacts

The phone number of the San Antonio office is 1-855-396-9301. Their website is www.mation. com.

They also have a presence on Facebook at; on Twitter at @documation_inc; and on Instagram at @documation.

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