This post first appeared on the recently acquired Fortress Identity blog:
Did you know that your heartbeat is unique to you? In fact, there are even wearables that measure and convert your heartbeat into passcodes. That’s biometrics for you. Biometrics has the capacity to transform nearly every industry into a metric art form, including health and IT security.
Data security is critical in the healthcare industry, especially as high-profile hacks are becoming more common. Medical records are already a target, threatening both patients and providers. Biometrics help lock down medical records, but are they key to the healthcare industry? Because biometrics is unique, they are great at serving as a patient identification.
The scan of your pupil or the sound of your voice can be enough for healthcare facilities to authenticate the identity of a person. Not only does this create a more time efficient process for both parties, but there are also co-location benefits.
When patients need to transfer from one facility to another, their digital information goes with them. Biometrics also prevents fraud, by making it more difficult for strangers to walk into facilities access data from a computer. But there are negatives to this new technology. With the implementation of biometrics into healthcare facilities comes expensive hardware.
The money required to deploy systems can be exorbitant. However, that can be easily outweighed by the productivity, accuracy, and security benefits, so that’s a case-by-case decision. Similarly, healthcare facilities need to adopt new systems and equipment to uphold the new technology.
Medical staff would need to be trained to use the new equipment and IT professionals must be ready to step in. Doctors and nurses cannot prioritize rebooting systems with their workload, especially since most hospitals are understaffed.
Finally, who pays for these new systems? Are the patients taxed more or will the insurance policy cover the costs? So many questions still arise about biometrics. At the end of the day, biometrics has its pros and cons, but there’s no denying that biometrics it key in moving the healthcare industry forward.