Here’s How Mobility Improves Situational Awareness and Life Safety

This blog post explores how the technology trend of mobility improves situational awareness, emergency response and life safety.

In this blog series, we’re looking at tech trends and life safety. Last week we covered convergence, the confluence of voice, data, wireless and even body-area networks that provides an unprecedented level of connectivity. And wireless connectivity leads us to our next trend: mobility. Anyone recall Star Trek’s Captain Kirk walking around with his communicator? That used to be science fiction; now it’s just science.

If an emergency occurs, alerts must be delivered to the people best qualified to respond as well as those most likely to be affected. Driving situational awareness to as many screens as possible is key – and that includes the personal screens most of us carry or keep near at all times. Any smartphone can and should receive alerts, but these devices become even smarter when backed by an enterprise situational awareness solution that transforms them into mobile command and control centers. 

Pre-programmed mobile dashboards provide built-in, seamless situational awareness on the go.

Users can respond to unfolding situations more quickly, initiate alerts and associated response plans more effectively, and escalate/notify others as necessary – all from one user interface. Users also have the ability to receive live video from nearby security cameras and view recorded videos, floor plans and photos through a capability called video paging. Mobile dashboards initially were developed for use in health care environments to improve workflow and collaborative care. However, they also are part of a universal alerting app that any stakeholder can use on any device via any network. 

Mobile duress (also known as personal panic buttons) is another wireless technology with a proven track record.

Although used extensively in long-term care settings, it’s not just grandma’s alert button anymore. Manufacturing facilities, hotels and resorts, K-12 schools and colleges/universities have adopted mobile duress to speed emergency response within those environments where risks have increased. Cellular-based pendants also make wide-area mobile duress possible, increasing coverage with GPS tracking off premises, again with numerous applications to improve life safety. 

And let’s not forget how mobility is changing health and wellness monitoring – or personal situational awareness.

It’s revolutionized data collection as it pertains not only to vitals like blood pressure, heart rate and temperature but also behaviors such as movement, eating and toileting, with implications for chronic disease management, fall prevention, reducing hospital re-admissions, and aging in place with greater dignity and independence.

So as you can see, mobility is indeed a major tech trend and should be considered as part of an overall situational awareness strategy to improve life safety.

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