How Biometric is Disrupting the Future of Patient Care?

The healthcare sector worldwide has shifted away from its reliance on paper-based medical records to electronic health records (EHR) and digital healthcare. This provides precise and updated information at the point of service, highly coordinated and efficient care, safer prescribing practices and more. However, these services depend on healthcare facilities to accurately validate patient identities during all medical encounters.

Identifying patients based on biologically unique traits like face, fingerprint, iris and voice, ensure that care is provided to the right people. This leads to a safer and more effective global healthcare environment. But with the fast-changing technological world where information is supreme, it can be exchanged, stolen, lost, forged, mistyped, and counterfeited. This is where Biometric technology comes into the scenario, delivering enhanced promise towards safeguarding patient information.

Leveraging biometric patient ID solutions to monitor and manage long-term health diseases is a relatively new concept for healthcare. And it seems to be the way to improve efficacy and lessen risk.

In 2005, health workers in three South African provinces piloted the first biometrics-based project. The project was driven by the national and provincial health departments and used biometric technology, which was sponsored by the private sector that enabled patient identification using fingerprints. However, the project was aimed at establishing a central infomediary to glean and reference key medical information on behalf of patients.

Today, biometric identification and medical devices can help transform care for patients across a variety of fields, significantly in chronic disease maintenance. The chronic disease outbreak, such as Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension, represents 75 percent of healthcare costs these days. Thus, biometric technologies here can help patients with chronic diseases to enhance their behavioral patterns to manage the disease, and minimize their healthcare costs.

Biometrics technologies such as fingerprint scanners, palm vein readers, facial recognition systems, iris scanners and others, have carried out the huge promise in order to strengthen the identification of patients and staff. The healthcare system typically leverages biometric tools for two-factor or multi-factor identification. The technology also works under such circumstances wherein healthcare centers or emergency clinic patients lack any form of physical identification.

Biometric technology has rapidly evolved as an easy to use method where it assists in sinking risk of identity theft or fraud across the security aspect of healthcare. Organizations now no longer need to carry patient identifying information that can be easily stolen. Several medical providers have started opting for biometric verification to eliminate the central database of patient information and thwart expensive risks.

Considering industry reports, it is expected that biometrics in healthcare will reach US$14.5 billion by 2025. This will majorly be driven by the augmentation in healthcare information exchanges and the demand for technology that can reduce data sleaze and fraud.