How network technology can increase safety and security today and tomorrow

November 2, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we live our lives and businesses operate. Physical distancing, virtual meetings, and improved hygiene measures are new behaviors that are likely to linger. With smart solutions, we can work together to ensure these new routines are consistently met.  

The current health crisis has truly tested the grit of businesses as they’ve worked to adjust to guidance and regulations set forth by governments and local health experts. It certainly hasn’t been easy, and the road ahead appears bumpy as COVID-19 cases across the US spike as flu season also gets underway.

For businesses, the past several months has put a spotlight on how they’ve been able to adapt to sometimes daily or weekly changes. How are they managing? Do they have the right resources to do so?

That’s where network technology based on sight, sound, and analytics can step in and help. Axis network surveillance solutions are designed to increase security and maximize business performance and operational efficiency. And they can offer improved safety, which is especially important during a health crisis.

Solutions range from low touch access control for buildings, public address systems for voice messages and reminders, remote communication to keep physical distancing, and occupancy management to monitor and control the flow of people. These also include live streaming and broadcasting to keep operations running and remote services to help manage sites from a distance.

Low touch access control

Low touch access control makes it easier to comply with increased hygiene requirements and social distancing. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital is a 131-bed community hospital located in the challenging socio-economic Willowbrook Community in southern Los Angeles. Many of its patients suffer from mental health issues, substance abuse, or the physical toll of being homeless. Adding a pandemic only puts more strain on their resources, and thus can place the health and security of patients, personnel, and visitors in jeopardy.

The hospital had recently upgraded its security command center and integrated the Axis cameras already in use with a new video management system from Genetec. The first thing the hospital completed was a vulnerability assessment to ensure it had in place the right tools and resources to handle any situation brought on by the pandemic. One way it did so was moving toward a low touch access control solution to mitigate the spread of infection. It also locked down all of its card readers to direct people to a single entrance where they would be screened before entering.

No matter the facility, a system for low touch access control makes it easier to comply with physical distancing and increased hygiene requirements. Take, for example, AXIS Visitor Access. There’s no need to physically open doors to trusted visitors or even buzz them in. Instead of an access card, visitors receive a QR code directly on their phones, which they can use to enter the building. Facilities can grant them access at specific times, and if someone’s schedule is changed or canceled, it’s possible to revoke or adjust their access. This ensures facilities are always in complete control of who is entering and leaving the building.

Public address systems

Axis network audio systems are perfect for schools, retail stores, hotels, public buildings, and city environments. They allow users to manage messages and updates, including event-triggered announcements, live voice overs if a situation needs to be responded to immediately, or schedule regular reminders.

For example, a business could use a pa system coupled with analytics, such as license plate recognition software or QR codes to offer a curbside pickup solution. A school could use an intercom system to broadcast announcements in regular intervals between classes or at the beginning, middle, and end of day on ways to reduce the spread of infection. (This type of solution could also be installed in any type of environment.) A pa system could be used as part of a broader access control solution to tell people that an entrance is now an exit and direct them to a different entry point. Or when coupled with AXIS Occupancy Estimator and Axis network cameras, it can be used to automatically inform people that maximum capacity has been reached. This could be a great way to reduce strain on personnel while ensuring areas remain in compliance with social distancing guidelines.

Remote communication

To ensure physical distancing guidelines are met, it’s possible to use Axis technology to remotely communicate with and get a visual status on people. This is useful in situations when facilities are understaffed for any period of time. Similar to what we mentioned before, Axis network door stations allow users to remotely speak with visitors face-to-face. Door stations can be used as information points or as emergency phones within a larger area like a city, park, or school or as a flexible alternative to traditional front desk receptions.

They can also allow hospital staff to communicate with patients without directly entering the room. For example, Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida has long been a proponent of using technology to improve patient care. In conjunction with their Tactical Logistics Center, Axis network cameras and technology allow them to better detect small changes in a patient’s vital signs and respond quickly. They can even communicate with patients without entering the room. This type of response can be also helpful in mitigating the spread of infection and reducing the amount of personal protection equipment that’s used, which has often been in short supply around the country. Have a look at Axis’ cooperation with the Nemours Children's Hospital to see how it works.

Occupancy estimation

Facilities—from retail shops and office buildings to stadiums—have all had to adjust to rules around the amount of people who can be in a given area at once. Manually counting or analyzing how visitors move is impossible. But with network technology and analytics, such as AXIS People Counter and AXIS Occupancy Estimator, it is possible to quickly count visitors and take action once a maximum user-defined occupancy threshold has been met. For example, when coupled with network cameras, the application will present real-time data on the number of people on a monitor. It could then trigger any number of alerts, such as a simple message, a specific audio clip over the IP audio system, or even a red light at the entrance to stop people from entering.

Live streaming and broadcasting

Live streaming and broadcasting is a practical solution to social distancing. Axis network cameras can be used to share and broadcast information from classrooms, auditoriums, and places of worship, for example, allowing users to more easily adhere to requirements for physical distancing. This can also minimize unnecessary travel, making it an environmentally sustainable option.

Remote services

Remote services make it easier to follow physical distancing restrictions and avoid unnecessary visits to a site, using remote connection, planning and device management. Design a surveillance system, connect to remote cameras, upgrade firmware or renew certificates, and manage all devices from any location.

AXIS Device Manager is a highly effective on-premise tool that promotes physical distancing by allowing remote monitoring of all devices. Security installers and system administrators can manage all major installation, security and maintenance tasks remotely. It’s compatible with most Axis network cameras, access control and audio devices, and allows for management of multiple sites from one central location, including updates of product firmware and certificate management and renewal.

The Axis Secure Remote Access is a service that significantly simplifies the installation of remote access to surveillance systems. It’s a technology that makes it possible for a smartphone or PC client to access Axis network cameras when the client and the cameras are located on different local networks. Connecting to remote cameras can be a challenge, especially when the cameras are located behind routers or firewalls. Once enabled it’s automatically configured and removes the need of manual port-forwarding and router configuration.

Chris Shanelaris, Public Relations Manager at Axis Communications US
For further information, please contact: Chris Shanelaris, Public Relations Manager, Americas, Axis Communications
Phone: 978-614-3023
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