FDA-Violating Eagle Eye Fever Screening Endangers Schools

By Robert Wren Gordon and Gurami Jamaspishvili, Published Aug 05, 2021, 08:52am EDT

Eagle Eye is flagrantly and knowingly violating FDA guidelines with fever screening at a US school district, plus running a marketing campaign for it. Even after IPVM informed them of this violation, Eagle Eye replied 'no comment' and refused to remove the marketing.

Watch the 2-minute video to learn more:

Plus, the Alabama Eagle Eye reseller used deceptive marketing to sell a local school district 30 faulty, non-NDAA-compliant fever cameras that risk violating the NDAA if using federal funds.

Background

Florence City Schools is an eight-institution school district with 4,200 students in Lauderdale County in northwestern Alabama.

Eagle Eye Networks, an Austin, Texas-based cloud-focused company, marketed a 'Client Success Story' for Florence City Schools featuring a fever camera and VMS deployment.

The Eagle Eye 'Client Success Story' claims that Alabama-based reseller nSide installed 30 Eagle Eye ST Series Thermal Cameras "at 11 locations," including, presumably, each of the district's eight schools as well as "the Board of Education building, technical resource center, and community learning center."

Nearly $300,000 of sales from nSide to the school district match the timing of the fever camera installation last year, excerpt from GovSpend:

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nSide marketed using federal funds (specifically CARES), claiming they would be 'FREE'. However, Eagle Eye / Sunell temperature screening historically used Huawei chips which makes use of federal funds a violation of the NDAA / US law. Neither the school nor the reseller would comment.

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Eagle Eye / Sunell

Sunell is the original manufacturer of Eagle Eye's relabelled fever camera. Sunell received an FDA warning letter in March 2021 for marketing its thermal cameras as having the ability to scan multiple people simultaneously, as IPVM previously reported.

FDA Violating Implementation

The doorway entrance screening combined with no inner canthus measurement makes this installation particularly egregious.

1: Multiple People Not Indoors

Per the FDA and international standards ISO/TR 13154:2017 and IEC 80601-2-59:2017, screening should be performed one subject at a time and within climate controlled conditions. This is not the case at Florence City Schools, as the photo clearly shows multiple students being screened while the doors are open:

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As reported in our international fever camera standards post, temperature and humidity controls are important to ensure accurate readings:

To produce consistent and reliable results of the temperature screening process, it is imperative that the screening thermograph be situated in a reserved stable indoor environment with a temperature range of 20 °C to 24 °C and relative humidity range from 10 % to 50 %. [emphasis added]

Florence's average humidity ranges above 70% year-round. High humidity is likely to decrease temperature measurements as it reduces emissivity. Additionally, subjects in humid environments are more likely to sweat, also reducing surface skin temperature.

2: Sun-Facing Windows; Sources of Cold

The ISO adds that "sun-facing windows [such as those seen on buses], radiant heaters, or sources of cold (cold windows or outside walls) can also “interfere” with accurate readings.

3: Sunlight

The Eagle Eye case study photo clearly shows a glass entrance.

Depending on the time of day and the sun's position, sunlight shines directly into the screening area, potentially resulting in false-positive readings as students enter the school.

Lending credence to this point, nSide acknowledged in the Eagle Eye 'Client Success Story' that false positives caused "frustration" at Florence City Schools:

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There was a level of frustration at the volume of false positives. We quickly understood we needed to provide more education around the understanding that false positives are okay. It’s the statistical norm; it’s what you should see. [emphasis added]

4: Screening Is Not Orderly/Faces Obscured/Heads Covered

Also violating standards, multiple students are being screened simultaneously with their faces obstructed by facemasks, hats, hair, etc:

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5: No Inner Canthus Measurement

Eagle Eye/Sunell 'fever' cameras (see tweet below) only measure temperature from the forehead, and not the inner canthus, therefore, sun shining directly onto a person's forehead contributes to errors.

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'Eye Duct' Screening

nSide claims on its website that its temperature screening measures from the inner canthus:

nSide|Live + ETS locates and scans each person’s eye ducts, providing the core and most accurate body temperature possible. [emphasis added]

However, the Eagle Eye/Sunell product that nSide resells does not do inner canthus/'tear duct' screening and measures forehead temperature only, something IPVM confirmed in our Sunell testing and with Sunell itself.

Eagle Eye/nSide Willingly Violate FDA Guidelines

Eagle Eye's checklist emphasizes complying with FDA guidelines and even links to FDA guidelines:

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Nonetheless, both Eagle Eye and nSide willingly violated FDA temperature screening guidelines.

Eagle Eye: "No Comment"

IPVM ImageEagle Eye declined to respond to an IPVM request for comment:

[O]ur response for this story will be 'no comment.'

IPVM had asked the Texas cloud company to confirm the NDAA compliance of its fever cameras, since nSide has promoted CARES Act funding for its 'Elevated Temperature Screening':

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nSide: "No Comment"

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nSide founder Dr. Steven B. McKinney (pictured), who holds a PhD in Environmental Health Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, declined to explain nSide's Florence implementation and his company's questionable fever camera marketing:

Please accept my official response as “no comment”.

