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Assa/HID introduces RFID-based laundry tags

Assa/HID introduces RFID-based laundry tags

Editor / Provider: HID Global | Updated: 3/7/2013 | Article type: Security 50

HID Global announced the addition of its industry and logistics SlimFlex Laundry tag solution to the expanding SlimFlex Tag family of broadband UHF RFID transponders. This introduction provides integrators with a rich feature-set of RFID tags that deliver the characteristics of the SlimFlex tag's durability and flexibility in a format ideal for automated tracking and inventory for commercial laundry and health care linens and supplies.

HID Global's laundry tags withstand the chemical exposure and high temperatures of repeated commercial washing, drying and pressing cycles, as well as medical-grade sterilization procedures. The small, thin, flexible white strip-shaped tag can be discreetly sewn into the hem of clothing or linens, unnoticeable to users during everyday operations. With a long read range of up to 8.2 ft. (2.5 m), laundry tags enable automated sorting, inventory and accounting for commercial cleaners, and improved tracking and infection control processes for health care linens and supplies.

Building upon HID Global's successful LogiTag family of LF and HF tags, SlimFlex Tags with UHF technology enhance the potential for laundry and medical asset tracking and automation systems. The unique thermoplastic elastomer used in SlimFlex housings is made from the same materials used to manufacture automobile pipes and hoses with the ability to tolerate repeated bending or torsion, while maintaining excellent performance characteristics.

All SlimFlex tags are waterproof and food compatible; they provide high resistance to aggressive liquids and UV rays; and the tags deliver reliable performance and reading stability in high heat and sub-freezing temperatures. SlimFlex Laundry tags also provide added heat resilience, withstanding up to 428° F (220° C) during ironing.

Vanguard Video announces real-time, pure software H.265 encoder

Vanguard Video announces real-time, pure software H.265 encoder

Editor / Provider: Vanguard Video | Updated: 2/22/2013 | Article type: Component

Vanguard Video, a supplier for broadcast quality video compression technology, announces the availability of V.265, a new professional encoder based on the next-generation HEVC (H.265) International Draft Standard. Vanguard Video first demonstrated its HEVC encoder technology at IBC 2012, and now releases V.265 for evaluation by companies involved in high-demand video applications. V.265 can deliver up to 50% reduction in bandwidth and improved video quality compared to that of the existing H.264 standard.

HEVC is expected to be ratified as International Standard H.265 in the first quarter of 2013 and will be the dominant video compression technology deployed for the next decade. Application developers, hardware manufactures, and content distributors are all ramping up efforts to take advantage of the new standard, and Vanguard Video is the first to provide a software-only solution that performs real-time, broadcast quality encoding compliant with the protocol.

V.265 allows OEMs to determine HEVC's improvements in quality and performance and can take advantage of Vanguard Video's patented video compression technology yielding high-quality video while maintaining real-time operation. In addition, V.265 provides a powerful toolset for offline encoding especially suited for Cloud-based encoding implementations.

"Video distribution and broadcast companies around the world are searching for higher quality video solutions, especially with the huge increase in mobile video. HEVC provides a dramatic increase in bit-rate efficiency delivering high-quality video at half the bandwidth," said Irena Terterov, CEO and Founder of Vanguard Video. "We were the first to launch a professional level H.264 encoder, and now with V.265, Vanguard Video continues that tradition with the HEVC standard. In addition to our software encoder, we are also hard at work on an HEVC hardware codec for FPGA and ASIC implementations."

IDIS to launch total IP surveillance solution

IDIS to launch total IP surveillance solution

Editor / Provider: IDIS | Updated: 2/14/2013 | Article type: Security 50

With a fifteen-year history leading the surveillance market as an OEM for some of the world’s largest security organizations, IDIS will launch its own suite of IP HD cameras, NVR and VMS built on IDIS’s game changing DirectIP framework and protocols. The solution suite provides the industry’s first true one-stop-shop HD surveillance solution from a single source provider, while the DirectIP framework and VMS allow simple, low cost installation and ease of use previously only associated with analog systems.

Brian Song, European Director, IDIS, noted: "As the proliferation of IP and HD systems has grown, our customers and partners frequently report frustration with the many challenges presented by an overly fragmented and unnecessarily complex surveillance marketplace.

