Page 76 - Security Today, January/February 2021
P. 76

"Deploying platform-based rapid communication technology can help schools develop a straightforward and pragmatic strategy to restore campus operations
Swith confidence."
chools are still grappling with the need to invest in technology and intelligent solutions that better pro- vide a safe and healthy learning envi- ronment. Although many institutions
now have greater insight from the operational knowledge gathered after one semester during the global pandemic, tailored solutions based on more highly-informed guidance have now come to market.
Newly devised health and safety teams are still evaluating the most practical and tar- geted long-term strategies and tools to miti- gate health risks and the unpredictable fluc- tuations of an airborne virus. According to the CDC, the rapid increases in COVID-19 cases at universities “suggests the need for robust and enhanced implementation of mitigation efforts and the need for additional mitigation measures specific to this setting.”
Fortunately, even after taking the initial steps towards reopening, implementing a new approach that balances the continuity of activities on campus with the health and safe- ty of everyone is made simple by leveraging intelligent platforms to improve monitoring and a campus-wide communications strategy.
Expand Control with a
Platform-Based Approach
Challenges as institutions continue to deal with the consequences of the pandemic may evolve over time, but the key to continuity is grasping onto what is within control and uti- lizing a technology-centric, scalable approach to do so. A centralized platform that unifies
By Alan Stoddard
on Campus
Understanding the need for robust, enhanced implementation of mitigation efforts
Operational Knowledge
disparate technologies and mobile applica- tions allows institutions to quickly attain heightened situational awareness with critical information.
Administrators will be better positioned to make the right health and safety decisions by adopting platform-based intelligent technol- ogy. It becomes a complete solution, offering the ability to identify, evaluate, and respond to a vulnerability as well as share insights in real- time for an expanded understanding of one or multiple situations. What does this look like? The deployment of a SaaS platform eliminates the need to invest in upgrades, creates options to change policies and assign functions rather easily, can typically be launched within days and provides simplicity for students, staff or other users who can easily download and access the interface.
Communication is Key: Deploying Intelligent Mobile Technology
Health requirements are changing on a regu- lar basis, so adapting to meet them in addi- tion to mitigating the risk of spreading a virus must be the highest priority. Evaluating and adopting new technologies that provide a wide-range of solutions is critical to ensur- ing a high level of safety and health — and in today’s world, technology plays a more vital role than ever. When establishing long-term incident management plans and tools to mit- igate health risks, there are intelligent appli- cations that can meet the demands at-scale on any campus.
In particular, mobile communications integrated with platform-based technology can become a pragmatic solution. Providing health and safety teams with lines of effective
communication can allow for rapidly estab- lished procedures. Employed through smart devices and wireless networks over iOS and Android applications, real-time mobile tech- nology gives an unlimited number of stu- dents, staff, departments and even visitors the ability to benefit from a reliable, far- reaching connection.
Broadcasting a message when there’s a change is crucial, and with two-way commu- nication via an advanced platform, users can share locations, photos, videos, and even talk instantaneously. School officials will benefit from the ability to engage directly and consis- tently with specific users, select groups or an entire list of affiliates when using a platform that securely aggregates all communications.
Streamlined Health Oversight
Campus security management is able to per- form remote health checks to aid in pre- screening issues before employees or visitors arrive with integrated mobile communica- tion. Connected through a single platform, accumulating user-submitted information for wellness checks and symptom tracking turns into a streamlined process. What’s more, two- way communication enables intermittent check-ins using secure health status question- naires that will not just identify irregularities and at-risk individuals, but also instill confi- dence throughout the community.
Moreover, harnessing mobile technology and the ability to utilize collected data can help administrations meet the requirements for social distancing, traffic flow and sanitiz- ing procedures in addition to health screen- ing processes and location tracking. Innova- tions in new health and safety platforms

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