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Weapons Detection Systems for Hospitals: An Overview

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Healthcare security professionals, contending with the escalating incidence of workplace violence in healthcare, consider weapons detection systems for hospitals because they are confronted by the following challenges:

  • Amid mounting apprehensions regarding gun violence, the utmost priority lies in ensuring the safety of providers and the public. Nonetheless, the implementation of intrusive security measures such as metal detectors may evoke discomfort for anyone entering, whether they are one-time visitors or healthcare professionals reporting for their daily shifts.
  • While healthcare facilities often designate certain areas as “no firearm” zones, the identification of visitors, patients, or staff members carrying weapons and posing a potential threat remains a formidable task.
  • The utilization of metal detectors and comparable active systems poses hazards to individuals with medical devices such as pacemakers, and are often too narrow to accommodate patients in wheelchairs and gurneys.
  • Hospitals are in search of efficient public safety solutions that won’t strain their budgets, especially as they strive to minimize non-provider expenditures. Traditional security systems, which necessitate multiple staff members, can incur substantial costs.
  • The occurrence of frequent false alarms from security systems can deplete resources, induce panic, and divert attention from genuine threats. Many systems struggle to distinguish between everyday items and potential hazards.
  • Extended queues resulting from metal detectors or analogous security checks can disrupt hospital operations and adversely impact visitor satisfaction.
  • In critical events such as active shooter situations, video footage is imperative for investigation. However, numerous traditional security systems lack this feature, impeding post-event analysis.
  • Incorporating an external vendor’s cloud-based system-structured IT infrastructure may present a formidable challenge, demanding modifications to internal processes and procedures.

Note: SoundThinking’s SafePointe weapons detection system was built to solve all the pain points listed above. You can read about it in detail below or reach out to our sales team to learn more about how it can help improve security operations.

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SafePointe Weapons Detection System

SafePointe is an AI-driven solution tailored for inconspicuous and effective screening in healthcare settings and beyond. Employing advanced sensor technology, it discreetly detects individuals carrying weapons, significantly reducing false positives. Operating continuously, it achieves a high throughput of up to 7200 patrons per hour per lane and incorporates passive sensors to ensure safety for everyone, including those with medical devices. With a low total cost of ownership and no need for extra security personnel, SafePointe emerges as a cost-efficient solution to fortify security in healthcare facilities.

Key Feature # 1: Discreet Weapons Detection System Safeguards Public Well-Being in Healthcare Environments Without Disturbing the Patient Atmosphere

Unlike traditional metal detector systems, which are frequently conspicuous and may cause discomfort in healthcare settings, the SafePointe system prioritizes discretion. It is usually deployed as unobtrusive bollards or seamlessly integrated into existing structures, guaranteeing a seamless blend into the healthcare environment.


For instance, within a bustling hospital or clinic, patients and visitors can navigate without the stress-inducing presence of conventional security systems. The discreet characteristics of SafePointe guarantee the existence of robust security measures without disrupting the patient’s encounter or the overall ambiance of the healthcare environment.

Key Feature # 2: Autonomous Functionality Upholds Rigorous Healthcare Safety Protocols

SafePointe employs state-of-the-art sensor technology, referred to as Magnetic Moment, as a crucial element in its cost-effective, unmanned operation, particularly well-suited for addressing workplace violence in healthcare. This technology, featuring sophisticated algorithms and an extensive database of weapon signatures, discerns the magnetic properties of objects to differentiate potential threats from harmless items. Its autonomous AI-driven approach eliminates the necessity for constant human oversight at entry points, a typical requirement in traditional security configurations. Moreover, the system is fortified with ‘human in the loop’ supervision from remote monitoring centers, ensuring a harmonious blend of technological capabilities and human judgment.

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Within healthcare settings, where security requirements vary between busy and quieter periods, conventional manned systems might not deliver consistent coverage. In contrast, SafePointe guarantees uninterrupted, 24/7 monitoring, establishing a steady and unbroken security shield. This becomes especially critical in healthcare environments, where the stakes are elevated, and the welfare of patients and staff is of utmost importance. The system’s autonomous functionality not only maintains rigorous healthcare safety standards but also provides a sense of assurance and tranquility.

Key Feature # 3: Passive Sensors Prioritize Patient Safety Without Compromising Health Standards

SafePointe’s Magnetic Moment sensors provide a non-intrusive alternative to active security measures like metal detectors and other weapons detection systems. This passive feature prioritizes the safety of individuals with medical devices, such as implants and pacemakers, as well as pregnant women and children. The inconspicuous design of the bollards allows for seamless passage, accommodating individuals in wheelchairs and gurneys—a feature notably lacking in traditional metal detectors with their restrictive and narrow pathways.

Additionally, the Magnetic Moment sensors excel in accurately detecting weapons on wheelchairs or gurneys, effectively addressing the nationwide worry of weapons entering ambulance bays. This unique capability sets SafePointe apart from competitors such as Evolv and other systems, which either cannot accommodate wheelchairs or gurneys or face challenges in assessing potential threats on these devices. Such distinctions elevate the risk of unauthorized weapons passing through without detection.

Key Feature # 4: Cost-Efficiency for Healthcare Budget Control

SafePointe’s budget-friendly Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) proves highly advantageous for healthcare facilities facing stringent budget constraints. Unlike traditional metal detectors, which can be costly and often demand annual expenses exceeding $10,000, SafePointe’s cost-effectiveness is amplified by its unmanned operation, mitigating the requirement for additional personnel. This advantage is further underscored by SoundThinking, which provides SafePointe with a flexible, subscription-based payment model, offering terms of three or five years. Such an approach renders SafePointe not only financially feasible but also a technologically advanced solution for healthcare security.