Customers, installers and end-users face difficulties related to increased integration and implementation costs, growing complexity in network configuration, and the sheer effort and cost tied to the maintenance of varied equipment from multiple vendors. IDIS’s new, fully integrated DirectIP solution suite addresses these challenges both definitively and affordably"

IDIS has drawn upon its extensive R&D and on-the-ground expertise to develop a best-in-class HD surveillance solution. This DirectIP solution suite will provide unrivalled simplicity, evident immediately from ease of installation and integration through to daily use of its user-friendly interface DirectIP from IDIS will provide the first true end-to-end, plug and play solution by delivering instant recognition by the NVR of every networked camera ~ enabling end users to start monitoring live video immediately without cumbersome network configuration requirements. It will further eliminate the complexities of traditional networked surveillance systems with an installation that no longer requires the manual input of device IP addresses or related port forwarding and routing. The DirectIP switching hub and camera registration will allow multi-connection structures between NVRs while supporting PoE devices and simple, uncomplicated integration with intruder alarms and other electronic security systems.

The IDIS solution will provide real-time live monitoring with HD resolution from outstanding network throughput maintaining a stable HD resolution regardless of external network traffic while cameras will record direct to the NVR in real-time (in an HD resolution or higher). In addition, the IDIS NVR will be equipped to perform five key Pentaplex processes simultaneously, with no degradation of image quality or network interruptions ~ live-view, record, playback, remote access and backup of audio and video files, giving users greater choice and ease in everyday use.

Morpho's Indian subsidiary Smartchip achieves IT standard certifications

Morpho's Indian subsidiary Smartchip achieves IT standard certifications

Editor / Provider: Morpho (Safran) | Updated: 1/29/2013 | Article type: Security 50

Morpho (Safran) announced that its Indian subsidiary Smartchip has achieved ISO 20000 and ISO 18000 certification.

ISO/IEC 20000 is an international IT standard that allows companies to exhibit excellence and demonstrate best practice standards in IT management. The standard ensures companies can achieve evidence-based benchmarks to continuously improve their delivery of IT services. Achievement of ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 demonstrates that smart chip complies with internationally recognized standards for IT Service Management, focusing on continuous improvement as a means to increase client satisfaction.

In addition, smartchip has also achieved ISO 18000 certification (or OHSAS 18001) which covers occupational health and safety management systems to enable businesses to be confident that they are doing all they can to protect their employees. It also allows the businesses to ensure they are operating according to their stated health and safety policies. Achievement of ISO 18000 certification has demonstrated a verifiable commitment of Smartchip in maintaining a safe working environment for staff and visitors, as well as an active approach to improving health and safety within the organization.

"These two certifications recognize smart chip's dedication to continuing to invest in delivering the highest standards of service to our customers, and towards maintaining the highest security standards and continuous improvement for the benefit of our customers as well as for our employees," said Sanjeev Shriya, Senior VP of APAC e-Documents Division at Morpho and MD of Smartchip.

Chicago student housing centralizes IP surveillance on campus fiber backbone

Chicago student housing centralizes IP surveillance on campus fiber backbone

Editor / Provider: Axis Communications | Updated: 1/15/2013 | Article type: Residential & Consumer

Mission
As DePaul University, located in urban Chicago, Illinois, began purchasing and renovating city blocks of privately- owned apartment buildings to house its growing student population, it began maxing out the capacity of its DVR-based analog surveillance systems. The public safety department wanted to establish a centralized recording system that would run over the university's existing fiber optic backbone and be easier to manage, maintain and scale as the university acquired more buildings.

Solution
The university contracted with Axis partner Pace Systems, a Naperville, Illinois-based electrical contractor and systems integrator, to install fixed dome network cameras from Axis Communications in the lobbies, hallways and exteriors of the residential buildings at its Lincoln Park campus. Pace Systems replaced the individual DVRs at each dormitory with a centralized array of dedicated video storage servers and a video management system from Milestone Systems all housed at the public safety building.

Result
The network video technology gives public safety the ability to review incidents occurring at any residence hall from a single, centralized security office. Though the video recordings are primarily used in forensic investigations, a dispatcher can monitor select cameras live. And in case of emergency, senior security staff can access camera views from any authorized PC attached to the campus network.

Thinking creatively about aesthetic deployment strategies
Maintaining security on an urban campus like DePaul can be especially challenging when student housing is a mix of traditional residence halls and renovated historic apartment buildings. Bringing modern network video technology into 70-year-old brick-faced walkups pushed the ingenuity of the Public Safety Department and Pace Systems to the limit. "We had been using analog cameras tied to DVR technology," explains Bob Wachowski, director of public safety for DePaul University.

