Biometrics in the medical industry is blooming- what’s next?

healthcare patient identity governance biometric authentication

This is a guest post written by Sarah Amundsson, senior business developer at Shufti Pro.

Data security is an increasing concern of most industries due to evolution in the digital world. Medical industry is not safe from this complication either. Ever since the HITECH act requiring all medical records to go online, was put in effect, it has become easier for the hackers to target patient data and cause problems for both patient and healthcare providers. Biometric verification can be a great way to identify the patient and secure the data from unwanted breaches, but is it really enough? To answer how biometric authentication can be improved, let’s first understand how biometric authentication is playing its role against data breaches and medical identity theft.

Healthcare in need of security

The medical data of a patient is worth a lot more than the credit card information of the person in the dark web or black market. The biggest obstacle the medical industry faces, even during COVID-19, is securing the personal information of the patients. According to the Black Book research, above 93 percent of the healthcare system has faced some kind of data breach over the past 5 years.

One of the reasons why medical information of a person can be stolen is to get hands on prescription drugs. These drugs can be used by underage children, drug addicts or drug traffickers. With access to medical records, fake billing and insurance theft can occur which can affect both patients and the hospital. Medical identities are also stolen to get treatment under someone else’s name to avoid paying for expensive medical bills.

Stolen medical identity does not only lead to insurance fraud and loss of money, it also leads to life threatening situations for the victim. Medical history of the patient can be altered which can result in mistreatment, especially in case of emergencies. Both the healthcare industry and insurance companies can end up paying the price in the form of lawsuits, penalties and bad reputation.

IBM did an annual study on Cost of a Data breach and according to it, it costs around $3.9 million on average data breach. In nine straight years, medical companies have to face the highest cost of data breach around $6.5 million.

Biometrics as a security measure

Biometrics is a security measure based on a person’s unique biological features as a way to verify their identity. It could be their face, finger print, iris, or even their voice. These unique features are the person’s identifiers that are paired with technology and used as a way to verify the identity of the person. Then whenever a person’s identity needs verification, they just have to get their identifiers scanned against the system. If the identity is not verified then the system will alert the authorities of the identity thief.

Healthcare industry is in dire need of a biometric authentication system. According to the Grand View Research, the demand for biometrics in healthcare is expected to increase to $14.5 billion by 2025 as there is a growth in information exchange in the healthcare industry.

With the help of biometric verification, the healthcare industry can ensure that only the right people get access to medical records. The identity of the staff can also be verified and access can only be granted to people who are authorized. Biometric authentication will also help in case of emergency when there is no time to fill the manual forms. It also ensures that the medical history is correct and the treatment procedure is carried out safely.

However, the fraudsters have found a way to twist this system as well. Biometric system is facing spoof attacks. A spoof attack happens when a person impersonates someone else by using false information and then tries to gain access illegally. A fraudster may spoof the algorithm of biometric by using an image, face mask, video etc. of the victim to impersonate them. For fingerprint verification they can use a fingerprint clay to steal someone’s fingerprints. There are many ways the spoof attack can be carried out and this is why we must have a more enhanced system to support biometric authentication technology.

What is Next?

Video KYC is the answer to all the problems faced by biometric authentication. Biometric combined with KYC compliance can make it impossible for the criminals to use a fake or stolen identity; hence defeating the purpose of identity theft.

KYC is the process of identifying the customer/client by getting their personal information and then verifying their identity against the given information. Video KYC is the improved version of simple KYC systems that uses live video call with a KYC expert to identify and verify the identity.

How video KYC works is that a person is connected with a KYC expert through a video call. Then the KYC expert asks a few questions to the person and asks them to move their head. The face of the person is also verified through 3D liveness detection. This is done to be certain that the person is physically present and no video is being used. Then the person is asked about their personal information with their consent which is recorded as evidence. After that person is then asked to show their government-issued ID document in the video call. The authenticity of the ID document is verified through an AI-based solution to check if the document is not fake or has been tampered with.

This process will only take a few minutes and the medical identity of the person will be deeply secured. This process uses both artificial intelligence and human intelligence so the room for error is extremely low, and combining it with biometric technology reduces error chances to zero.

About the author

Sarah Amundsson is a senior business developer at Shufti Pro. Sarah leads customer-facing teams and plays a key role in driving customer goals and product utilization. As an expert in digital identity verification, she helps businesses deploy solutions globally to solve KYC, KYB and AML problems for both for individuals and businesses.

DISCLAIMER: Biometric Update’s Industry Insights are submitted content. The views expressed in this post are that of the author, and don’t necessarily reflect the views of Biometric Update.

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