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Healthcare facilities adopt security tech trends

Healthcare facilities adopt security tech trends
With healthcare budgets often limited for security purposes, yet at the same time requiring a high level of efficiency and effectiveness, adopting some of the latest security technology trends may just help healthcare managers achieve their goals.
Healthcare is no stranger to cutting-edge technologies — they are often used to save lives, but what about within security? With healthcare budgets often limited for security purposes, yet at the same time requiring a high level of efficiency and effectiveness, adopting some of the latest security technology trends may just help healthcare managers achieve their goals.

Video analytics

Video analytics has come a long way, although there is definitely still room for growth. Nonetheless, healthcare facilities are deploying video analytics to more effectively and more efficiently manage their security systems.

"Cameras with self-learning video analytics are often selected for their accurate detection of people and vehicles in critical areas,” said Willem Ryan, VP of Global Marketing and Communications at Avigilon. “Combined with the advanced Avigilon Control Center (ACC) video management software, these cameras allow security operators to effectively monitor and verify surveillance video, helping to save time and effort during critical investigations.”
Chad Parris,
Security Risk Management Consultants (SRMC)

In the event of a missing patient or suspicious individual, video surveillance with video analytics can help security staff to quickly detect, identify and track a person’s whereabouts across multiple locations, improving incident response time, Ryan said. “This evidence can be used to verify events during investigations, helping reduce false liability claims, prevent injury and save operational costs for the hospital.”

Video analytics is also being used as a way of reducing the costs of security guards constantly monitoring cameras. “The use of video analytics eliminates the need for continual video monitoring and provides reliable event notification should security operators feel the need to intervene,” said Barbara Johansson, Global Solution Marketing Manager of Education and Healthcare at Axis Communications.

To protect areas of the hospital where cameras cannot be installed, like restrooms, or change rooms, Ryan suggested advanced sensors be deployed to enhance situational awareness. “The Avigilon Presence Detector (APD) sensor is a discreet impulse radar device with self-learning radar analytics that scans, learns, and continuously adapts to its environment. It can accurately detect the presence of a person even if they aren’t moving or are hidden. When integrated with Avigilon Control Center (ACC) video management software, APD sensors are designed to alert security operators of a person’s presence while still maintaining privacy.”
Willem Ryan, VP,
Global Marketing and Communications,

Use of artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence has been a popular topic in security the last few years and according to Frost & Sullivan it is also expected to play a major role in the future of medical imaging by improving workflow productivity, automating processes and increasing diagnostic accuracy. “By operationalizing AI platforms across medical imaging workflows that leverage advanced or deep learning capabilities, a 10- to 15-percent gain in productivity will be realized by augmenting the work of radiologists and improving screening outcomes. This is likely to happen over the next two to three years,” stated Frost & Sullivan’s 10 Healthcare Predictions for 2018.

From a security perspective, healthcare facilities are increasingly looking to advanced AI technology to meet their security needs, according to Ryan. Solutions like Avigilon Appearance Search technology, a deep learning AI search engine, are being deployed to help operators quickly locate a specific person or vehicle of interest across all cameras on a hospital’s premises.

“This technology is designed to dramatically improve incident response time and enhance forensic investigations by allowing operators to build robust video evidence and create a powerful narrative of events. Time is of the essence during an investigation and with the upcoming version of Avigilon Appearance Search technology, operators will be able to search for a person by selecting certain specific physical descriptions, like hair and clothing color, gender, and age and within seconds, find all instances of that person across an entire site,” Ryan added.
Thomas Schulz,
Marketing and Communications Director,
Digital and Access Solutions, 

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is everywhere now, including the healthcare industry. “The IoT is revolutionizing the way we live and the number and variety of connected devices is growing exponentially…IoT-based security and access control devices clearly collect a lot of personal data and in healthcare environments this can be used in a myriad of ways – from asset tracking and monitoring to predictive service and maintenance,” said James Ford, Director of Global Marketing at Stanley Product and Technology.

According to the 2018 Global Health Care Outlook published by Deloitte, “Development of the IoT in the healthcare market (where it is also called the Internet of Medical Things, or IoMT) has been proving particularly valuable in remote clinical monitoring, chronic disease management, preventive care, assisted living for the elderly, and fitness monitoring. IoT’s application is lowering costs, improving efficiency and bringing the focus back to quality patient care.”

Physical identity and access management

Deploying a physical identity and access management (PIAM) solution could help healthcare managers integrate systems.

“In simple terms, a PIAM is a powerful tool for the administration of the organizations physical access control system, putting in place a software interface that defines work-flows and policies as credential holders are on-boarded or have access privilege requests,” explained Chad Parris, President of Security Risk Management Consultants (SRMC). “Through a forced system of checks and balance, the card holder is assured that the proper authorizing authority approves the request and allows for organizations to audit the processes and freeing system administrators from the cumbersome management process of these requests. These requests can even come through a self-service web portal that allows the end user to submit and fully track their request.”

“I think the opportunities for PIAM, which is an integration solution with access control systems, will continue to transform the way organizations manage identity of employees, visitors and contractors in large scale, enterprise environments,” Parris added. “Additionally, the ability to link to multiple different exterior databases such as HR and IT Active Directory assures the most current data and helps bridge both the physical and IT systems through this convergence.”

There is, however, a caveat, warned Parris. A PIAM can be costly, have large recurring costs and require a commitment to the overall care and feeding of the system; therefore, considerable due diligence is needed before deployment. “Working with a trusted and savvy integrator or more likely the software manufacturer’s professional service group is a must as most work-flows are customized to meet the organization’s specific needs.”

Wireless locks

With more and more connected devices being adopted, wireless locks are proving to be a good alternative to the traditional wired access control and magnetic locks. In comparison, wireless access control is less expensive than its predecessors and less invasive to install. Not only that, they can be integrated with complementary systems using IP hubs.

Thomas Schulz, Marketing and Communications Director for Digital and Access Solutions in EMEA at ASSA ABLOY, explained how their open-standard Aperio wireless locks are designed, from the ground up, to integrate seamlessly with access control and other complementary building management systems, such as video surveillance systems, alarm, HVAC, time and attendance monitoring, and more.

Wireless locks can also help with better energy efficiency. “Budgets are always under pressure, especially in the public healthcare sector, and security technologies can help. For example, in access control, choosing wireless over traditional wired magnetic locks is much more energy efficient — and therefore cheaper to run. One of our Aperio wireless locks uses approximately 0.001 kWh of energy per year, versus 55.2 kWh for a typical standard wired lock and reader. These wireless locks run on standard batteries, and only fully ‘wake up’ when presented with a credential. Wireless locks are not connected to the mains, and use minimal power when inactive,” Schulz explained.

One of the key advantages of a wireless locking system is the ability for security and facility managers to control as much as possible from a single interface. “One glance, at one system, gives them an immediate overview of their site or building — in real time, if they integrate online functionality. It saves them time and hassle,” Schulz said.

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