BR INTERVIEW | Mircea Gavrila (Depisto): This technology will be most effective in big companies and the public sector with large public places

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 30/04/2020 | 17:12

Recently, Depisto announced the company has the technology and is ready to implement it on the Romanian market. The entrepreneurial business is active on the electric installation security market and fire protection and was launched based on its founder’s passion for IT and automatic systems. BR talked with Mircea Gavrilă about the new technology and its implementation during the covid-19 pandemic.

 By Romanita Oprea


Public-health experts expect that temperature-scanning systems, like metal detectors and security pat-downs before them, will become a widespread staple of public life. In the weeks to come, they could be installed not only at airports and arenas but workplaces, schools, housing complexes and anywhere else Americans gather en masse,” wrote the Washigton Post.


Where do you believe that the thermal body temperature camera should be introduced in Romania and why?

For the following 18-24 months we’ll have to find ways to live safely with this new virus until the vaccine will be available for all. It will take a combination of measures taken by public authorities, private sector and individuals to protect as many lives as possible, while supporting the economy by relaxing the present restrictions. One of those things is finding ways to identify those infected and isolate them so that others will not be infected by them.

We know fever is an important factor in COVID19 infections. So being able to check people’s body temperature is definitely part of the solution moving forward.

This technology will be most effective in big companies, where large numbers of people work in the same space or the public sector with large public places where there may be a lot of traffic. While you could chose simpler devices for the same purpose, when we talk about hundreds and thousands of people to be checked manually, it’s not sustainable. You need some sort of automation in order to ensure such a process. This is why this is such a useful technology.

So we’re talking about manufacturing companies, big retailers, transportation companies – basically any company with more than 100-200 employees. But also public transportation (airports, metro stations), hospitals, schools could benefit greatly in limiting the chances for asymptomatic children infecting their colleagues which could bring the virus into their families at home, especially when grandparents are heavily involved in their lives.


Should there be a decision taken by the State for their mass introduction or should it depend only on the companies and the city halls?

I’m reserved in taking this technology from zero to 100 in a month or two, even if I’m sure it could be of great use in combating COVID19, especially in medical institutions, schools, public transportation. But we need to take into account the human factor. It’s a new concept here in Romania and people need to understand it and get used to it before expanding to mass usage. Also, we need to learn how to best use the data given by this technology, making sure it’s secured and used in a responsible and sensible way. Fortunately, we have many study cases abroad to learn and apply. But I would recommend having a gradual induction of the technology.


How accurate are they?

It depends on the product. For one that we’re studying right now it’s +/- 0,3 degrees. As usual, the higher the accuracy, the bigger the price.


How much of a difference will they make in the fight against the spread of the covid-19 pandemic?

I think that, no one solution will make a big difference. It will take a mix of technologies and behaviors to be able to reopen the economy without significant human tragedies. For example, there are many asymptomatic cases. For them body temperature detection will not solve the problem. That’s why using masks, gloves and very strict hygienic rules in public places it’s an absolute must. We could use disinfection robots for indoor spaces, for example. We could make sure that we have sufficient Romanian manufacturers for masks, gloves and hygienic substances, and I’ve already seen many companies switching their production to these highly important resources. We are working with Romanian manufacturers in order to make sure companies have enough of these tools necessary to protect their people and their clients. I’ve met some great entrepreneurs during these difficult times fighting the good fight – for their companies and their employees, switching to new products, delivering good quality, being very responsible with their standards.


Will Depisto produce them or import them?

Depisto is an authorized solutions integrator of such technologies. This means that we provide full services from import to setup and maintenance with direct support from the manufacturer. We can offer specialized support in buying the best technologies, installing and training people how to use them. Due to our projects in the medical domain, we have the knowledge and business connections to help companies make good decisions and protect their employees.


Do you already have the technology available? Do you have companies interested already? If not, when do you intend to start?

Yes, we already have these technologies available and we’re in communication with several companies who are trying to find the best ways to protect their customers, their employees and their business by adopting these new tools effective in these new times we’re living in. But it’s a process and the technology it’s self is not very cheap We need to evaluate the needs of each company, verify the technical data required by their case and make sure we support the best option for their needs.


What is the number of thermal cameras that you can offer to the interested parties?

We can deliver as many as needed (thermal cameras, disinfection robots and similar technologies). At least so far. Because many countries are starting now to think how they can reopen their economies but also keep the people as safe as possible, such technologies will be considered by many. So we expect that there will be an increase in demand (and probably price, too) in the near future. I don’t know how things will change in the following months, but right now we are confident that we can deliver in a reasonable deadline any required volume.


How did the pandemic impacted your business so far and what do you foresee happening for 2020?

I don’t think there is a business not affected by this pandemic. The only difference will be how many will be able to survive it. And not just the companies, but the employees, their jobs and means of earning a living for their families. It will depend on how long and how deep it will disrupt the economy. If we’re going to have another wave of high infection rates with very strict restrictions in the autumn again, things will become almost unbearable for most people and companies. I hope that will not be the case.

We had to make difficult decisions. We had 3 divisions and we had to close one of them because the current business climate made it impossible for us to continue. But the other two are continuing, we’re acquiring new projects and developing new business lines which we hope will produce good results so that we can keep as many employees as we can.

The reality is that we don’t know. It’s a day by day action plan. Today was another good day – all projects are running, no working site was closed, everyone is healthy. But tomorrow the government could decide to close sites in constructions and we’re done. My hope is that we’ll remain open, surviving, getting paid and being able to pay and starting with the 2nd half of May we could see the restrictions being lifted and the economy restarting gradually to a more robust state.

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