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Biometrics for healthcare introduced in Thailand, Slovenia

Biometrics for healthcare introduced in Thailand, Slovenia

Governments are continuing to roll out biometric credentials to give citizens secure access to healthcare services.

Thailand is piloting eye and facial recognition technology to improve healthcare services for foreign workers, refugees and members of ethnic minorities. The project aims to collect the patient data of people who have lost documents that prove their identity, the Bangkok Times reports.

The Thai government is hoping biometric technology will help manage healthcare services more effectively. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Thai Department of Disease Control encountered challenges in tracking the spread of the disease and vaccination rates among undocumented groups who could not verify their identities.

“They don’t have documents to show their identity, and sometimes the temporary number code given by the authority has been missing while they move to the new place,” says the department’s chief, Dr. Tares Krassanairawiwong. “This makes this eye and face recognition technology beneficial for disease control.”

The initiative will be tested in five provinces, including Bangkok, and was developed by the Thai Department of Disease Control with the help of the Thai Red Cross Society and the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec). Last year, the country conducted a smaller-scale pilot collecting the identities of 60,000 individuals.

Global healthcare biometrics is set to reach $14.5 billion by 2028 with a market growth of 17.0 percent CAGR, according to a February report by ReportLinker. The report highlights government programs that encourage the use of biometrics in healthcare but also warns of healthcare data breaches.

Slovenia replaces healthcare cards with biometric IDs

From April, Slovenians aged 12 and above will only need to present their new biometric ID card while visiting healthcare providers, including doctors and pharmacies.

Replacing healthcare cards with biometric IDs will simplify procedures and save money, the government said in a statement. The Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia (ZZZS) will introduce the use of biometric ID cards gradually, as healthcare providers and suppliers of medical devices adapt their IT systems.

The new ID card in the health insurance system has been developed by the ZZZS in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Public Administration. Slovenian biometric national ID cards are created by the government and Slovenian commercial printer Cetis.

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