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Biometrics Bucking the Trend of KYP in Healthcare

Over the last few years, biometric technology is deeply entrenched in various commercial marketplaces and industries. Here in 2019, a breakthrough potential of biometrics ‘ practical application can be seen in a variety of vertical domains and markets. Among those, the healthcare sector is reforming the security standards and patients records through biometrics. According to MRFR (Market Research Future), the global biometrics healthcare market is expected to grow $5.6 Billion by 2022 i.e. CAGR of 22.3%.

This remarkable increase is as a result of demand for advanced devices and diagnosis methods in healthcare. Reason being, 2000+ data breaches that compromised the confidential medical information of thousands of patients. In April 2019, about 46 healthcare data breaches came onto the surface which shows a 48% increase in from previous month and over the past five years. To overcome these issues, biometrics are grazing the pastures of healthcare security systems. By introducing an additional security layer of a biometric authentication system, hospitals are ensuring authorized and controlled access to databases.

Biometrics technologies such as face recognition, fingerprint scanning, hand geometry, and iris/retina scanning have long-held promise to ensure patients and employee identification. Hospitals across the world are catching up with the benefits of this technology for the security of confidential medical records, medical insurances, and personal data against data breaches and identity thefts. The purpose of ‘Know Your Patient’ or KYP is well-served with biometrics.

Know Your Patient (KYP) is Easy with Biometrics

Biometrics are used to provide a seamless way for patient’s identification. It is crucially important to identify and verify the identity of patients. According to WHO (World Health Organization), accurate patient identification is among the nine priorities considered for improved patient safety. Before proceeding to medical prescription and procedures, clinicians are supposed to correctly identify the patient. 

Biometrics act as a patient’s identifier that helps identifies an identity if it is too ill to verify the identity. For this, a patient would first have to enroll in a biometric identification system. For this patients would have to prove the identity against insurance documents, medical certificates or government-issued identity documents. After identity registration, biometrics information will be stored that could be in the form of fingerprint scanning or face recognition (mostly). Hospital management will secure electronic medical records against that identity into the database. Once enrolled, identity will be verified at each stage of treatment in the hospital. 

Furthermore, patients identification helps doctors analyze medical history in an effective manner. Within seconds, biometrics are able to authenticate the identity and open up all the personal and medical details that can assist doctors better in treatment. Biometric service can be extended further for patients to view their electronic medical reports at home anytime by logging in to the hospital online portal and verifying identity in real-time through biometrics. 

Biometrics Use-Cases in Healthcare

Biometric technology is paving ways in the healthcare sector. The major concerns refer to patient data privacy and record security. In healthcare, the following are the top use-cases that can serve industry better with biometrics.

Securing Medical Data

A major threat in the medical industry. Due to the incidences of identity theft or unintentional personnel neglection while securing the health data of patients result in various issues. Biometric authentication helps secure the accounts and details of patients and staff by providing an additional security layer in which password leakage and so data tempering is thing of the past. 

Streamlining Patient Identification System

A hospital has to manage millions of health records, test results, medications, and diagnoses, etc. despite their effort of efficiently managing all paper records, 7-10% of patients get misidentified that even leave to deadly consequences. Biometrics such as facial recognition and fingerprint scanning software are contributing to dramatically reduce the record loss and theft. 

Reducing Health Insurance Fraud

Health insurance records and old-age medical benefits are sensitive data that need to be highly secured. Unauthorized access to confidential information can affect hospitals as well as the lives of patients badly. To mitigate the risk of unauthorized data access and insurance frauds, biometrics can help stand a security wall against fraudsters. By directly linking patients biometrics information with medical records, data can be secured.  

Restricting Pharmaceuticals’ Access in Hospitals

Pharmaceutical misuse and identity theft are a million-dollar problem in the healthcare industry. Identification of patients and providing them correct pharmaceuticals is crucially important. Biometrics assist in providing relevant medical details of identity against the patient’s name. In this way, controlled access to pharmaceuticals can be ensured in hospitals.

Protecting patients Identity in Online World

For secure virtual rooms for patients, it is important to take dynamic security measures to protect the identities of the patient in the digital world. Online security of digital patient identity should be protected to avoid fraudsters from misusing them against their malevolent purposes. Online security with passwords and PIN is not resourceful today. Fraudsters have ways to take out username and password information through credentials stuffing. Here biometrics come, that ensure authorised access to online accounts and could be login with biometric verification. Secondly, user experience remain intact with security.

Segmental Analysis of Healthcare Biometrics Market

Applications of biometrics in the healthcare industry are segmented into data security, patient identification (KYP), medical record management, and controlled access. Identity thieves steal identities from medical records that most of the time belong to children and elders. Their identities are used for performing several malicious actions that vary from cyberbullying to money laundering and criminal activities etc. The real identities of children specifically are used as they surely would not have been part of any criminal record. 

Moreover, some of the fraudsters dig out these identities and their financial aid records, medical insurance records, and fee-medical services certificates to avails benefits for free. 

Online hospital portals and medical stores operating online should also be well-aware of the associated risks. Cyberattacks can affect hundreds of patients and even their families. In addition to this, the patients’ record managed online is prone to cyberattacks and breach. Therefore, there is a dire need to take in place KYP practices that verify each onboarding identity first to deter the risks of unauthorized access to private data. 

Regional Analysis of Healthcare Biometrics Market

Based on the regional analysis on the use and need of biometrics technology, the market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

North America: North America region accounts for the largest healthcare biometrics market share probably due to the demand for regulatory obligations and well-established hospitals. There are some other influentials factors that include a wide uptake of digitization into medical sectors by introducing biometrics and medical insurance progression in the industry. Along with this, the demand for medical applications and software coupled with electronic medical records and efficient maintenance are contributing to regional growth and advancements. 

Region of the United States is advancing in patients’ identity verification solutions and identification along with data security and management. With these initiatives, the region is expected to grow more in the coming years.  

Europe: Leading at the second position being a lucrative market with respect to healthcare biometrics. Healthcare facilities in Europe are driving the healthcare biometric market to grow. Additionally, the investments in medical record management, especially in the field of the healthcare sector, is fueling the growth of biometrics and technological adoption in the region.  

Asia Pacific: The healthcare biometrics market is growing rapidly in the Asia Pacific region. Technological advancements and their adoption in this region are outlining the landscape of the market in this region. Furthermore, India, China, and APAC are also expecting to grow with respect to initiatives in the healthcare industry by introducing biometrics for efficient patients’ records management and identification. 

Conclusion

Biometric identification in the healthcare sector is streamlining the functions and procedures of health data management and consistency in records. Authorized access is contributing to the security of data against identity theft and data breaches. Additionally, biometric verification provides a seamless user experience along with security. This is the reason that its adaption in various fields is praised. In the coming years, most of the medical norms will be seen greasing the wheel with biometrics.