The key challenges in public safety post-Covid


Interview with Erich Gerber, Senior Vice President, Europe, the Middle East and Africa & Asia-Pacific Japan, TIBCO Software Inc.

In the science fiction film Minority Report, police apprehend criminals before a crime is committed. This is possible due to predictions from psychics - generating a debate around free will and the accuracy of such predictions.

Thankfully, we have more reliable ways of ensuring public safety today. Tech like IoT, AI, and visual analytics have been used by government agencies across the world to meet public safety needs.

Erich Gerber, Senior Vice President, Europe, the Middle East and Africa & Asia-Pacific Japan, TIBCO Software Inc, discusses how these technologies will help to resolve key public safety challenges in a post-Covid world.

1. What are the top 3 technologies shaping the future of public safety?

AI, IoT and visual analytics technologies have each played a critical role in the development of safe and intelligent transport systems in cities. As IoT devices are deployed around cities in greater numbers, the amount of information related to traffic flow, accidents and pollution can be collected and closely monitored. This information is also feeding AI systems to generate insights and predict travel patterns, which can help to ease congestion in urban centers and contribute to smart city planning. Visual analytics allow public sector agencies to extract reliable, predictable and actionable insights from a variety of data sources, which contributes to strategic decision making. For example, police departments process massive amounts of data from social networks, GPS, CCTV footage, and databases. Combining digital technologies with these powerful analytic capabilities enables public sector agencies to uncover valuable insights, analyze larger data sets more efficiently and make decisions faster.

2. What are TIBCO’s strengths and how can these help public safety agencies understand threats?
TIBCO's solutions enable public safety agencies to unlock the potential of real-time data to make faster, smarter decisions. This speed and seamless integration of data is critical in predicting and responding to threats quickly. TIBCO’s solutions harness the transformative energy of data, helping agencies to seamlessly connect applications and data sources, intelligently unify that data for better access and control, and confidently predict outcomes with real-time data-driven intelligence. This is useful in maintaining consistency in the community’s day to day life as well as in dealing with threats to public safety. Going back to police departments as an example, TIBCO’s efficient predictive analytics can provide the police with real-time data about their communities, enabling the agency to better allocate officers on duty and employees to meet public safety needs. Predictive analytics equip the police, and other government agencies, with necessary data to improve public safety and better manage future threats.

3. How can ‘complex event processing’ help improve their response?
Complex event processing (CEP) empowers government agencies to respond faster to crises based on the correlation of seemingly unrelated events. As governments strictly monitor borders during the pandemic, for example, CEP technology can provide real-time intelligence when disparate data is processed and analyzed together.

With CEP utilizing multiple streams of events to identify opportunities or threats, agencies are able to harness the transformative power of data to better respond to public safety needs in real time. Agencies can leverage the capabilities of CEP technology to collect, filter, and correlate events to capitalize on opportunities, remediate potential threats and make well-informed, data-driven decisions. During this time of pandemic where governments have heightened border control, CEP technology is useful in providing real-time operational intelligence from multiple data sources. Data such as travelers’ origin, movement history, companion information, travel routes, as well as other personal and government information – which may seem meaningless or irrelevant on their own – can provide critical, insightful information when processed and analyzed together in one single view. This gives decision-makers real-time access to critical information to take required action at the right time.

4. What lessons can public safety agencies draw from the pandemic?

With the data that is collected and analyzed from the pandemic, agencies will have a better understanding of flaws in urban design and gaps in public services to improve future crisis responses. This information is vital for building post-pandemic societies that are effective in protecting the public's welfare. This can be the critical focus in architecting effective smart transportation solutions in the post-pandemic scenario. There will be heightened awareness among passengers on riding with potentially infected people, thus hygiene control procedures, thermal optical sensors, and periodic UV disinfecting would be automated in order to maintain robust health and safety standards in public transportation. In terms of public road safety, 5G networks and the adoption of IoT devices and sensors will contribute to reduce or eliminate road accidents and other threats in densely populated areas. Complex event streaming, combined with data management capabilities, can be instrumental in effectively verifying the urgency of events in real time and facilitate predictive interventions.

5. Could you share examples or use cases where TIBCO’s solutions have made difference?

TIBCO GatherSmart is helping make a difference as economies attempt to rebound from the pandemic by processing user information, correlating it with public health data, and providing personnel departments with actionable insights to manage facilities in accordance to health and safety guidelines.

Dartmouth College is one in a roster of organizations that utilize TIBCO GatherSmart to create a responsible environment for people returning to their places of work and learning. Aside from using GatherSmart to ensure appropriate management of temperature and symptom screening for its campus community, Dartmouth is also leveraging TIBCO’s powerful analytic tools to help gather, monitor, and share different data sets related to COVID-19. This enables the institution to create a real-time view of its response to the pandemic, contribute to the efficient integration of data for real-time understanding of the community health status, and facilitate institutional decision-making involving public safety.