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Biometric Technology Security: What Healthcare Providers Need to Know

Biometric technologies are being deployed in the healthcare sector faster than any other area. The scalability biometrics provide for healthcare providers empowers them with access to real time, accurate patient data,and to circumvent issues associated with manual data entry, security risks and fraud. Here are some of the considerations to weigh up when implementing biometric solutions to your healthcare facility.

Pros of using Biometrics in Healthcare

As noted in Securing the Future of Healthcare with Biometric Technology, there are a number of positive impacts of using biometrics to consider. These include - but are not limited to - the following.

1. Authentication

Of Healthcare Workers Biometric scans allow staff easier and more secure authentication than external identifiers like badges or tags which can be easily lost or stolen. Biometric identification for staff also provides greater security when accessing restricted areas, such as private medical information or access to medications. Furthermore, fully contactless solutions are now available allowing healthcare facilities to maintain the highest standards of hygiene.

2. Patient ID

With all patients’ medical information tied to their biometric data, there is no longer a need for patient identification cards, paperwork or wristbands, streamlining the check-in process for patients and providing greater accuracy and security for personal information. This means less chance of incorrectly administered medications due to poor paperwork and greater likelihood of crucial information being accessed quickly for non-responsive or unconscious patient,

3. Patient Monitoring

Biometric monitoring gives care providers the ability to monitor patient vital measurements remotely. With the ageing population and rise of chronic diseases here in Australia, care providers can access accurate vital measurements in real time. This allows the patient to stay at home longer, whilst encouraging them healthier lives and reduce their need to come into hospital.

4. Reduced Medical Theft

Biometrics prevent hackers and fraudsters from accessing patients’ medical data by eliminating the facility’s reliance on paper records and card identifications that can be stolen or duplicated. Utilising biometric scanning technologies ultimately does away with the central database of patient data, often a hacker’s prime target.

Cons of Biometrics

Although biometrics reduce the need for physical identifying materials, biometrics also brings a new series of challenges that you will need to consider.

1. Privacy Risks

Because biometric scans act as a quantification of human biology and are pertinent to each individual, they’re considered highly secure. However, it is possible to duplicate or breach this data. In the ongoing development of biometric software that scans the human ear, it is currently possible for fraudsters to quantify and replicate the static biometric data from high-resolution photography and essentially steal someone’s medical identity. New security measures matching static biometric data (such as fingerprint geometry and iris shape) and behavioural data (heart-rate, precise movements of an individual’s gait etc.) are working towards eliminating this potential privacy risk.

2. Lack Of Governing Regulations To Safeguard Information

One of the key barriers to the safe and ethical use of biometric is that the law is not yet up to the task of regulating the complexities of such information. For now, the legal status of most biometric data remains unclear. Even private entities are having difficulty determining a voluntary agreement on how they should ethically use biometric data sampled from consumers. In the medical field, however, many of the same privacy legislation is virtually ready to be easily amended to include these new technologies - it will just take the law some time to catch up with biometric developments.

3. Technological and Cultural Challenges

While some biometrics like fingerprint scanners are now widespread, some are still a work in progress. Facial recognition algorithms, for example, are still fallible, with something as simple as wearing glasses allowing an individual to thwart identification. While the accuracy of this technology will grow over time, so too may its potential to make users uncomfortable with such information being scanned and stored. While more sensitive biometric information such as retinal scanning or heartbeat tracking may be stopped, it is possible that, as with most new technologies, users are likely to adapt and become comfortable with such scanners over time.

Vita Enterprise Solutions

As biometric solutions become more commonplace, Vita Enterprise Solutions is primed, through our partnership with Telstra, to deploy biometric devices and provide ongoing telemonitoring support. Our telemonitoring system gives care providers greater precision in remotely managing the health of clients, while giving clients greater control over their own wellbeing, enabling your business to:

• Efficiently deliver high-level care to clients in their home

• Gain real-time client data to help you better respond to adverse situations

• Improve client satisfaction and loyalty

• Improve collaboration between care teams and their clients

Consult with Vita Enterprise Solutions about how we can help you set the foundations for biometric technologies at your facility and keep your data safe and secure by calling 1300 139 310 or enquiring online.

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