Biometric bracelet to ease monitoring of medical records

August 9, 2012 - 

There is now a wristwatch-like device that could make medical procedures more convenient by measuring a person’s “bioimpedance” to identify him or her to connected medical monitoring devices. Such a device will ease the burden on doctors and nurses as they keep track of patient’s medical records.

The device was developed by Cory Cornelius at Dartmouth College and presented at the Usenix Advanced Computing System Association Workshop in Bellevue, Washington. The device is designed to identify the uniqueness of each person’s wrist because of the bone, flesh and blood vessels.

Cornelius and his colleagues did some initial tests on themselves then later tested 46 volunteers. The device works by using one electrode on the device that sends an alternating current through its wearer’s wrist to a second electrode. As the current passes through the wrist, the impedance is noted as electrodes detect the wrist’s resistance and reactivity. To get the user’s bioimpedance, a series of five readings are used per user, using seven features extracted from the processor.

Computer scientist Kevin Fu, who also studies medical device security, said: “The idea of using bioimpedance as a biometric is clever.” Ari Juels of RSA Laboratories however is skeptical about the use of bioimpedance due to higher that acceptable false acceptance and rejection rates. Juels said that “the false acceptance and false rejection rates are considerably weaker than required for any likely security scenario.” He noted that fingerprint recognition must allow less than one acceptance in 1,000 to be false, and other signals such as electrocardiograms may offer more reliable passive biometrics.

Do you think bioimpedance has a future in biometrics industry?

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About T'ash Spenser

T’ash Spencer writes full time for She has 15 years experience in the field of regional planning and earned her Master’s of Science in Regional Development Planning and Management from the University of Dortmund, Germany. Follow her @tashspencer1.