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COVID’s back. Should you use video analytics this time?

COVID’s back. Should you use video analytics this time?
Video analytics companies have developed solutions that would help authorities monitor the best practices while providing insights that would help limit the damage.
The latest variant of COVID-19, Omicron, is creating chaos across the globe, bringing back painful memories of 2020. The technology world had experimented with various solutions during that time.
Some of them, like thermal cameras, don’t seem to have many takers this time, mainly because people are a bit more prepared. But others, like video analytics, may prove helpful to tackle the current pandemic wave and ensure better living conditions in the future.

How does analytics help?

Until we have an effective medical solution to COVID-19, the best way to deal with it is through social distancing, wearing masks, and sanitizing. Although this sounds simple, being consistent with it has proven to be difficult for a world that was increasingly becoming smaller and more social.
Video analytics companies have developed solutions that would help authorities monitor the best practices while providing insights that would help limit the damage.
  1. Monitor social distancing

Video analytics that leverages footage of surveillance cameras could be of great help to authorities. These solutions can monitor people and provide alerts if anyone fails to follow social distancing guidelines.
In a blog post, Briefcam explains that video analytics can help organizations can quantify and analyze the distance between individuals across locations over time, identify non-compliance with physical and social distancing mandates, and visualize the data to derive operational intelligence from dashboards and reports.
Through rule-based people counting alerts, notifications can be triggered when people are too close to each other in a pre-defined area, enabling rapid assessment of and response to developing situations.
  1. Occupancy management

Avoiding crowds is probably one of the best ways to ensure social distancing. In spaces like retail stores where people tend to crowd, video analytics can help managements limit the number of people through people counting.
Unlike the traditional people counters, video-based solutions can provide more accurate and real-time data that is crucial at the time of a pandemic. It can also give clear insights on the busiest hours and popular sections and help the management avoid crowds.
  1. Mask compliance

Masks are effective but clearly difficult to wear all the time. To beat the pandemic, people may have to ensure they wear masks at least when in public spaces. Video analytics can help businesses ensure this.
Analytics solutions can provide alerts if it detects anyone not wearing a mask or not wearing it properly. If integrated with access control solutions, the system can also ensure that only people who wear masks are allowed into a premise.
  1. Contact tracing 

Quarantining those who have encountered an infected person is necessary to contain the spread of the virus. For this, authorities need to have a contact tracing program. Most often, this relies on asking the patient about the places they have been to and people they have met. Unfortunately, this isn’t the most efficient or reliable method.
“Video analytics enables the user to rapidly and forensically search for infected persons across cameras based on clothing descriptions, face recognition from an uploaded photo or appearance similarity; to see which areas the person visited and at which exact times; and to uncover through proximity identification others who are at risk and need to engage in safety protocols,” explains Briefcam in one of their blogs.

Final word 

To beat the pandemic, we need efficient systems in place. Video analytics offers this. But businesses may have several concerns about implementing it.
In 2020, many customers thought this was a temporary issue that didn’t require any investment in technology. Clearly, that has not been the case. As the pandemic waves continue to ebb and flow, we may need to rely on the right technology more than ever before.
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