October 16, 2019

The Future of Biometrics in Healthcare: 5 Things to Know

What does the future hold for the use of biometrics in healthcare? We're already seeing commercial applications of biometric scanners. Already many people now unlock their phones with their thumbprint. The use of this type of technology will only increase over the next several years.

Healthcare is an industry that will benefit from this type of tech. The medical world demands the highest levels of security and confidentiality. So much so that the market for healthcare biometrics is expected to hit $5.6 billion by 2022.

Keep reading for the five things you need to know about the future of biometrics in healthcare.

1. Increased Confidentiality

The spectrum of responsibilities that the healthcare industry holds is vast. Along with assessments, diagnoses, and treatment, privacy is a major factor. Medical records carry confidential personal information.

Controlling access to information means that only relevant information is accessible. This can include both data as well as physical locations. This security is strengthened by the incorporation of biometrics.

Not only will biometrics authenticate who has access, but it will also create a record. This lets businesses and hospitals conduct full audits in the case of a breach or leak

2. Reduce Errors 

Fewer environments are as hectic as a medical facility. There's the need for immediate action coupled with the unpredictability of the job. This can lead to distraction or forgetfulness.

Tracking every interaction during a patient's stay ensures the healthcare plan is followed. Assessments can be compared to the patient's records, offering a holistic view. Tracking biometrics creates a more secure, dependable system that catches errors, improving efficiency.

3. Prevent Fraud

The development of more effective drugs has led to some unforeseen circumstances. The opioid crisis is an example of this. The use of prescription pain-killers has led to dependency and addiction.

With biometrics, the distribution of medication can be tracked. A record can be made of both the amount and the frequency of the prescriptions filled. Having this information in a centralized database makes it easier to detect misuse. 

Involving greater data security into the dispensary arm of healthcare will help prevent abuse. It offers greater oversight and will make it easier to recognize and flag potential risks.

4. Greater Convenience

The real promise of biometrics is the way it manages the above responsibilities. Greater security has always been available. It's balancing security with a practical means of access that's been the challenge.

Bringing all these different needs together under one system greatly increases its efficiency. It offers greater access to information with convenience for both workers and patients.

The rollout of facial recognition will improve this area, too. As more healthcare facilities incorporate this technology, interactions will become even more seamless. Patients will be identified, with their records provided to the necessary parties.

Not only will this speed up check-ins and assessments, but it will also lead to more secure environments. Patients that have been flagged for high-risk behavior will be reported to security personnel as soon as they're on-site. Their location will be tracked at all times, too.

5. Continued Advancements

The above opportunities are just a few areas that healthcare will benefit in. The full application of biometrics isn't yet known. As greater application takes place, prices will come down and development will grow. 

It's like the cultural adoption of mobile phones. What we take for granted from our phone now wasn't even considered a decade ago. Biometrics could solve issues we haven't even recognized.

The security offered by single-factor authentication is massive. This area alone is on-trend for a worth of $2.2 million by 2025. As this market grows, it will only attract more interest. This will lead to further innovations and opportunities.

Final Thoughts on Biometrics in Healthcare

Any new technology brings both promise and risk. With so many new products and solutions, it's hard to judge what will last and what won't.

There's a reason to believe this will be a long-term solution. Biometrics are already in consumer products. It offers a high degree of security while being incredibly convenient. It's easy to see why biometrics in healthcare seems like a foregone conclusion.

For more articles on increasing security in your workplace, visit our blog.

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