Biometrics is a powerful authentication mechanism improving the passwords and tokens approaches that have not been able to provide complete security. Biometrics in the healthcare industry refers to staff authentication and patient identification solutions. It is used in combination with passwords or smart identification cards to secure access to delicate patient records and to support patient registration requirements. According to a report from Biometrics Research Group, Inc., the global marketplace for biometric solutions in the healthcare industry will reach approximately $5 billion by 2020. Biometric will improve patient privacy, health care safety, and reduce the risk of clerical errors and system vulnerabilities.
Certain areas in the hospitals are restricted to patients and employees. The keycards are used today to access those areas. But, those keycards are vulnerable in case they are lost or misplaced. It may create severe damage to the life of patients when the restricted person accesses those areas. However, biometrics can overcome the disadvantages of keycards as it provides access only to the users who have permission. Sensitive information of the individuals for accessibility is impossible to replicate with biometrics.
Healthcare biometrics helps in reducing patient fraud in many ways. It does not allow any individual who is attempting to pose like a patient to get access to those treatments and other particular medication. Since the sensitive data of the users are not stored in the biometrics reader, a duplicate user cannot act as a patient and receive the treatment.
Biometrics in healthcare also helps overcome the language barrier issues and improve the care delivery to patients. When the patient is not able to communicate his illness, the biometric scan of the patient could produce the entire medical history of the patient, which would help the treatment provider to identify the problem and provide better care for the patient. Such authentication systems can offer patient identification with high speed and accuracy.
Biometric machines have significantly been employed for security in different sectors ranging from travel and immigration, law enforcement, offices, and home security to other diverse industries. Medical biometrics will continue to develop due to the increasing requirement for secure healthcare delivery.