Preventing Mass Shootings Through AI
// By Jane Weber Brubaker //
Any location can become the scene of mass carnage — even a hospital.
Providers in U.S. hospitals have to deal with the results of gun violence all too often when victims of mass shootings are brought to their ERs for lifesaving treatment — if those patients are fortunate enough to survive their gunshot wounds.
Adding to this trauma, hospital workers face mounting incidents of violence within their own walls, including attacks like the 2022 mass shooting at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa that killed four.
How can hospitals keep everyone safe?
UMC Health System in Lubbock, Texas is in the process of implementing an AI-powered object recognition solution, ZeroEyes, that it hopes will prevent a mass shooting by identifying the presence of a gun before a bullet is fired.
Jeff Hill is senior vice president of support services at UMC and heads up the health system’s police and security departments as well as emergency medical services for several departments. “We needed to create concentric rings of security and protection around the hospital and that should start really at the perimeter when somebody pulls onto the property and carry throughout a person’s stay or visit on our campus and end when they leave the property,” Hill says.
Sam Alaimo, cofounder of ZeroEyes and a former Navy SEAL, says, “You cannot quantify the mass shooting that doesn’t happen. When you detect a gun, and the first responder is available to wrap up that individual, you don’t know how many lives you save; you will never be able to count them.”
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