Fort Worth’s JPS Health Network Deploys AI-Based Gun Detection Video Analytics Platform

In a time of increasing concern about security at hospitals for patients and healthcare workers alike, a healthcare system in Fort Worth has turned to AI-based video analytics to spot dangers in real time.

An AI-based gun detection video analytics platform has been deployed at JPS Health Network’s John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, announced ZeroEyes, the Philadelphia-area company behind the technology.

Located south of downtown Fort Worth at 1500 S. Main Street, the 582-bed hospital includes an acute care facility, outpatient care centers, and psychiatric emergency room. Its Level I Trauma Center receives over 125,000 emergency department visits annually from local and air EMS agencies, as well as others outside Tarrant County, ZeroEyes noted.

ZeroEyes’ proactive gun detection and “intelligent situational awareness” solution holds the US Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act Designation. The HIPAA-compliant software is now layered onto existing digital security cameras at the hospital, ZeroEyes said.

Ops center can alert hospital police to a gun’s presence ‘3 to 5 seconds’ from detection

A monitor at the ZeroEyes Operations Center [Video still: ZeroEyes]

If a gun is identified, images are instantly shared with the ZeroEyes Operations Center, which is staffed 24/7/365 by “specially trained U.S. military and law enforcement veterans.” If the center’s experts identify a valid threat, they dispatch alerts and actionable intelligence—including visual description, gun type, and last known location—to the on-site hospital police department “as quickly as 3 to 5 seconds from detection,” the company said.

“At the hospital, we witness first-hand the impact of gun violence, which is why we strive to safeguard our patients, staff, and visitors,” Randell Hayen, Chief of the Tarrant County Hospital District Police Department, said in a statement.  “Along with our onsite police department, adding ZeroEyes gives us another tool to use to do just that.”

News follows 2022 tragedy at Methodist Dallas Medical Center

News of the gun detection system deployment likely hits home for many healthcare workers in North Texas. In October 2022, a nurse and a social worker at Methodist Dallas Medical Center were both fatally shot by a man arguing with his ex-girlfriend, who had just given birth to their baby. The armed assailant, Nestor Hernandez, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in 2023.

Details of that incident track with research cited by ZeroEyes.

According to the company, its research center has found that nearly 50% of gun violence incidents at healthcare facilities take place within the building itself. Among these incidents, 42% are targeted attacks, while 39% are spontaneous.

The company noted that in the wake of a surge of such violent incidents, around 40 states have enacted or strengthened laws regarding violence against healthcare workers.

Challenging, fast-paced environments

“Hospitals are inherently fast-paced environments where people are already vulnerable, and the size of the JPS facility makes the job of its police force and security teams even more challenging,” Mike Lahiff, CEO and co-founder of ZeroEyes, said in a statement. “I personally believe that the hospital’s deployment of ZeroEyes underscores its unwavering commitment to staying ahead of the curve in safety and security while providing exceptional care for its community.”

Lahiff’s company, which says it was founded by Navy SEALs, Special Operations military veterans, and “elite technologists,” also provides consulting, installation assistance and practice drills for active shooter events to enhance safety at schools, corporate and government facilities.

Established in 2018, ZeroEyes says its solution has been adopted by the U.S. Department of Defense, leading public K-12 school districts, colleges/universities, healthcare facilities, commercial property groups, manufacturing plants, Fortune 500 corporate campuses, shopping malls, big-box retail stores, and more.

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