Florence City Schools: No Response

No response was received from Florence City Schools despite us contacting the Superintendent's office, the Chief School Finance Officer, and the Director of Instruction and Technology at Florence City Schools repeatedly.

Not Following FDA Guidelines

The FDA is clear about the accuracy problems of multiple person screening:

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Thermal imaging systems have not been shown to be accurate when used to take the temperature of multiple people at the same time. The accuracy of these systems depends on careful set-up and operation, as well as proper preparation of the person being evaluated. [emphasis added]

Already Warned Sunell

Eagle Eye is well aware that they are violating the FDA as their supplier Sunell received an FDA warning letter for such violations 5 months ago:

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School District Risks

School districts in Alabama such as Florence City and Baldwin County Public Schools as well as elsewhere in the US are under great pressure to get students back in class. But poorly selected, planned, and implemented fever cameras systems are not only costly financially but a risk to the health and safety of their very own students.

Related Coverage

For related coverage, see:

2 reports cite this report:

Dear FDA: Why Eagle Eye Needs To Be Punished on Aug 23, 2021
IPVM has sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, and Jeffrey E....
Nature Scientific Study Of Fever Cameras Confirms Accuracy Problems And 'Correction Algorithm' on Aug 11, 2021
A new study in Nature's Scientific Reports tested 3 fever camera systems on...

Comments (24)

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Gurami, Robert, good work!

This is one of the most egregious cases of unethical marketing and deployment we have yet seen. It rivals the Hikvision school bus fever camera deployment:

At least, Hikvision was not so audacious or dumb to run an actual case study on it.

Shame on Eagle Eye for this and especially for refusing to remove it even though they know that this violates FDA guidelines and endangers the public.

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Another distinction vs Hikvision is that at least when Hikvision is caught doing unethical things, Hikvision has the self-awareness to quickly delete the evidence. That Eagle Eye continues to market this is flagrant.

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To be honest. I can’t take this company seriously. Can you really trust a VMS/Camera/Fever Screener manufacture that runs radios ads on Sirius XM’s - The Howard Stern Show, seriously?

Hit’em with the Hein & Baba Booey that.

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Dean Drako is not interested in the overall betterment of security industry. He saw an immature market that he wanted to capitalize on and nothing more. I’d be interested in hearing if anyone has experienced a more communal side of Mr. Drako? If so, does he remember you the next time you see him?

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Drako's comments, at best, confuse me, at worse, show someone with a profound lack of awareness.

For example, last November, he continued to push for mutli-person screening after he said that Eagle Eye could measure people run or rushing:

I am not sure if I said "run" or "rush". What I was talking about here is rushing through a door. We have seen deployments of Elevated Temp Thermal cameras that have successfully measured the temperatures of people hurrying through an entrance quite quickly. We have seen systems quite effective when students are streaming by the camera rushing to get into school.

And just over a year ago he justified taking a million dollars plus of PPP because otherwise his shareholders would be diluted:

If I were to personally fund (or provide convertible loans) to the companies, it would cause dilution to the shareholders, including the employee shareholders, which is generally something I try to avoid. The PPP allowed us to avoid this.

Months later, Eagle Eye raised $40 million in VC funds.

And last month he rationalized his ongoing partnership with Hikvision by saying:

We did not want to welch on our commitment to support their launch. That's not our style.

Drako's style is evidently not to 'welch' (ethnic slur) on his commitments to human rights abusers, to violate FDA guidelines, and to take PPP money so his shareholders are not diluted.

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John

You are 100% correct in your assessment of this situation in Eagle Eye. I laugh at what Dean Drako said about HIkvision and their not going back on decision with vendor. What he really must have meant, we like to "COUNT OUR MONEY and JUST DONT CARE about children". My concern is not the schools, it is the students and the teachers. If we don't care about our future, "which is our children". then what should we care about.

Maybe he thinks CEO stands for :

Corrupt

Evil

Obnoxious

same letters.

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Hey, #4...very cute!

"Maybe he thinks CEO stands for :

Corrupt

Evil

Obnoxious

same letters."

I'll use that in the future, along with my favorite...

PHd:

Piled

higher

&

Deeper

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I get this is unethical and misbranded and the company should be held accountable but to say they endangered the students is a stretch given the age group. Sure they may/will get sick, potentially VERY sick but endangered? If this was done at senior citizen housing I'd understand but the title seems sensationalist even though the article is clearly well researched and written.

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Sean, agreed about students. That's we explicitly titled the report about schools, not sudents:

FDA-Violating Eagle Eye Fever Screening Endangers Schools [emphasis added]

The schools are endangered, meaning the teachers, the administrators, the parents, grandparents, etc. Make sense or?

