May 30, 2022


State of Physical Access Trend Report 2024

Converged security centre

The power of convergence in securing the healthcare sector

In a session at the Converged Security Centre on Wednesday 18 May at IFSEC International, Sarb Sembhi introduced Allan Dickinson, Director at Advancis, who illustrated how dynamic data and convergence can be used to help staff and patients in highly challenging healthcare environments. Meanwhile, Mo Ahddoud was on hand to ask some pertinent questions.

Convergence in healthcare can be critical. Alan highlighted the case of an NHS employee who went back to a hospital where she used to work – and her access card still worked. Patient management and care can also be compromised, as well as security. For example, locating trolleys for patients or mobile MRI scanners is essential so that equipment can be put into action quickly. This is where convergence can help and make it possible to see all of this.


A PSIM workflow on Advancis’ WinGuard system to demonstrate a potential live case  event in a hospital. Data from CCTV looked at employees coming into the hospital, while thermal imaging captured critical temperature and possible infections. The data could identify the staff member, the date, time and exactly where they were in the building. Dynamic data on the same screen could guide the operator, while employee access credentials could be blocked if necessary.

Allan explained that making the operator’s life easy is key to convergence. In this scenario, security could be called and asked to test the individual for infection. If they passed, access could be unblocked, and the event ended.

In questions after the case study, Mo highlighted how businesses often don’t know where to start with the many security challenges they’re faced with.  “Many companies don’t know what they are looking for when it comes to convergence – and what they are asking for is not what they need”.  The point was made that people may not always understand the technology that goes with convergence and that it was critical to get inputs and outputs defined at the start.

The discussion moved on to complexity which, as Mo pointed out, is the enemy in his industry of cyber security. Allan said he hoped that at some point in the future everything would be integrated – and that he would love to see a single dashboard solution. He mentioned that Advancis is currently participating in the “SPELL“ research project in Germany, alongside the Red Cross, the German police force and other partners. The project’s aim is to use artificial intelligence to initiate emergency response, emergency aid and supply measures to people more quickly. He expects to see improvements through AI around the data side and how to deal with it.

Mo agreed that as more and more people move to the cloud, there will be a time when integration happens.

He then asked Allan for his perspective on the complexity of supplier management and security compliance. While Advancis does not have its own cyber monitoring, it enables integration into other tools, uses industry standard technology and is securing and encrypting data as it goes across the networks. The company also aims to encourage others and has a global alliance team that works with partners. “People are trying to improve, but it is still a challenge.”

A question was asked about identities – of devices and people – and how complexity could be simplified to deal with these more effectively.

Allan said he feels that, as things move to the cloud, people are using more normalised terms, which is improving things. “As an industry, we are trying to bring things together a lot more.  Irrelevant of the event, we try and bring everything into one screen and normalise the operator’s screen as much as possible.”


Keep up with the wireless access control market

Download this free report to find out more about:

  • The current state of wireless access control solutions in the market
  • The rising popularity of mobile access control
  • Awareness of cyber security regulations and how this relates to access control
  • The growing use of the cloud and ACaaS to manage access systems
  • How your choice of access control solution can impact sustainability

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