"But each unit could only support 16 cameras, which meant we had to install multiple DVRs per building." Wachowski wanted to centralize recording, making it easier to maintain video archive security and add capacity as needed.

The deployment timetable was extremely tight. Pace Systems had only 10 weeks to complete the project – from mid-June when students vacated the residence halls – to the end of August when they returned to campus. With no building blueprints to guide them, integrators relied on DePaul's chief electrician, Marty Murphy, to identify alternate pathways for stringing the Cat6 cable that would power the Axis network cameras. The solution was to use the many existing wireway chases to minimize visible cabling and preserve the aesthetics of the dorm rooms and hallways. Leveraging the PoE feature of the Axis cameras allowed the systems integrator to use the same cable to provide both electricity and network connectivity. This helped to reduce the cost of the installation and simplify implementation.

Keeping a low, yet visible profile
Pace Systems recommended two models of Axis network cameras for the campus: Axis 216FD fixed dome for interior locations and Axis 225FD fixed dome for exterior deployment. "We chose these ruggedized fixed dome models because of their very small footprint," explains Gene Prorwicz, director of special systems at Pace Systems. The Axis cameras allowed the university to maintain the aesthetics of the residence halls and provide a visible, but inconspicuous surveillance presence on campus. "They didn't want the cameras to be intrusive," says Prorwicz. "But they did want the student body and faculty to have a sense of security that someone was watching over them. The point is: you don't want an institute for higher learning to look like a correctional facility."

Wachowski says that the university has been pleased with image quality of these low-profile cameras. "I've been very happy with the clarity of the images from the Axis cameras and the ease of information retrieval provided by the Milestone XProtectR system for investigation."

Though the system has not been in place for long, Wachowski has already noticed a reduction in thefts and vandalism in the residence halls. Balancing bandwidth demands

Because DePaul University chose to stream video back to a central hub instead of putting servers out near the cameras, Pace Systems needed to take care that the surveillance system did not put undue strain on the fiber optic network. Pace Systems set the cameras to transmit at five frames per second at a resolution of 640x480, more than sufficient for forensic investigation. Public safety currently archives 30 days of recordings streamed live from all the network cameras on campus. But as the university continues to grow, Wachowski plans to put smaller servers at secure sites out in the field to store the video and then stream it back to the main recording center at night when there is less demand on the network.

Planning for the future
Wachowski feels the new network surveillance system gives the university more than sufficient room for expansion. As an interim step, the university is attaching its existing analog cameras to Axis video encoders, converting the analog transmission to digital and streaming it over the network. Eventually, Wachowski plans to gradually retire all the analog cameras at Lincoln Park and replace them with IP technology. Once all 60+ buildings on this campus are incorporated into the network, he will begin migrating analog technology at the Loop campus and adding that cluster of buildings to the university's surveillance network.

In addition to replacing the remaining analog cameras on campus, Wachowski is considering a wireless system that will give campus security access to video from their patrol cars. Axis PTZ network cameras are also in the plans to enable security staff to do live monitoring of high traffic areas in and around campus. These cameras will be integrated with Chicago's 911 system so that in an emergency, Chicago police can immediately view the area in question.

Geutebruck releases privacy-masking feature set

Geutebruck releases privacy-masking feature set

Editor / Provider: Geutebruck | Updated: 11/30/2012 | Article type: Security 50

G-Tect/MoP is a new motion privacy (MoP) function which pixelates moving objects in live displays or in already archived image data. This Geutebruck innovation provides an additional data protection safeguard by reliably maintaining individual privacy when monitoring sensitive public areas.

This form of masking allows observers to identify any relevant incidents and to follow events in the scene in some detail but prevents them from recognising the identity of individual people or objects. Operators with appropriate system user rights can still access original un-pixelated video for investigating important details in critical surveillance situations, and un-masked video can still be made available for evidential purposes.

The G-Tect/MoP function software runs on the client unit and is integrated into Geutebruck's GSCView operating software for GeViScope and re_porter devices. t can be applied to video in all standard and megapixel formats, live and/or recorded. Masking can take the form of pixelation or smear and it can be applied simultaneously to as many licensed channels as desired.

