Relying on New Technology is Key to Addressing Labour Shortage in Healthcare: Video Analytics Solutions Detects Falls While Protecting Privacy
It’s no secret that our healthcare sector is facing a labour shortage in Singapore. In a 2018 study, the Lien Foundation found that we will need double our pool of long-term care workers by 2020 in order to meet this demand. And yet, challenges such as low pay structures and the high dependency on foreign workers mean that the labour shortage is only going to get worse, not better.
As we anticipate the silver tsunami in the coming years, technology becomes a necessary solution that can ease this gap in demand and supply. Traditionally, this meant turning to surveillance cameras to monitor elderly homes, but current surveillance cameras are still very passive – they are highly dependent on human monitoring and triggers to escalate emergencies into the necessary action, and potential privacy concerns when deployed for the long-term.
Yet, with new technological advancements, Canon is ready to future-proof your business against these changing times and harness the powers of technology – all while addressing the unique demands and needs of the healthcare industry.
Canon Introduces Video Analytics Solutions to Heighten Security Level
Canon is introducing Video Analytics Solutions (VAS) in collaboration with Senturian Solutions, Intel and Milestone XProtect Platform, the Video Management Software (VMS) global leader for IP network-based surveillance. This collaboration will foresee an expansion of possibilities for current CCTVs to detect real-time incidents, protect patients’ privacy, and improve digital workflows – all in one integrated, centralised system.
First, the artificial intelligence (AI) and sound analytics software integrated into VAS makes it capable of detecting falls and distress, greatly aiding overworked long-term care workers and addressing the labour shortage within the industry.
In collaboration with our solution partner Senturian Solutions, a Singapore company that specialises in deep tech image vision AI, we are able to advance the VAS to better technological capabilities. Using neurolytics, a deep learning AI technology capable of analysing actions and behaviours of moving targets through video, VAS is able to differentiate between a person falling, sitting, kneeling, squatting or tying his shoelace in the video. Besides alerting the relevant personnel to falls and fights, VAS can also identify potentially dangerous situations before they escalate, such as fires, suspicious loitering behaviour, and human trespassing.
The sound analytics software complements this feature, in that it alerts the relevant personnel to emergencies by listening out for key sounds. Programmed to filter out background noise and trained to detect words and phrases like “help me” and “help help”, the sound analytics software is able to extract samples for analysis for screams, shouts, and cries for help.
To ease the need to monitor patients round the clock, there are an increasing number of nursing homes and caregivers that rely on surveillance cameras to monitor patients and bridge this manpower gap. However, this trend continues to raise privacy concerns as the healthcare industry strives to protect the elderly’s dignity.
Fortunately, Canon has made it a priority to ensure that vulnerable patients are safely monitored without compromising on their privacy. Canon’s Moving Object Mask VAS comes with masking technology that protects patients’ identifying features and prevents it from being screened, allowing even traditionally private areas such as bedrooms and washrooms to be monitored.
As many falls occur at home or when the elderly are making their way to the washroom, it is important to be constantly vigilant and alert to falls – according to a recent study by the Singapore Medical Journal, many elderly do not report their falls or seek medical assistance unless they get injured. Canon’s Moving Object Mask VAS technology embeds the moving object with silhouette effect so that only the human figure is outlined. Full video access is only available to administrators who can remove the silhouetting during video playback. Through the smart analytics technology, it is able to ensure the protection of highly sensitive areas on screen with customisation of colour and transparency of silhouettes for better visibility.
In fact, this VAS technology is already being utilised right here in Singapore. Kebun Baru’s Integrated Dementia Assisted Living (Ideal) facility began pilot testing the VAS technology for their tech-integrated aged care facility in March this year. The facility has two cameras and a sound sensor that are monitored by volunteer caregivers from Kebun Baru Community Club.The feed only shows masked live footage of moving objects to protect patients’ privacy. After the alarm is triggered, the caregivers can step in to provide medical assistance or notify relevant emergency services if necessary. This technology will ease the worries of long-term care workers who may not be able to monitor their patients round the clock.
Lastly, the VAS connects all camera footage from various devices to one feed and is complementary to other plug-ins such as the People Counter, promising great improvement to existing digital workflow processes with more accurate grasping of congestions in monitored areas.
As VAS is compatible with any Internet Protocol (IP) devices, it is easy to install and manage from one centralised system, reducing the need for checking across multiple monitoring stations and devices.
Video Analytics Solutions
The future is changing, but technology is catching up. With this integrated VAS, time is freed up such that long-term care workers can give the elderly better and more personalised care beyond assisting their everyday lives. This lets the industry redirect their efforts to better detect the needs of Singapore's growing elderly population, and hence future-proofing your organisation. As a leader in new and emerging technology, Canon brings to you the most relevant and effective systems for your business so that you don’t have to go to them.