Most consumers are used to using their fingerprint to unlock their phones. That’s just one of the uses for biometric technology, which includes: fingerprint, iris, and facial recognition, as well as palm-vein readers to reduce the authorization fraud and security breaches common with passwords.
Government, financial, travel/logistics and consumer electronic industries have all ramped up use of biometric technology over the last few years and use in the healthcare industry also continues to increase.
The healthcare biometrics market is estimated to be worth $14.5 billion by 2025, due to the increase in healthcare information exchanges and the demand for technology that decreases data corruption and fraud, according to an analysis by Grand View Research. That represents a growth of 23% from 2017 to 2025, and Grand View predicts the growth of consumerism in healthcare will push many organizations to consider biometrics as it becomes the standard in other industries.
Sean Kelly, MD, chief medical officer at Imprivata, says the biometrics technology company works with 1,700 global healthcare customers in 39 countries and has seen an increase for the technology in healthcare settings.
“We have seen an increased investment in biometrics by our healthcare customers as a way to accurately identify people in their ecosystems, including patients and clinicians, maintain secure access to protected health information, and secure high-risk work flows such as electronic prescribing for controlled substances,” Kelly says.
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Michael Trader, co-founder of RightPatient, Inc., says that his company has seen an increase in hospitals and clinics who are interested in their biometrics technology. Currently, RightPatient supports six different forms of biometric patient identification—fingerprint, finger vein, palm vein, iris, facial, and voice recognition—at 70 hospitals and hundreds of clinics.
“Compared to manual methods of identification that lead to an 18% average duplicate record, $1.5 million annual losses in claim denials, and a significant impact on patient safety, health systems should not see any limitations in implementing biometrics to address these issues,” Trader says.
How healthcare is using biometrics
Generally, healthcare organizations are using biometric solutions for two-factor or multifactor identification and single sign-in for staff and patient identification.
Because electronic prescribing for controlled substances is highly regulated, Kelly says that using biometrics is ideal for the required two-factor authentication. The Drug Enforcement Agency requires biometrics to meet criteria for false match rates and other regulatory specifications. According to Imprivata, fingerprint biometric identification has a false match rate of less than one in 1,000.