2013 — Never a dull moment

2013 — Never a dull moment

Editor / Provider: Submitted by Johnson Controls | Updated: 11/26/2012 | Article type: Hot Topics

Security has become a rapidly evolving and highly complex industry. The cables connecting card readers have been cut in favor of wireless networks. Surveillance video no longer exists on film or tape, but is stored as a string of digital data. And marketers and human resource specialists have found uses for equipment once intended to solely secure people and property. As we complete another year, it is a good time to review some of the industry's changes, challenges and successes. Also, it is a time to reflect on what the new year may bring to the industry's manufacturers, solution providers, integrators and end users.

First, a quick caveat is in order. Any predictions are based on today's economic, social and political conditions. In our volatile, interconnected world, changes in one region of the globe can significantly impact others. That aside, here is Johnson Controls' look at the security industry as we enter 2013.

Despite an uncertain global economy, the industry held its ground over the last year. With slow construction growth forecast in Europe, North America and most of Asia, global industry sales are likely to remain fairly flat throughout 2013. While there certainly will be some major new projects, much of the business in these regions will focus on upgrades and retrofits of existing security systems.

Fortunately, there are some brighter spots. Demand for security products and services will grow in Latin America, particularly in Brazil, where a construction boom is underway in advance of the 2014 World Cup tournament and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. That growth will mean more sales of surveillance cameras, card readers and turnstiles (to accommodate many new stadiums and arenas being built).

Also in Latin America, security directors now expect physical security information management (PSIM) software to be a part of each new project. They value the software solution's ability to collect and combine information from existing disparate security — and even building automation — systems into one integrated, intelligent system offering a single point of control.

The Middle East is another bright spot, as development is continuing at a strong pace with not only some of the world's tallest buildings, but in effect entirely new cities.

Growth Verticals
Growth in many vertical markets was slow throughout 2012. More of the same will likely take place in 2013, as most budgets are expected to remain tight. But, there are still exciting markets to follow.

Around the world, more children and young adults need to be kept secure on school and college campuses. As a result, the education market will continue its growth in 2013. Health care should be another growth area, particularly in the U.S., where government programs are pushing hospitals to provide better care for more people within the same facilities. The need to increase throughput while maintaining patient satisfaction will help drive increased sales of security products and services.

Securing utility sites can be vital to a region's or even a nation's economic health. As a result, they will require more cameras and card readers and also visitor management systems. The latter will allow security personnel to run Internet-based criminal and terrorist watch background checks on visitors before allowing them to enter a facility.

Retail is another interesting vertical. Probably more than any other market, retailers have found innovative ways to use security data, particularly video. For example, retailers review video to help determine staffing needs, product placement and customers' traffic patterns and shopping habits.

Hot Products
In video surveillance, DVRs will continue to give way to intuitively controlled video management systems and mass storage devices. Rather than review hours of video, a security team can now use software to provide a synopsis of user-defined important or critical events. Using retail as an example, the end user may want to review only the shopping habits of families of three or more people entering a store. Synopsis software can find and present only that video.

Access control will continue to grow closer to the door with smart, edge-based devices. Many will be wireless and operate from an existing or newly built Wi-Fi networks. There will be less hardware but the same or greater capacities. Wireless units will expand access control to remote sites that might have previously been impossible to protect.

Mass notification is primed for growth. It provides real-time information to all building occupants and those in the immediate vicinity during an emergency. Using a combination of interior and exterior speakers and strobe lights, many top mass notification systems will integrate with a building's fire alarm system.

And expect a continued proliferation of mobile phones and tablets apps, allowing security personnel to review live or recorded video, obtain access audit trails and receive alarms while in the field.

What's Trending
Don't anticipate many revolutionary breakthroughs in 2013, but instead expect small, incremental upgrades to existing products and solutions. There are still many inventive people working on the next great development, but until the global economy improves, manufacturers are not likely looking to add them along with the required sales and marketing efforts needed to grow a new product.

That, however, does not rule out some relatively new products and services continuing to gain traction. Remote storage of video and data will head for the clouds. Cloud-based services still face some bandwidth issues, especially for video, as well as skepticism among some security directors that want total control of their data. But that is changing as the cloud environment has proven to be a secure and cost-effective means of storing and accessing data. As the acceptance of the cloud concept grows, there will be greater demand for managed services. Integrators monitor and store an end user's security data and handle alarm situations. This provides monthly recurring revenue for the integrator and allows the end user to realign or eliminate manpower dedicated to security and focus more on an organization's core competencies.

