Revolutionizing Face Recognition Safety and Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities – Infection Control Today | Episode Movies

Workplace violence in hospitals and other healthcare settings is on the rise and the safety of staff and patients is of paramount importance. In 2020, a meta-analysis study was conducted reporting that 61.9% of the 331,544 employees in the 253 studies reviewed had reported being exposed to any form of workplace violence. One thing hospitals can do is prevent known threats from entering the facility before they can enter, while only allowing authorized personnel into secured areas of the hospital.

To learn more about this technology, you recently Protection against infection today® (ICT®) spoke to Dean Nicolls, Chief Marketing Officer of Oosto, a tech company, Tel Aviv, Israel, about their facial recognition technology. He discusses why facial recognition is needed in a hospital, the features that make the technology unique, future plans. He also explains how this product helps infection prevention professionals specifically go beyond safety with infection control and prevention.

ICT®: Why is facial recognition needed in a hospital?

Dean Nicolls, Oosto’s Chief Marketing Officer: There are some very important use cases. One use case is that more and more hospitals are working without contact and are trying to avoid the spread of germs. For example, what I’m talking about specifically is access control. When I say access control, it means who has access to the different parts of the hospital. In the OR, for example, you only want to have doctors and the patient. What facial recognition can do is ensure that the only people given access to these very sensitive areas are those who are authorized to do so. It can also mean that even in other parts of the hospital, like the server room, you only want certain IT (information technology) people in that server room to access it [because] There is a lot of sensitive information there.

That’s a very important use case that hospitals are using facial recognition for, but there’s a second new use case. This is to protect staff, nurses and doctors from all known threats. We are increasingly hearing in the news about hospital workers being attacked in the hospital. These are people who either have an ax to grind because of their attitude towards COVID-19. or [they] could be an abusive spouse of a doctor or nurse. And the same technology you use for facial access control can be used to identify these known bad actors before they even enter the hospital, ensuring security is alerted if they set foot on it. And that’s kind of an emerging use case to protect hospital staff.

ICT®: Please tell ICT® using Google’s facial recognition technology.

DN: It’s important that your readers understand facial recognition because it means many different things to different people. The way our facial recognition technology works with the existing camera system in the hospital. The cameras are streaming from their CCTV cameras – and they have cameras spread throughout the hospital and sometimes in the garage and front entrances… operating rooms and other sensitive areas. We essentially analyze the camera stream in real time. We’re looking for a face in the video. And think again about how quickly this is happening. All of this is done via artificial intelligence (AI) and neural networks. Once we have established that there is a face, we look for the distinguishing features of the face. Then we compare that, essentially create a near real-time face map of that person’s face, and then compare that to a known list of people who are on a watch list, or it could be an authorized staff list, if people who are are on this. For example, in the example I gave of a dangerous person, when people go through the front entrance, even if they are in a crowd or in a group, we analyze each of the people in that group, say, is one of these people on the watch list? And if so, we will automatically notify security for them. So, [security] can then take appropriate action.

How does access control work? [is] just the opposite. You may have a list of 1000 employees who are supposed to be in the hospital. And then in many staff-only hospital entrances, you can let the staff member look at a small reader. looking at a camera. And just by looking at the camera, we know that it is an authorized employee. You’re on the Good List, and then the doors open. And again they can do this without having to touch any surfaces or keyboards. So that’s part of the touchless story.

And if you think of doctors who have just washed up and are going into the operating room, they can enter an operating room just by looking at a sensor and saying, “Oh, that’s the doctor,” even if he’s wearing a mask. Since we can then see that this person is on the authorized list, the doors open and the doctor can enter. And anyone who’s not authorized and isn’t an employee, we don’t recognize that particular employee, so the doors don’t open. So that’s the way to keep the rabble out. There’s also a sense of making sure only the right people are where they’re supposed to be.

ICT®: What is the failure rate for this technology?

DN: It’s surprisingly low. It’s less than one percent.

ICT®: What are the special features that make this technology so unique?

If you think about access control, in the past the hospital would probably use one of three methods with access control, used like a car key or a fob. You must carry this car key with you. And you swipe it against a panel on a wall and that gives you access, or you touch a keypad and you put in a code. In the last two decades, most hospitals use such a system. Or if they had a biometric system, they could use a fingerprint or something like that. But as we got real contactless, there was a need to move away from these technologies. The other problem with some of these technologies like the card keys and the key fobs is that they can be lost, stolen or shared. I could share my card with you and you could be a bad actor. You now have access to the hospital. You can access every part of the hospital and most hospitals are concerned about that. You want only the right people to have access to a hospital. They try to close these vulnerabilities. Using biometrics like face is an emerging avenue that many modern hospitals are now evaluating, not only because you can close these security gaps, but because you can also enable your hospital to go touchless.

ICT®: How specifically has this product helped prevent infection?

I think the main reason is the non-contact area. The idea that you can go from room to room within a hospital, and specifically where you get scrubbed and cleaned, going into the operating room. And to use this technology without having to touch anything. Because you just got scrubbed. Some of the examples we saw in the hospitals on this footage [on the Oosto website]or doctors who hold their hands like that [hands up after preparing for surgery], when they go through the door, and doors will open automatically; Don’t have to touch the doors? The ability to even recognize that in certain areas all employees may need to wear a mask. We can use this technology to warn people. If someone enters an area where everyone should wear a mask and they don’t have a mask, we can alert [the proper] people that the person is not wearing a mask. These are the areas where we refer in your specific area that touchless access control is the main advantage of this technology.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Watch the video for the entire interview for more information.

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