APCO Taps IBM Watson to Report on Emergency Calls

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International's new guide card software called APCO IntelliComm will use IBM Watson Speech-to-Text and Watson Analytics to enhance the scripted criteria guidance used by 9-1-1 emergency telecommunicators nationwide.

APCO's guide card system provides emergency services dispatchers with precise information for specific emergency call types. Although national standards require that a certain percentage of these calls be evaluated, that percentage is small. Watson Analytics will enable PSAPs to far exceed those professional standards on quality assurance case reviews through a dynamic and cognitive process.

APCO IntelliComm will use Watson Speech-to-Text and other IBM Watson and machine learning capabilities to understand the actual context of the emergency calls. This information will be aggregated and then using IBM Watson Analytics, agency directors can analyze the conversations and compare them to pre-scripted content. The resulting feedback will be provided to agency and call center directors in near real-time so they can modify training or response communications materials accordingly.

By November, APCO will fully integrate selected Watson capabilities, all on theIBM Cloud, into its IntelliComm software that will be deployed to five selected PSAPs for initial system acceptance. In developing and delivering this solution for APCO, IBM Global Business Services (GBS) is teaming with Essextec's Cognitive Innovations group.

"This augmented call taking and reporting will better inform directors on how the actual conversations between callers and telecommunicators unfold, which may allow agencies to iteratively modify training materials to better meet callers' needs," said IBM GBS Public Safety Practice Leader for the U.S. Bill Josko in a statement. "And since Watson is able to understand and learn more context over time through machine learning, it can also help to reduce call times, provide accurate triage information, and help expedite time-sensitive emergency services."

"APCO IntelliComm supported by IBM Watson Analytics is a game-changer for our profession," said Derek Poarch, APCO's executive director and CEO, in a statement. "Its extensive capabilities and unique analytic features will enable public safety communications professionals to improve response times and the quality of care on the scene while enhancing post-action data that's key to continuous improvement back at the PSAP. The ultimate result saves lives."

SpeechTek Covers
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues