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Lives Endangered, Sellers Profit
According to the VA’s own data, over 80,000 individuals in the VA network have contracted COVID; more than 4,000 have died.
As America’s largest integrated healthcare system serving 9 million veterans, with medical experts across every major specialty, the VA can and should do better for those in its care.
Aurora Multimedia CEO Responds
We contacted the sellers of tablets, only Turtle Creek responded, by way of their supplier Aurora Multimedia. CEO Paul Harris acknowledged general industry problems (“Many of the companies rebranding sell online to any and everyone which hurts the industry”) but emphasized that his company’s product is accurate.
We have not tested Aurora Multimedia. Aurora Multimedia’s CEO’s in-depth comments are shared here.
VA Inspector General Touts Fever Cameras
In July, the VA Inspector General issued a review on their pandemic response. The report touts the use of thermal cameras for screening patients and staff.
However, even in this report, the IG indicates they are not following FDA guidelines, as screening individuals “as they entered” a building increases the likelihood of incorrect readings due to temperature variations.
Fever Screening Device Substitution On Award
In one purchase, the VA substituted one tablet for another that the VA determined was an ‘equivalent product’. The solicitation awarded to Document Strategies for Meridian originally specified Goodview tablets or “equivalent product”:
This contract will include procurement of the Goodview Dynamic Detection Display Temperature Scanner Kiosk with Facial Recognition and Floor Stand with Square Base or an equivalent product for all VISN 4 facilities.
Both of these products (Goodview and Meridian) were rushed out this year, have no FDA approval, and have no scientific or laboratory approval that we could find. Treating medical devices like commodity widget purchases increases the risk to the VA.
No Expertise in Thermal Devices
Like Documents Strategies, the sellers of these systems displayed no expertise or background in this technology prior to their VA contracts. This is reinforced by their own marketing:
Explicit Disregard For FDA Guidelines
In the solicitation awarded to Turtle Creek Construction for 48 Aurora Tauri Series tablets, the VA contradicts FDA guidelines, alleging temperature screening devices are not used for medical purposes and, hence, do not require FDA approval. The FDA disagrees – they consider these medical devices.
As IPVM has reported throughout 2020, this fits an ongoing trend of considerable amounts of money being spent on devices that may not help public safety. Deceptive sellers continue to profit selling a false sense of security to unwitting buyers. read more