Monday, August 9, 2021

How can Biometric System Further Optimise the Healthcare Sector?

A new era of individualised technology has arrived. Biometric technology has recently been hailed as the way of the future in healthcare. Improved patient’s privacy, enhanced security for patients and staff, as well as a reduction in the risk of clerical mistakes and system vulnerabilities, are just a few instances of how biometric system can benefit the industry.

We have grown accustomed to unlocking our phones with our fingerprints and faces. We can even use speech recognition to unlock our cars. Biometric technology is a sort of identification and identity authentication technology that has important ramifications in the healthcare industry. 

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Here are a few aspects of the healthcare sector that biometric technology is currently unearthing opportunities for improvement.

1. Biometric System Helps Negate Healthcare Fraud

Impersonation is when someone pretends to be another person, and it can happen in universal healthcare and social health insurance programmes. According to news report dated Sep 2019, dead patients undergoing kidney dialysis, ghost patients getting cancer treatments and fake members are just some of the fraudulent schemes that led to at least P154 billion (US$2.94 billion) losses in Philippines state-health insurer. 

While no system is perfect, combination of contactless biometrics techniques such as face biometric authentication and voiceprint verification can produce a very stringent patient record verification system that achieves error rate only in the range of less-than-one-in-a-million. 

Face recognition system can be degraded by ageing effect, voiceprint verification can be rendered ineffective for unconscious patients, and fingerprint recognition can be worsened by worn-out or cut fingerprints, but it is unlikely that several unimodal systems will suffer from identical limitations. 

Individuals attempting to impersonate other patients can be declined fraudulent attempt with biometric authentication. This will also ensure that caregivers are working with the correct medical history and demographic data.

2. Biometric System Helps Prevent Unauthorised Access to Restricted Areas

Certain parts of a hospital are frequently restricted, with access provided only to authorised or privileged medical personnel via a key card. Unfortunately, if these key cards are forgotten or stolen, they can lead to serious security breaches with life-threatening repercussions. 

Biometrics are great in these instances as the step-up measures for stringent access control to these restricted places. If there is any instance of malpractice in the building, combination of CCTV and biometric access records can present tremendous help in investigation.