Combining Sensors and Data Analysis for Better Public Safety

The first half of 2020 has been a roller coaster ride for sure. Between the official start of the 2020 campaign season, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and the social unrest that has gripped cities from coast to coast, the nonstop stress is wearing on our nerves. Imagine working in public safety and healthcare over the last several months.

Problems like pandemics and social unrest are not new. They have been around since the dawn of man. Thus, how we respond to major issues matters just as much as the issues themselves. We have a bit of an advantage in 2020 in that we have technology on our side.

According to Rock West Solutions, we now have more advanced tools for improving public safety and health. To illustrate the point, the remainder of this post will focus on public safety. We will examine the idea of combining sensors and data analysis to improve how law enforcement and fire departments do what they do.

On the Sensor Side

Improving public safety through technology is founded on the dual concepts of identification and prevention. Sensors are key to the identification aspect. Police and fire departments now deploy a variety of sensors with the goal of identifying trouble as it happens. This allows for faster response times.

For example, a local fire department might have cause to deploy radiation sensors in high-risk areas. The sensors allow near instant detection of radiation, thus allowing immediate response. Meanwhile, the local police department is deploying gunshot detection systems in order to help it identify the discharge of firearms in real time.

The faster that problems can be identified, the more quickly law enforcement and firefighters can respond. Improve response times and you mitigate damage. And yet, responding to a problem is still reactive in nature. If prevention is the goal, public safety policymakers have to be proactive.

On the Data Analysis Side

Proactive data analysis is where some of the most exciting technologies are now being deployed. According to Rock West, data analysis that combines advanced signal processing with artificial intelligence is creating systems capable of a high rate of predictive success.

What does it all mean? For a better understanding, let us step away from public safety for a minute and go back to healthcare. The healthcare sector is just beginning to embrace artificial intelligence as a means of predicting future morbidity.

A good example is pairing artificial intelligence and data analysis to predict whether or not certain groups of people will develop heart disease. Those found to be at a high risk can then be advised on ways to reduce their risks.

Likewise, police agencies around the country are just starting to look at artificial intelligence as a way to predict when and where crime will occur. Their systems rely on reams of past data analyzed from every conceivable angle, with the results being plugged into algorithms capable of predicting the future.

Plenty of Room for Improvement

It goes without saying that combining data analysis with artificial intelligence is still in its infancy. This is to say that there is still plenty of room for improvement with current technologies. As that improvement takes place, overall public safety should get better.

Thankfully, sensor technology is fairly mature these days. We have sensor devices capable of gathering just about any kind of data we could want. The trick is to find out how to analyze that data and put it to use. That is why there is so much emphasis on data analysis and artificial intelligence in public safety.