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Makes sense! Feel free to delete the comment as I typed it out before fully wrapping my head around the idea and couldnt find a delete button anywhere lol

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No, your comment is sensible and I think it's important to elaborate on where the risks are most (and least) significant. Thanks!

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And the schools federal funding is endangered.

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I have not seen an installation of any of the devices in the past year and a half done properly. When I question the person I meet with they just say "I merely did what I was told to do!" I have even upset a few when I told them the install was wrong and that these devices typically aren't that accurate, especially when put in the hot/cold foyer facing the direct sun and basically outside.

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Who you really need to look into is the employees of Nside.

If you look at its Senior Leadership it starts to paint a picture.

Secondly if you look at Robbie Hillis who is the Quote un-Quote Senior Sales Representative at nSide - The School Safety Platform

He should have known better.....

Thirdly and not last. They are in bed with Verkada so that should tell you something from the get go....

Oh and if your looking for a response from the prestigious Dr. Steven B. McKinney......LOL good luck the dude is not clueless in the least and knows exactly what he is doing. Just wait until the prestigious doctor plays ignorance on the matter cause wait just wait its coming.......

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The rabbit hole of this Man and his Companie'S needs to be explored and I Implore you to not stop on this issue.....

The Prestigious Dr. Steven B. McKinney and his senior leadership are also the senior leadership for several other companies.

Namely

SICS Consultants LLC

Sentinel Solutions LLC

And the rabbit hole goes much deeper......

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What about the apparent lack of proper ladder usage and safety shown in the images and the video?

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So, we all know that these so called fever cams, at best, don't work as advertised, at worst are a deliberate scam.

Add to this the use of CARES funding for devices without relevant approval & we have a potential legal shtstorm.

As these units efficacy has been debunked a long time ago I feel it is time for all governments to make a stand & start charging those who sold / installed these dangerous wastes of money. If any persons illness was missed by these devices then those who sold them should be charged with manslaughter. Further all of those who have sold these types of devices since Jan 1 2021 she be forced to re imburse full costs to the end user & also pay a fine of 50% of the value of the install.

Perhaps also the feds need to tighten up the rules in relation to NDAA compliance so that not only can no federal funds be used to purchase these items, but these items are totally banned from any site / organisation that receives federal funding. This will remove the possibility of imaginative accounting being used to fund the purchase.

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Our lawyers are interpreting the law to mean just that. No one will know for sure until enforcement actions and subsequent lawsuits. But we are very risk averse so we buy only 889 compliant cameras regardless of funding source and are actively removing any truhikvision cameras and NVRs as we can afford it.

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I guess Sunell didn't get the letter as the address is a few years out of date.

Sunell moved in 2018 to 3-4F, Bldg.6, Pingshan Science and Technology Park, Taoyuan Street, Nanshan District

And just this year in April/May to current address of 22-23F, Bldg. 2, Nanshan I Park Chongwen, 3370 Liuxian Avenue, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China, 518052. After making buckets of cash from the very same thermal cameras in 2020.

As far as I know, there is little in the way of forwarding mail in China.

PS Probably see prices drop on the Sunell thermal, as they have a large stock of this item, which is sitting in a warehouse.

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I guess Sunell didn't get the letter as the address is a few years out of date.

Sunell confirmed to us that they did get the letter, despite the address issue.

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Thank you for staying on top of this issue. Anyone with any experience in thermal cameras knew temperature detection was going to be full of fraud. I would like to see the government show some teeth and prosecute the integrators and manufacturers that participated in this scam.

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An observation...much has been written about the issues associated with using thermal temperature cameras...about their possible inaccuracy, improper deployment, untrained/poorly trained staff, etc.

Yet in all these writings and resultant posts, we don't see much about the issues with the massively greater numbers of cheap hand held scanners so prevalent in our daily lives.

We have all experienced being stopped at an entrance, asked a few questions, and then scanned with a hand held (usually under $100) scanner.

If you stop and analyze the the issue of the false sense of security these devices give, compared to the relatively few high end thermal cameras systems (that seem to draw the most attention), can we conclude that the greater problem is the widespread use of cheap handheld units?

I have often been scanned by handheld scanners from distances of as much as one foot, and told I'm fever free. The reality is that most of theses devices are rated to perform at distance of three to five inches.

I was told by a hospital administrator that their facility found that the lobby use of handheld scanners produces wildly inaccurate readings, with variations of as much as three degrees, when the lobby doors constantly open and close, due to the resultant changes to the lobby's temperature and humidity.

The use of handheld devices is many times more prevalent than thermal temperature cameras, and should probably be of greater concern, and could be the greater issue with inaccurate temperature readings.

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Those inaccuracies are often, ironically, proof that the devices are not rigged. Even FLIR's FDA cleared high resolution thermal cameras will have significant variation if they are used in inappropriate conditions and setup. That's because they are reporting accurately. This is why Dahua reps bragged theirs was better than FLIR because when you rig results and virtually all temperatures are about 98, rigging looks more "accurate". Does that make sense to you?

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