Click below to watch reports from CTV News Edmonton and CTV National News

Click below to read "Thermal scanner placed at Sherwood Park seniors home to detect COVID-19," CTV News Edmonton's article about the COVID-19 scanner.



Leslie Beard / [email protected] / 780-952-2033

May 4th, 2021

Aster Gardens seniors living community deploys AI COVID-19 scanner to keep residents safe

Sherwood Park, Alberta - Optima Living’s Aster Gardens today became among the first in Canada to install technology that can identify COVID-19 symptoms in less than two seconds with a 98% accuracy rate. 

The “Safe Entry Stations” artificial intelligence-based thermal scanner operates similarly to a walk-through airport metal detector. When residents, employees, and visitors enter Aster Gardens, a no-touch temperature reading, and a facial scan are taken to detect COVID symptoms as well as other infectious diseases and viruses. 

A new, innovative, seniors living community offering independent living and memory care, Aster Gardens started safely welcoming residents on the first day of Spring, March 21. Karen Fitzgerald, Aster Gardens General Manager, said the scanner is one more safeguard that’s been put in place to keep residents and others safe from COVID-19 as well as other infectious diseases or viruses.

“As someone who has devoted most of my career to seniors living communities, I can tell you that even before COVID-19, any contagious virus, such as the flu, which comes around every fall and winter, has been a major concern,” she said. 

That’s why, she explained, a great deal of innovative thinking and care went into building Aster Gardens to reduce the chances of transmitting diseases or viruses.

There are several hand sanitizer stations located on each floor, almost all toilets are motion activated reducing the need to touch any surfaces, each resident’s suite has its own air exchange unit which means everyone isn’t sharing the same recycled air. Each floor also has many different common areas that promote small group social gatherings, reducing larger, perhaps less socially distanced get-togethers.

Optima Living, the owner, and operator of Aster Gardens developed a partnership with Alberta-based company Connectus Global to use their integrated leading artificial intelligence (AI) technology powered by Predict Medix. Connectus Global’ s AI thermal scanner and visitor management technology has already been successfully used by national sports organizations and businesses for the same purpose.

“At Aster Gardens, we’re extremely pleased to use such ground-breaking technology and lead the way for other seniors’ communities that might consider using it,” said Ali Shivji, Principal of Optima Living. “Optima Living’s focus is always on creating quality, meaningful lives for residents who live in any of our 18 seniors living communities in western Canada.”

“Connectus welcomes the opportunity to be involved in this project with Aster Gardens and working with a sector that has been particularly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, to make Aster Gardens a safe place for residents to live and for families eventually to be together again. We need to take care of each other now more than ever” said Norine Anderson, COO Connectus Global.

About Optima Living 

Since 2007, Optima Living has established a strong reputation as an owner and operator of seniors’ residential communities located in western Canada. These communities range from Independent to Assisted Living, Long term Care to Memory Care Living, and Residential Mental Health. Optima believes its North Star – Let us welcome you homeis what allows the company’s unique culture to flourish in all its seniors’ residential communities. For further information, visit

About Aster Gardens

As one of Optima Living’s 10 seniors’ communities in Alberta, Aster Gardens is a 157-suite residence designed for people able to live fully independent lives. In addition to world-class independent living for seniors, Aster Gardens offers the Optima Living Memory Care Program for people with cognitive concerns. The Memory Care Program is rooted in person-centred care and developed in collaboration with the University of Alberta and the University of Manitoba.

About Connectus Global

Connectus is an Alberta based technology company that is leveraging digital technologies for improved safety and productivity in the workplace and is enabling the industry by providing a range of products such as advanced Ultra-Wideband real-time location tracking systems, document digitization, electronic permitting solutions, and access & certification of data, as well as offering business continuity solutions for facilitating safer operations and a streamlined return to work. For any information, contact Connectus by 

For more information:

Optima Living: Leslie Beard / [email protected] / 780-952-2033