Shaping the Use of Technology

How responsible AI plays a key role in healthcare

In the ever-evolving healthcare landscape, hospitals are increasingly turning to video technology for a range of critical applications that extend far beyond traditional security. These innovative systems play a pivotal role in several areas including inventory control, drug diversion prevention, patient monitoring, and compliance with hospital procedures and industry standards.

The integration of AI into these systems has significantly boosted their capabilities, offering unprecedented accuracy and efficiency for a diverse range of healthcare applications.

Enhancing Patient Safety
Healthcare facilities are now adopting patient-centric technologies such as in-room cameras and sensors, which provide continuous monitoring that enhance patient safety. These video technologies are adept at the early detection of medical complications or falls, playing a crucial role in responding rapidly to patient needs. These technologies are also instrumental in identifying unusual sounds or incidents, ensuring the well-being of patients by enabling prompt medical interventions.

Video technology may also detect conditions such as sleep apnea, irregular breathing or falls. Motion sensors in patient rooms facilitate efficient patient rounding and care, while voice-triggered systems can activate emergency responses, improving the overall efficiency of healthcare delivery.

AI software significantly lightens staff workloads by automating the monitoring process. Machine learning (ML) algorithms analyze camera data in real time, identifying anomalies and potential security threats, leading to quicker and more proactive incident responses and risk mitigation.

Additionally, the fusion of video and data applications with emergency response systems is revolutionizing communication and efficiency among hospital staff. Real-time location systems (RTLS) enhance staff safety by enabling swift responses to potential threats or emergencies. AI-enabled devices stand out in their ability to manage alarms intelligently and recognize uncommon patterns, contributing significantly to efficient patient care.

Responsible AI: A New Healthcare Frontier
The next significant advancement in smart solutions involves the increased use of Responsible AI technology. Responsible AI refers to artificial intelligence systems that are designed, deployed, and used in an ethical and legal way, minimizing the potential for causing harm and making sure they benefit people, communities and society. Responsible AI Video technologies can offer several benefits from a healthcare perspective. Here are some specific applications:  

Identifying unusual behavior. Responsible AI can learn standard behavior patterns within healthcare facilities and quickly detect anomalies. For example, it can help identify unauthorized individuals entering restricted areas, or unusual visitor, staff or patient activities.

Monitoring patient behavior. AI can assist in monitoring patients, especially those with cognitive disorders, to ensure they are safe and not engaging in potentially harmful activities. It also can be used to detect falls or other emergencies.

Monitoring hygiene protocols. Responsible AI can monitor healthcare workers' compliance with hygiene protocols, such as handwashing. It can identify instances of noncompliance and help enforce infection control measures.

Managing crowded areas In healthcare settings where crowd management is crucial, such as within emergency departments or during pandemic-type events, AI can analyze video feeds to monitor and manage crowd flow, ensuring a safe environment.

Asset protection. AI can detect suspicious activities or individuals in areas where valuable equipment or supplies are stored, helping to prevent theft, vandalism or drug diversion activities.

Emergency response. AI can quickly analyze video data to identify emergency situations, such as accidents or altercations, enabling faster response times from security staff or medical staff.

Privacy protection. Responsible AI can automatically mask or blur sensitive information in video data, ensuring compliance with privacy regulations and protecting patient confidentiality.

Unified Data-Driven VMS: The Core of Efficient Healthcare Operations
An open platform VMS — capable of ingesting, processing, analyzing and presenting vast amounts of data in real time — is becoming essential in healthcare. It gathers data from various sources like cameras, sensors, IoT devices, and APIs, storing it in a central hub for easy access and analysis. The VMS not only offers visual alarm verification but also applies machine learning to detect patterns and anomalies in the data, offering insightful operational and security perspectives.

As healthcare continues to embrace technological innovation, data-driven video technology augmented with AI is setting new benchmarks in operational efficiency and patient safety. These systems not only streamline workflows but also enhance the quality of care by providing real-time insights and rapid response capabilities.

As we look toward the future, the integration of Responsible AI and advanced analytics (and cloud-based solutions) promises to revolutionize the healthcare sector by delivering smarter, more initiative-taking, and patient-centric solutions.

This article originally appeared in the March / April 2024 issue of Security Today.

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