Lee Health is the first hospital system in Southwest Florida to begin using the Evolv weapon-detection system.
Evolv is an artificial intelligence-based weapons detection security that uses sensors, screens and cameras. According to a Lee Health press release, the weapons screening device is designed to detect multiple firearms and moderately sized knives, along with other weapons, in real-time.
“We have been paying attention to the trends across the country and just realize that this was an added layer of safety and security,” said Gloria Graham, with Lee Memorial Hospital.
There have been at least six shootings in or outside hospitals in the U.S. since January, and Lee Health wants to avoid similar incidents.
Evolv is used around the country at major events, sports venues and amusement parks. An Evolv representative told WINK News its weapons detection system stopped more than 176,000 weapons in 2022.
Lee Health said it will first implement the device at the emergency department entrance. Eventually, all of Lee Health’s other emergency department access points will utilize the device.
According to Lee Health officials, a handful of visitors saw the detection system in place on Monday and walked back to their cars to put away their weapons.
“It does make me feel safer and it will make other patients feel safer because we don’t know who is going in there and with what,” Lizamarie Corales said.
You won’t have to empty your pockets or purses or remove your belts; you can just walk through the system, thus avoiding a long line.
The Evolv system can screen 3,600 people hourly, which is 10 times faster than metal detectors.
The technology can tell the difference between a threat like a firearm or a knife versus everyday metal items people carry with them.