How It Works

The First Incident Authority

SimpleSense is a first-of-its-kind Incident Authority, a new technology that enables two or more security agencies to stream, analyze, and transact in critical information in real time in an emergency.

As a society, as we generate more and more data, we must make that data actionable and solve the problem of getting the right data into the hands of the right person at the right time, especially when lives are at risk.

The Interconnect Agreement:
Mutual Aid, for Data

First responders include a mix of local, state, federal, private, university, and military. Risk of delay increases where these responders intersect at the boundaries to a corporate campus, university, or military base.

Co-founder Alex Brickner at a 2019 conference workshop, discussing new standards for information sharing

The key to unlocking information sharing between different agencies is not the technology, it’s the people. Getting all parties to agree to share information, defining which information to share, and ensuring that that sharing happens securely are the biggest hurdles to shortening response times.

To address this challenge, SimpleSense worked with top information sharing legal experts and experienced law enforcement to create a new type of agreement that overcomes these hurdles. 

The Interconnect Agreement is a simplified legal agreement that defines:

  • Providers of data
  • Types of data
  • Accessors of data
  • Protection of data

Once signed, SimpleSense’s technology stack executes these agreements in real time in the cloud, enabling automated sharing of critical information in an emergency.

From a cell phone, if the employee doesn’t also call security, the security team is unaware of the incident in progress until an ambulance shows up at the front entrance, causing confusion and delay because security hasn’t initiated their response protocols.

Background: A Changing Workplace

As of 2018, 67.5% of workers no longer have a landline at home, a trend that is reshaping the workplace traditional desk phone usage falling below 50% according to some surveys. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies, hot desking, working remote, and flexible workplaces are now commonplace.

There are significant security implications to this shift in how employees work. When an employee dials 911 at work from their cell phone, they bypass the on-site security team altogether. With desk phones, security could intercept or listen in on 911 calls; cell phones eliminate this capability altogether.

From a cell phone, if the employee doesn’t also call security, the security team is unaware of the incident in progress until an ambulance shows up at the front entrance, causing confusion and delay because security hasn’t initiated their response protocols.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does SimpleSense receive dispatch data from?

We work with security teams to broker Interconnect Agreements between their organization and local 911 officials that maintain emergency dispatch information. Once in place, these agreements allow for real-time transmittal of 911 dispatch information.

How long does it take to get access to the data?

The hardest part of the process is executing the Interconnect Agreement, which takes from 2 weeks to several months. Once executed, the technological implementation requires minimal time and effort on the part of the 911 agency.

Has this been done before?

A few companies, like PulsePoint and Active911, have worked with 911 dispatch data to improve communication for first responders in an emergency. However, none have solved the problem of interoperability, making dispatch data available to all agencies involved in an incident, whether they be local, state, federal, military or private.

What are the training requirements for security teams?

Training requirements are minimal, SimpleSense integrates directly into existing incident management software and security operations procedures.

What kind of dispatch information is shared?

At a minimum, SimpleSense receives the same information broadcast over radio, including:

  • Type of incident
  • Date/time
  • Location
  • Unit dispatched

Additional information may include:

  • GPS coordinates (latitude/longitude
  • Narrative of patient conditions
  • Common or alternate location name

Is SimpleSense compliant with HIPAA?

Per the Interconnect Agreements signed with local 911 officials, SimpleSense does not receive personally identifiable information (PII) and is fully HIPAA compliant.

How do enterprises access critical information provided by SimpleSense?

Enterprises access information via email, through a website login to SimpleSense software, or through existing PSIM or other incident management software.

How has SimpleSense validated the 6 minute savings in response times?

SimpleSense validated response time savings through consultation with NIST Public Safety Communications Research Division, interviews with 90 corporate crisis and risk managers, a pilot program with the U.S. Air Force in Boston, and functional exercises with fire departments in Reno and Erie, Pa. Additional testing is underway with TEEX, a non-profit public safety testing company.

Can I customize SimpleSense to better integrate with my environment?

Yes, SimpleSense offers Application Program Interfaces (APIs) that can be used to integrate with existing services. 

Does SimpleSense offer an on-premise solution?

SimpleSense is a cloud service hosted on Amazon AWS that integrates with other cloud-based and on-premises solutions.