Also expect to see more end users move toward converging the security function with building automation, linking security with environment, lighting and other systems into a single point of control. This adds convenience, reduces manpower needs and enhances the value of an end user's facility.

Industry Issues
Finding ways to do more with less will be a challenge for end users. Security directors, faced with tight budgets, must be more selective in their choices of integrators and product manufacturers. They will look for innovation, features and service, while being very aware of price.

In many organizations, the security department is seen as a loss center. Showing ROI helps pave the way for a larger security budget. That requires security directors, integrators and manufacturers working together to prove security reduces the threat level, increases operational efficiencies and offers broad assistance to nonsecurity areas of a business.

And end users will continue to push for open standards as they seek to protect their legacy systems. As equipment fails, a security director wants the option of replacing it with units offering the feature sets and price they want — knowing it will integrate with existing systems.

Manufacturers face the challenge of making the products that end users want and need badly enough they will buy them. That requires closer communication with customers and integrators to be sure the cameras, card readers and other equipment meet the security needs of today and into the future.

For integrators, the new IT-centric world is changing the profile of a typical technician or even a salesperson. That means integrators will have to cast a broader net — searching telephony, IT, software development and other related industries — to find qualified employees.

And to shore up geographical areas where they lack a presence, larger integrators will continue to buy their smaller competitors. Manufacturers will continue to acquire small niche companies that can bring already marketed offerings at an attractive price.

2013 and Beyond
End users will no longer accept stand-alone technology. Even the standard definition of integration as linking access control, video surveillance and alarm points no longer applies.

Integration today means making security work with existing business applications, different databases and operating systems. This more complex integration means more available data, moving bidirectional between systems to create new opportunities and ways to solve end-user problems and concerns. The challenge for all industry segments will be to stay level or ahead of technology changes. The winners will be those that understand what to build and add value to their products, services and operations.

One thing that the new year will not be is dull.

Madrid retail and entertainment complex entrusts customer safety to surveillance and PA systems

Madrid retail and entertainment complex entrusts customer safety to surveillance and PA systems

Editor / Provider: Bosch Security Systems | Updated: 11/12/2012 | Article type: Commercial Markets

Islazul,  located in the Pau de Carabanchel district in Spain, is one of Madrid's largest retail, entertainment and services complexes, covering an area of 256,000 square meters. Spread over three floors, it has a total of 180 stores. Its spacious and light facilities are a huge draw for the public, as the complex is lit up with natural light from the lightweight ETFE roof and it features environmentally-friendly bioclimatic architecture.

In such a unique building that combines all the latest innovations in shopping mall architecture, one had to take care not to let the visible elements of the security systems detract from the esthetics of the surroundings. The biggest challenge was configuring a reliable CCTV system that would monitor sales floors and the parking lots, and a public address and voice evacuation system that would play ambient music as well as provide standard and emergency audible warnings.

Cameras and domes from the Bosch AutoDome 300 Series and the latest-generation Bosch Divar recorders were chosen for the CCTV system as they met all the security requirements. The challenge with the sound system was to combine performance and esthetics on the floors with large spaces and extremely high ceilings: the Bosch MCS 3500 wide-range ceiling loudspeakers and EVAC-compliant hemi-directional suspended loudspeaker turned out to be the perfect acoustic solution both in terms of sound quality and power and top notch design, making them easy to integrate into large-scale iconic buildings.

With the multifunctional Bosch public address system, which can be used for standard and evacuation announcements as well as ambient music, visitors not only enjoy a uniform, high quality sound, but the security of the people and facilities in the area is also guaranteed.

“The Ingevision group specializes in large-scale installations. Our client is highly satisfied with Bosch solutions. For us, the Islazul shopping mall is a landmark project that has provided us with a way in to other similar projects. Our intention is to continue developing and maintaining our commitment to engineering and technological development. To achieve this objective, we will continue to count on the collaboration of a manufacturer of innovative technology such as Bosch.”

Health care provides shot in the arm to solution providers

Health care provides shot in the arm to solution providers

Editor / Provider: a&s International | Updated: 10/16/2012 | Article type: Commercial Markets

The health care sector poses unique challenges and opportunities, said John Davies, MD at Time and Data Systems International (TDSi). “After all, you have to provide security while, at the same time, guaranteeing access to patients and family members. You simply cannot go over the top in locking things down.” Davies estimates that the Americas account for 50 percent of the global market for electronic security products and systems sold to the health care sector, followed by EMEA with 30 percent, East Asia 20 percent, and the rest of Asia 10 percent. While EMEA is growing at 4 percent and the Americas around 6 percent, growth in East Asia has been compounding at 10 percent. “In the next three years,” Davies said, “Asia is going to start to outstrip the other markets in terms of size.”
 
For a US$5-million hospital project with 500 beds, Davies estimates that 30 percent would be spent on video surveillance, 30 percent on fire detection systems and alarms, 20 percent on access control (half of which for biometrics), and 20 percent on system integration. The latter might include building and records maintenance and management. Looking at access control, the market is about $200 million per year, and Davies expects this to grow to $300 million by 2016. Extrapolating his figures for total global sales, one arrives at around $1 billion per year.
 
Defining the health care sector, particularly in terms of market research statistics, is somewhat problematic. “After all,” said one industry executive, “the health care sector also includes clinics and private medical and dental practices.” These generally small premises do require unique security solutions. “Sales to small- and medium-sized players are often listed under retail sales,” he explained.
 
Taking the pulse of biometrics
One major beneficiary has been biometric players. According to Phil Scarfo, VP of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Lumidigm, hospitals and pharmaceutical prescriptions are creating new opportunities. For example, the Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances rule was issued by the US Drug Enforcement Administration as an amendment to the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (commonly known as the Controlled Substances Act). According to the rule, doctors or pharmacists writing prescriptions must authenticate two of the following: something they know (a knowledge factor) with something they have (a hard token stored separately from the computer being accessed), and something they are (biometric information). “For increased security, less complicated management and ease of doctor and pharmacist use, most health care organizations prefer that one of the authentication factors be biometric,” Scarfo said.
 
Secured access to medical equipment and supplies is an ever-increasing priority for hospitals. “Maintaining adequate control and an effective audit trail is both a cost-saving and compliance issue,” Scarfo said. “Biometrics is an ideal solution to both problems.”
 
All of this is music to the ears of biometric products and systems providers. One forecast of next-generation biometric technologies, for example, puts the annual global market at $14 billion by 2017. That is a CAGR of nearly 20 percent.
 
While the markets are there, East Asian companies may not be the ones reaping the benefits. Eric Assouline, Export Sales Manager at CDVI, pointed out that, while East Asia has some strong players, especially the Koreans, North American and European companies tend to dominate both low-end and high-end markets.
 
“While much has been made of Indian companies' prowess in software,” Davies said, “most important R&D is occurring in matured markets like North America and Europe. It is about innovation through software, not just the hardware and the features that you offer.”
 
Too many access control products (readers, controllers and cards) at the lower end of the scale, Davies added, are also sold as mere commodities. He emphasized that the value in access control is in software integration. Companies taking advantage of this approach include Prysm, Synectics, Lenel, Maxxess, Hirsch and TDSi. Another big access control player, HID, is big in credentials and readers, but less so in terms of system integration and software.
 
Emerging markets
Davies sees the Middle East and Africa as rising new markets. “There has been a lot of growth in the health care market, not only in East Asia but also the Middle East and, very soon, parts of West and East Africa. We have been getting a lot of work in Nigeria, Angola, Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya.” Another key market has been Saudi Arabia, where hospitals are being built “left, right and center,” Davies said.
 
Some 95 percent of Chinese had government-provided health insurance in 2011, and the medical services market is growing 18 percent annually. In fact, as of last year, China had 3.7 million hospital beds, up 54 percent from 2005. Today, 12 percent of hospital beds are in facilities run by private corporations. Government targets could generate 400,000 new private hospital beds per year with annual revenue from private hospitals in China reaching $377 billion by 2015. The increase in hospitals is increasing demand for medical gear, as well as electronic security equipment and systems.
 
Legally speaking
Not all growth, however, happens for the same reasons. In North America, federal mandates requiring health care providers to secure sensitive patient information are driving much of the momentum. “Security solutions providers,” said one industry professional with a wry laugh, “really need to thank the high number of lawyers in the U.S. The threat of legal challenges has really forced large hospitals, in particular, to establish much greater security and control over patient records. Doctor handwriting has long been a source of jokes in the U.S., but no more,” he said. “It is absolutely essential that other health care professionals, including other doctors, nurses, orderlies and, most definitely, pharmacists, understand exactly the type of medical service or medication required.”
 
