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Healthcare biometrics: Simplifying healthcare data security


healthcare patient identity governance biometric authentication

By Swapna Supekar, team leader at Market Research Future

The healthcare sector, which is undergoing reform to deliver faster, safer, and higher-quality services, is beset by a slew of issues. The data network is playing an increasingly important role in this phase, and its introduction has made a significant contribution. There is a frantic race underway to find a superlative means of protecting healthcare data and avoiding potentially catastrophic errors. Despite the financial costs, more healthcare organizations are moving to healthcare biometrics to improve patient safety, efficiency, and privacy.

Biometrics have been advanced as a response to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and many other regulations around the world require it to ensure patient safety. Biometrics allows patients and healthcare providers to be safe in knowing that their information is kept private and only shared by people who have the authority to see it. If breached, the relevant authorities will be alerted that someone without permission can access sensitive information, and necessary measures can be taken. Non-traditional biometric modalities like behavioural, EKG, finger vein, and iris/retina are showing promise. Still, they’re up against proven biometric modalities like fingerprint, face, and voice biometrics, which are also going mobile. Moreover, any biometric solution that embeds a physical identity in a medical record, such as a “bitmap of a patient’s signature,” must comply with strict legal requirements that safeguard the patient’s privacy in the case of a breach. The requirement for mandatory tuning is essential in healthcare biometrics.

What is the purpose of biometrics in healthcare?

Data security measures

The use of healthcare biometrics represents the increasing need across the globe for healthcare fraud security and the need to increase patient privacy and healthcare protection. Biometric authentication infrastructure is now being implemented in many hospitals and healthcare organizations for the same reasons. In the healthcare system, secure identity is essential for controlling logical access to consolidated records of digitized patients’ data, limiting physical access to buildings and hospital wards, and authenticating medical and social support staff. There is also a growing need for patients to be identified with a high degree of certainty. Biometric-based identification systems will offer identity confirmation and protection, reducing healthcare fraud while also increasing privacy and protection. Biometric technologies can also improve the healthcare system’s operating efficiency, lowering costs, decreasing waste, and increasing patient loyalty by reducing medical errors. Thus, biometrics are being used as an identification tool by care institutions and insurers as electronic health reports (EHRs) and personal health records (PHRs) become more widely used.

Solutions for patient identification

As mentioned above, patient authentication systems are one of the most important uses of health care biometrics. Healthcare organisations, such as hospitals and pharmacies, may use such solutions to keep track of their patients. User enrolment, treatment monitoring, department walk-throughs, scheduling, and self-services are all possible with patient recognition technologies. National and private health insurance cards, ambulant medical documents, wristbands, and the most relevant biometric identity modalities, such as fingerprint and palm-vein recognition, can all be accommodated by patient authentication technologies.

The promise of biometric health care for patient identity solutions clearly lies in its intrinsic advantages in terms of implementation. Furthermore, biometrics are fast and effective, removing the need for data entry, resulting in inaccurate data. These devices are also advantageous when they deal on people who are nonresponsive. As a result, the primary goal of biometric health care is to balance high safety with ease of use. The next challenge will be integrating patient identity systems and building transparent networks for patients to access their medical data through various providers and channels as companies follow technical roadmaps that support higher security through biometrics.

What are the potential dangers?

Even a minor possible identity breach poses the chance of a pin, certificate, or smart card being compromised. Another vulnerability that all authentication mechanisms share is that of replay. Also, the most advanced PKIs are still relying on private key transmission. These keys are identical to passwords. They can be stolen and used to intercept or fake signatures on confidential papers. The chance of replay in biometrics is just as true, and any stable user authentication scenario must properly resolve it.

What is the future of healthcare biometrics?

Suppose healthcare institutions aim to provide patients with a frictionless login and verification experience. In that case, it’s critical to ensure that the technology scales well and has a low rate of false positives and negatives. It is common knowledge that shared medical records and knowledge save lives and that any attempt to share information successfully necessitates a trusted health data exchange. When it comes to personal medical documents, security is still a top priority, but it must be matched with easy access to patient information. Another critical concern in the use of biometrics is anonymity, which is crucial. Thus, the scope of healthcare biometrics, in the long run, is extremely promising.

About the author

Swapna Supekar is currently serving as a team leader at Market Research Future. With nearly 5 years of experience at hand, she is working on pharmaceutical, medtech, healthcare IT, and biotechnology industry.

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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