30 Mar Iris recognition, palm-vein, fingerprinting: Which biometric is best for healthcare?
Each has pros and cons, including accuracy, price and the potential to scare patients with Big Brother-like perceptions. And biometric technology is evolving quickly enough that hospitals need to frequently evaluate options.
When University Health Care System was deciding which biometric technology to deploy in conjunction with its Epic EHR, the Augusta, Georgia, hospital opted for iris recognition.
“It’s more accurate than fingerprint scanning and vein mapping, and a plus is that it’s a clean process because the patient never has to touch anything, which is a big issue in healthcare because of infection control,” said University Health Care revenue cycle director George Ann Phillips (pictured). “The camera sits on a tripod and it is voice-activated and tells a patient exactly how to position their head right before it snaps a photo.”
Iris recognition is just one in an emerging field of biometric technologies — others include palm-vein, fingerprinting and facial recognition — for identifying and authenticating patients.
While the different forms of biometrics each have pros and cons from various perspectives, some healthcare executives have reached a conclusion applicable to them all: If patients don’t like a particular technology, they will refuse to use it — and then what’s a health system to do?
Iris recognition earns accolades
Iris recognition is the most accurate biometric technology available in the market today, according to the study “5-year Opportunity Analysis of the Global Iris Recognition Market,” from research and consulting firm Frost and Sullivan. The technology scans more than 250 signature points to collect data from a source while competing systems scan fewer than 100, and iris recognition technology will make headway in the healthcare market over the long term as technology costs decline, the study predicted.