The outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) created a global health crisis that has had a huge impact on the way we perceive our world and our everyday lives. The spread of COVID-19 has threatened our plans and the safety measures put in place to contain the spread of the virus have required social distancing going forward.
As state governments and businesses prepare to restart the economy, the consensus is that as the U.S. gradually re-opens, the look and feel of businesses will change considerably. Before the world can return to its pre-COVID-19 normal, this interim period between the lifting of shelter in place orders and the distribution of vaccines or effective treatments is projected by experts to last at least one or possibly even two years.
The key question is how do we ensure the safety of our employees, visitors, and customers once we re-open? Social distancing, cleaning, and vigilance will continue to be practiced in the “new normal”. If someone is presumed positive for COVID-19, it is important to quarantine not just the affected individual but also quickly identify everyone that was in contact with that individual.
In the event that someone on premises tests positive for COVID-19, it’s important to be prepared. Evacuating, quarantining everyone, and shutting down an entire company can be devastating. Causing revenue loss and possible layoffs.
But is there a way to avoid a complete shutdown? Yes, using Contact Tracing and video cameras are a great tool to identify possible contact, but it can be time consuming to watch hours of video.
“The technique is a “cornerstone” of preventative medicine, says Dr. Laura Breeher, medical director of occupational health services at the Mayo Clinic. “Contact tracing, it’s having a moment of glory right now with COVID because of the crucial importance of identifying those individuals who have been exposed quickly and isolating or quarantining them,”
– Dr. Laura Breeher, Medical Director of Occupational Health Services at the Mayo Clinic.
CheckVideo has launched a new feature called Contact Search that can search video of people in close proximity so you can identify those who have been in contact with an individual. Without contact tracing, the only option is a full shutdown and quarantine for everyone on premise. Rapid identification of possibly affected individuals is most important for their safety and for continued operations.
Most cameras have some form of motion detection or video analytics built-in, and they work by looking for pixel changes in specific parts of the view. AI can analyze these pixel changes and find the pixels corresponding to people. This is based on training the AI with hundreds of thousands of images of people in different camera views and lighting conditions.
The movement of people in view of the camera is then analyzed frame by frame. If multiple people are found in the camera view, it further qualifies it to look for appropriate distancing. While passing by a person is unlikely to spread COVID-19, being in close proximity for a period of time can increase the risk of infection. Therefore, the AI must look for patterns of people converging and staying in proximity for a period of time, or interacting in some manner.
CheckVideo’s Contact Tracing uses Artificial Intelligence and not only works with CheckVideo cameras but can seamlessly integrate with your existing IP or analog 3rd party cameras. This solution is highly scalable and can work across multiple locations while being managed from one central cloud-based account.
We looked for incidents of possible contact over 9 hours of video. Advanced Analytics with Person Classification finds segments with people in view, cutting it down to 347 events. That can be reviewed in 3,470 seconds or 58 minutes. We improved our algorithms to look for more than one person in view. Looking for “Multiple People” cuts this down to 15 incidents. This can be reviewed in 2 minutes. We further look for people that are close to one another for a period of time. Looking for “Person Contact” cuts this down to 3 incidents. This can be reviewed in 30 seconds. Contact search saved hours of time watching video and this can be done remotely, using a web browser, with existing cameras!
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