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Watch & warn – Beating the virus: Tech to the rescue

A concerted effort is required wherein human initiatives are augmented by advanced technology such as AI-based video analytics

In such a scenario, a concerted effort is required wherein human initiatives are augmented by advanced technology such as AI-based video analytics through CCTV cameras.
In such a scenario, a concerted effort is required wherein human initiatives are augmented by advanced technology such as AI-based video analytics through CCTV cameras.

By Abhijit Shanbhag

With the rollout of the vaccination drive, and easing of operational norms after the second wave, India seems to be well on its way to recovery from the pandemic impact. However, along with the hopes, there is also the concern around Omicron. In such a scenario, a concerted effort is required wherein human initiatives are augmented by advanced technology such as AI-based video analytics through CCTV cameras.

Top-of-the-line video analytics solutions are cloud-based and can be deployed at a short notice on the existing CCTV systems in healthcare facilities as well as outdoors in urban areas and throughout commercial establishments and public places. Further, the power of cloud gives such systems great flexibility to scale and integrate with other existing video surveillance systems online. There are several areas of Covid-19 management and protocol adherence that video analytics tools can be deployed to manage.

Comprehensive and efficient contact tracing: Contact tracing is one of the foremost preventive strategies to combat the contagion. Through video analytics-based monitoring, infected people can be constantly tracked on the basis of facial recognition, clothing identification, etc. With complete visibility of the infected person’s movement and actions, it will be easier to identify who might have been at risk and preventing future outbreaks.

Identifying, monitoring and analysing social distancing: Public movement and commercial activities have resumed, and with over a billion-plus Indians on the move, it is easier said than done to ensure adherence of Covid-19 protocols by the limited healthcare and law enforcement personnel on ground. However, digital video analytics can become a force-multiplier. The platform can automatically and 24/7 monitor and analyse factors such as distance between people across locations. Whenever non-compliance is recognized, the system can raise alerts. Based on the adherence or lack thereof, the authorities can take further steps to ensure the developing situation is contained effectively.

Monitoring and managing occupancy: Video analytics can empower healthcare facilities as well as business organisations to continuously and effectively monitor occupancy. The number of visitors to the overall buildings and headcount in specific areas prove to be invaluable in managing occupancy and complying to the norms prescribed by authorities.

Hygiene adherence: Through AI video analysis, cleaning crews can monitor the premises and observe how many people are using the washrooms or entering kitchen and restaurants. Spills, littering and other things can be monitored and proactive cleaning carried out to ensure that the premises remain clean and safe.
Face mask compliance: In the wake of the pandemic, it has become critical to ensure that the public strictly adheres to the prescribed mask rules. This is where video analytics can consistently monitor people and identify those who violate the rules.

Prevention of crowding: Identifying hotspots and reduction of crowding is a key benefit of the video analytics technology. For instance, depending on a location’s area and capability, the ideal number of occupants can be determined and counted on a real time basis. Whenever the crowds exceed the numbers, warning can be issued and people alerted to avoid crowding the area.

As evidenced by the above abilities, AI-powered video analytics has the ability to effectively overcome most challenges and ensure a streamlined as well as proactive public movement management.

The writer is president and CEO, Graymatics

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