Key Feature #5: Precise Detection Minimizes False Alarms, Safeguarding the Security of Healthcare Facilities

SafePointe’s AI-powered technology effectively reduces the occurrence of false positives, a crucial element in ensuring safety within healthcare facilities. In contrast to traditional metal detectors that frequently exhibit high false positive rates, SafePointe demonstrates an impressively low incidence of false alarms. This accuracy is attributed to its extensive database containing over 14 million weapon signatures and an AI/ML system that continuously learns and adapts. As threats evolve and new weapon types emerge, SafePointe updates its knowledge base, ensuring it remains at the forefront of threat detection. The capability to distinguish genuine threats from harmless items like personal belongings or medical equipment is paramount in a healthcare setting.

For example, envision a situation in a hospital where visitors and staff carry a range of personal items and medical devices. Conventional security systems might erroneously classify these items as threats, leading to unnecessary alarms and disturbing the tranquil environment of the hospital. While no system is perfect, SafePointe’s sophisticated system adeptly screens out most harmless items and captures a very high level of genuine threat items. This precision not only preserves an environment conducive to healing but also enables security personnel to concentrate their efforts on valid concerns, thereby bolstering overall safety in the facility.

Key Feature #6: Swift Screening Procedure – Accelerated by Up to 20 Times Compared to Conventional Methods, Enhancing the Flow of Patients and Visitors

SafePointe’s expeditious screening process goes beyond just efficiency; it plays a pivotal role in healthcare settings where timely care can be a matter of life and death. In comparison, traditional metal detectors, handling 300 to 400 individuals per hour, can result in delays.


SafePointe can screen up to 7,200 individuals per hour per lane, surpassing the speed of traditional metal detectors by over 20 times and outpacing some competitors by almost twice the speed. This swiftness is of paramount importance in medical emergencies, where every second is critical. By reducing wait times at security checkpoints, SafePointe guarantees that patients requiring urgent care can swiftly access medical attention, potentially leading to life-saving outcomes.

This swift procedure not only aids patients but also benefits healthcare staff. It optimizes the flow of visitors, enabling healthcare professionals to concentrate on delivering care without the added worry of security bottlenecks. In crucial healthcare scenarios, SafePointe’s superior throughput capacity is more than a convenience; it is an integral element of efficient and timely patient care, emphasizing its significance in healthcare security.

Key Feature #7: Structured Alerts Enhanced with Video Simplify Investigative Follow-Up in Healthcare Situations

SafePointe’s system tackles workplace violence in healthcare through its well-organized alerts, enriched with video content for efficient investigative follow-up. In contrast to conventional metal detectors without video capabilities, SafePointe promptly transmits categorized alerts along with pertinent video footage to the security team within an average of six to ten seconds after detecting a potential threat. This swift response is indispensable in healthcare environments where timely and accurate security intervention can be of utmost importance.

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The system goes beyond mere weapons detection, providing nearly instantaneous actionable intelligence. Employing a ‘human in the loop’ methodology, SafePointe’s analysts assess and categorize the nature of the threat, providing security teams with comprehensive insights for prioritized and informed responses. This holds significant value in the dynamic healthcare facility environment, where the prompt identification of genuine threats is crucial.

Furthermore, the recorded video footage is essential for real-time incident comprehension, empowering security personnel to make informed decisions. This visual evidence is not only critical for immediate security actions but also serves as vital documentation for subsequent investigations or legal proceedings. In healthcare situations, where time is of the essence, SafePointe’s structured and video-enhanced alert system guarantees a swift, effective, and well-informed security response.

Key Feature #8: Operates Independently of Your Primary Network

Although the SafePointe system can interface with your VMS or other security platforms, it is intentionally engineered to remain separate from your network, a characteristic that IT professionals particularly appreciate. Our AI system and sensors are linked to and transmit alerts through the Cloud via a web portal interface or a Smart Phone App.

Assessment Criteria for a Weapons Detection System

  1. Does the system provide discreet weapons detection, ensuring public safety without disrupting the patient environment or hospital operations?
  2. What are the staffing requirements for the system? Does it support unmanned operation while adhering to stringent healthcare safety standards?
  3. Are the sensors passive and devoid of health risks, guaranteeing the safety of patients with medical devices such as implants and pacemakers?
  4. Is the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) compatible with the financial constraints of your healthcare facility? Are flexible payment options available to better suit your needs?
  5. Has the system demonstrated high accuracy with minimal false positives, a critical factor for maintaining a serene and secure healthcare environment?
  6. Can the system efficiently handle the high foot traffic typical of healthcare settings without causing congestion or delays, especially in emergencies?
  7. Does the system furnish real-time, video-enhanced alerts for effective investigative follow-up, a crucial capability in healthcare scenarios for swift and well-informed security responses?
  8. Does the system operate independently from your main network?

Ready to Experience the Premier Weapons Detection System

In a time when workplace violence in healthcare is a prominent concern, SafePointe rises as a top choice in terms of weapons detection systems in hospitals, ideal for facilities aiming for a fusion of innovative threat detection, operational efficiency, and patient-centric design. Its specialized technology consistently improves safety in bustling healthcare settings, presenting a solution that is both efficient and considerate of the distinctive healthcare environment. SafePointe stands as a vital instrument in combating workplace violence in healthcare, fostering a secure yet patient-friendly environment.

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Jacqueline Berkman
Jacqueline Berkman is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at SoundThinking, where she focuses on storytelling...Show More
Jacqueline Berkman is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at SoundThinking, where she focuses on storytelling and search engine optimization strategy to create memorable content that shares SoundThinking's impact with the world. She has over ten years of experience working on content strategy in both the computer software industry and the publishing industry and has a B.A. in English Literature with a focus in Creative Writing from the University of California, Berkeley.Show Less