NJ-based health system Virtua deploys Evolv's AI-based weapon screener

Steven Loeb · May 21, 2024 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/5898

Evolv uses AI and sensors to autmatically distinguish between weapons and everyday items

New Jersey-based academic health system Virtua Health operates five hospitals, two satellite emergency departments, 41 ambulatory surgery centers, and more than 350 other locations, while also offering health services through Hospital at Home, physical therapy and rehabilitation, mobile screenings, and its paramedic program.

It's also at the forefront of gun violence prevention in southern New Jersey, having co-sponsored a statewide gun buyback initiative while working with the community to support gun safety education.

Virtua's latest stand against gun violence comes in the form of a newly announced partnership with security technology company Evolv Technology, to incorporate its AI-based screening technology to detect weapons coming into its hospitals.

As per the agreement, Virtua Health will use 14 Evolv Express systems at five of its hospitals and two of its health-and-wellness campuses. Evolv Express uses sensor technology and artificial intelligence to distinguish between weapons and everyday items.

Unlike traditional metal detectors, Evolv Express doesn't require people to have to stop and hand over their belongings. When something is detected by the system, real-time image aided alarms can show guards where the potential threat is located on a person or in his or her bag, reducng the amount of physical contact required.

The company also provides an analytics dashboard with information about security screening system performance, visitor flow, and location-specific performance.

So far, the weapons detection technology has been installed at five Virtua facilities. 

Evolv's technology has also been implemented in Windsor Regional Hospital in Windsor, Ontario, which reported that it detected more than 2,000 weapons at the emergency department in less than six months. Evolv Express was also installed in its lobby of The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania last October, which reported that the system prevented more than 300 weapons from entering the facility in its first three months in use.

This kind of technology becomes especially important given that healthcare workers are five times as likely to suffer a workplace violence injury when compared to other professionals. In 2018, 73% of all nonfatal workplace violence-related injuries involved healthcare workers, and that was before the pandemic, saw a wave of violence perpetrated against these individuals. 

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