Biometric Indicators Rise In Healthcare Filed

Using faces or fingerprints to unlock a personal device or clock in to work in the morning has become part of our everyday routine. The evolution of technology also results in the need for more digital privacy, especially when dealing with people’s healthcare information. The healthcare biometrics market is estimated to hit $14.5 billion by the year 2025.

What are Biometrics?

Biometrics is a term that means metrics that relate to human characteristics. In this case, these are used as a form of authentication and identification. Common types of biometrics used today are:

  • Fingerprint detection
  • Facial recognition
  • Palm-vein readers
  • Iris recognition
  • Voice recognition

They are becoming a popular implementation in hospitals and other healthcare settings because they reduce the mistakes that come with manual methods of identification. Co-founder of RightPatient, Inc. says these manual methods lead to an 18% average duplicate record and over $1 million in losses due to claim denials.

How Are They Being Used in Healthcare?

Biometric identifiers have a variety of uses within the health industry including:

  • Two-factor authentication for clinicians to sign in to healthcare systems
  • Patient identification to ensure the proper person receives the treatment they need
  • Identification so the proper prescriber accesses drugs and medication
  • Medical record management

Physicians and other medical personnel are looking for ways to accurately connect a patient to their files in a timely manner. By using technology like facial recognition, they can have a photo of the patient to accompany the file for accurate comparisons. With technology like iris scanning on mobile devices, medical staff say that they are no longer tied to their work stations and can treat patients in a more efficient and timely manner.

The identification goes beyond just connecting a patient to their file or procedure. It would begin once a person walks through the door by using facial recognition to “check the patient in” so to speak. By registering upon arrival, staff can immediately intervene to help or have security on the alert if it is a patient that is a risk to others.

Issues with Biometric Technology

The main concern over using biometrics for patient identification is the false positive rate. Developments like facial recognition may not have 100% accuracy, especially with one-to-many matches rather than one-to-one. In a hospital database, accurate matching is key. Experts say that using this identification method still produces better results, even with occasional flaws. In fact, CEO of Princeton Identity stated that iris recognition has a false match rate of one in 1.4 trillion if scanning both eyes.

A concern for the patients is the lack of privacy for their personal biometric information. Companies like MedicFP work towards a future where an individual’s fingerprints and other personal indicators are under their control. For now, this data would be in the hands of the healthcare provider. Patients having more control over their information falls under the GDPR Laws, but in the United States, there has yet to be a national law for data privacy.

Storing Biometric Data

With the market for biometric data growing rapidly, the need for a secure and encrypted storage solution for patient data becomes a necessity. The SecureDrive BT is a hardware-encrypted external hard drive that has capacities up to 8 TB. It can only be unlocked using an app on a mobile device and offers both two-factor authentication and authentication through Face ID/Touch ID (iOS) and facial recognition and fingerprint detection (Android).

The device is FIPS 140-2 Level 3 Validated for total security and has several features to limit access to only those who are authorized. It has remote management capabilities so an admin can set geo- and time-fencing features to limit drive access to predetermined times and places. It also has step-away auto-lock to protect files, even if the device is left plugged into a USB port.

Finally, it can be remotely wiped from anywhere in the world to keep data out of unauthorized hands. This hardware-encrypted storage solution can easily store medical information in a time of emerging biometric technology. Learn more by calling 1-800-875-3230.

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