In the U.S., another major impetus is the federal goal envisioning citizens having secured electronic medical records by 2014.
 
Challenges vs. opportunities
For those who successfully make the transition to IT-based systems and networks, an added plus is that integration of a number of different requirements, from building maintenance and management, access control, fire and safety to reduced energy usage, has delivered real benefits in terms of reducing costs. That said, key challenges like scalability, availability, performance and compatibility — some prefer to call it interconnectivity — remain.
 
That was more than evident in the findings of two recent reports by the US Office of the Inspector General, which found a lack of IT security controls. Major vulnerabilities included unencrypted wireless connections and easy passwords, as well as those due to careless oversight, such as taped-over door locks.
 
The auditors classified 124 as high-impact breeches; these resulted in costly losses, injury or death. According to the report, unauthorized parties could have accessed or did access systems and patient data. Loss of information contained in supposedly secured records could lead to manufacturing of false identities and fraudulent medical charges.
 
As health care centers move to adopt network-based or wireless technology, more problems or risks might have emerged. Medical devices and security systems connected to the Internet are vulnerable to being hacked; as site usage increases, larger or more data centers are needed, creating greater challenges to medical and security practitioners alike. There will not be a single winner that takes it all, but those who integrate physical and logical access solutions seamlessly and cost-effectively will have a better chance of standing after this new round of economic and financial turmoil.
 

HD surveillance solution protects travelers and airport assets in Saudi Arabia

HD surveillance solution protects travelers and airport assets in Saudi Arabia

Editor / Provider: Avigilon | Updated: 10/12/2012 | Article type: Security 50

King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) is Saudi Arabia's third largest airport and occupies an area of 105 square kilometers. Because of its proximity to the cities of Mecca and Medina, the airport is the gateway to Saudi Arabia for a large number of visitors from around the world. In 2010 alone, KAIA serviced more than 17 million passengers. Over the past several years, the airport has undergone a series of renovations to enhance passenger service and ensure their safety. Most recently, KAIA deployed the Avigilon HD Surveillance System in its 13 parking lots and all duty free shops and restaurants to more effectively secure travelers and protect airport assets.

Tasked with selecting a new surveillance system for the airport's parking lots, terminals' lobbies and duty free shops, Al Musbah, a local provider of security solutions, had one goal in mind. “We wanted a high-performance, reliable, and easy-to-use solution to capture irrefutable evidence for quick and successful investigations,” said Adel Safadi, manager of CCTV & Video Analytics Systems at Al Musbah. The ability to take quick action when an incident occurs—whether it's an accident or theft—is a critical factor in reducing disturbances and maintaining high customer service levels.

A total of 274 Avigilon HD cameras ranging from 1 MP to 16 MP provide complete coverage of the airport's parking lots, terminal lobbies, and duty free shops. Eleven Avigilon HD 16 MP cameras, three Avigilon HD 11 MP, 29 Avigilon HD 5 MP, 43 Avigilon HD 2 MP, and 31 Avigilon HD 1 MP cameras monitor the 2,000 vehicles that enter and exit the parking lots daily. In the airport's lobbies and all market shops area, 24 Avigilon HD 5 MP cameras, 44 Avigilon HD 2 MP cameras, and 87 Avigilon HD 1 MP cameras deliver complete coverage. All Avigilon HD cameras are streamed and monitored around the clock in the airport's state-of-the-art control room. Security personnel manage the Avigilon HD Surveillance System using Avigilon Control Center Enterprise Network Video Management Software (NVMS) with High Definition Stream Management, which was built from the ground up to manage HD surveillance video.

High quality, low bandwidth
While very impressed with Avigilon's image quality, the airport was initially concerned that bandwidth requirements would be too high. Al Musbah wanted to ensure that the system installed could efficiently manage the transmission and display of high definition video, so the benefit of the additional detail would not be lost.

By leveraging Avigilon Control Center's High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) technology and grouping the cameras to form a sub-network that connects to the high bandwidth fibre network, Safadi was able to easily overcome any concerns. Using HDSM, the Avigilon HD Surveillance System only sends the requested pixels, so the workstation does not become overwhelmed with processing unnecessary data. “Thanks to Avigilon Control Center and High Definition Stream Management, security officers are able to navigate through the 274 cameras easily on very little bandwidth,” said Safadi. “The use of JPEG2000 compression gave us the ability to view multiple cameras on very little processing power at the viewing station, while still maintaining unbeatable image quality.”

 

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