The Difference between the Iris and the Retina and Why It’s Important In Biometric Identification

Importance of the differences between iris and retina biometrics

Iris recognition is a widely adapted biometric modality for use in border control, national ID, and (shown here) patient identification in healthcare

Iris recognition and retinal scanning are both very reliable modalities for biometric identification. However, both possess different characteristics that have a strong impact on their performance based on the environment and deployment purpose. Both biometric modalities use contactless scanners, but there are notable differences between iris recognition and retinal scanning; one being that iris recognition is considered non-invasive, and retinal scanning as invasive because it beams visible light into the eyes during the scanning process.

These biometric identification technologies are often misunderstood and incorrectly assumed to be one in the same despite their distinct differences. In this post, we will discuss the differences between iris recognition and retinal scanning.

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5 Ways Biometric Technology Impacts Our Everyday Life: A Statistical Representation

Impact of biometric technology in everyday life

Biometric technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives

Did you know that biometric identification management technology has been around since the 19th century when police began to use it to track criminals? The implementation of biometric technology is around us and expanding fast, quickly becoming a part of everyday life.

A number of biological characteristics such as fingerprints, finger and palm vein patterns, and iris and voice recognition have proven to be useful in the evolution of biometrics and biometric identification capabilities are now becoming standard on many devices we use each day.

Listed here are 5 ways biometric technology is impacting your everyday life:
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How Soon Can You Expect Biometric Identification to Touch Your Life?

biometric identification management technology use is rising

The use of biometrics for individual identification will eventually touch virtually everyone’s life.

The following guest post was submitted by Prime Medical Alert and Senior Planning in Phoenix, Arizona.

The surge in use of biometric technology for individual identification has managed to touch virtually every market in the world. Biometrics are slowly replacing passwords, personal identification numbers (PINs), plastic ID cards, and other forms of what are considered antiquated and unsecure methods of authentication. As we witness the growth explosion of biometrics for individual identification, here are some surprising uses of the technology that are sure to touch our lives at some point (if they haven’t already!):

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Radio Interview Addresses Importance of Fast, Accurate Patient Identification in Healthcare

accurate patient identification in healthcare

Listen to our latest interview on the importance of accurate patient identification in healthcare on the ehealth radio network.

We were grateful for the opportunity to speak about the rising importance of establishing stricter, more secure, and accurate patient identification in healthcare in a recent interview with the ehealth radio network. Our president Michael Trader was interviewed and asked the following questions:

— Why is now an opportune time for healthcare organizations to investigate the adoption of more secure, accurate patient identification solutions?

— Can you please explain how your biometric patient identification solution works and what distinct advantages it offers over more traditional forms of patient identification?

— Why is it important for healthcare organizations to invest in a patient identification solution that can be expanded for ID at each and every patient touchpoint?

— How does the use of biometrics for patient identification help increase medical data integrity and why is this important in the context of EMPI, inter-operability initiatives, and health information exchanges?

— What impact has RightPatient made for the healthcare organizations that have deployed it for patient identification?

Curious to know our insight on the responses to these questions? Listen to the entire radio interview on the importance of accurate patient identification in healthcare and why the industry needs to evaluate the use of biometrics. We can’t stress enough the importance of adopting more secure, safe and accurate patient identification solutions for the healthcare industry in light of the precipitous rise in fraud and medical identity theft coupled with the increased urgency to adopt technologies that increase medical data integrity and maximize patient safety.

Many thanks to Eric Dye and the rest of the ehealth radio network team for the opportunity to help educate the healthcare industry on the value of adopting biometrics for accurate patient identification in healthcare!

Ebola Scare a Stark Reminder of Hygiene and Hospital Infection Control

Biometric patient identification technology should support hospital infection control.

The recent Ebola virus scare at Carolinas Medical Center reiterates the importance of the importance of hygiene and following infection control protocols.

The recent news story of an Ebola scare from a patient at Carolinas Medical Center is a testament to the ongoing industry focus of maintaining a hygienic environment for patients in any hospital setting. According to the article, after discovering that an Emergency Room Department patient suffering from a fever had recently traveled in Africa, hospital staff quickly quarantined the patient as a safety precaution in case the patient was indeed infected with the Ebola virus. It was determined later that the patient did not have the virus but instead could have been infected with malaria and possibly another disease. Unfortunately, after hospital staff roped off an area of the ER, rumors began to swirl around that a patient may have the Ebola virus causing a slight panic both inside the hospital and among the community.

Thankfully, the patient was not in fact inflicted with the Ebola virus – which is a highly contagious disease, “ transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission” according to the World Health Organization (WHO) Web site. A scary scenario indeed, but in the end the patient did not have the Ebola virus and a potential crisis was averted.

Hospitals have always maintained strict infection control protocols within their facilities to help stop the spread of germs and bacteria that could potentially lead to the dangers of nosocomial infections. Renewed emphasis on maintaining airtight hospital infection control policies continues to be a hot topic in the healthcare industry due to recent reports that it is still a major issue for patient safety. A quick glance around a hospital setting with all of the hand washing signs and reminders to cover the mouth when coughing on sneezing reiterates that hospitals continue to educate patients and staff that maintaining a hygienic environment is and always will be, the linchpin of patient safety.

As a vendor that deploys biometric patient identification solutions within hospital settings, we take the topic of hygiene very seriously and work hard to deploy solutions that support hospital infection control initiatives. Regardless of the biometric modality that a hospital decides to deploy as the identification hardware for their use of biometrics for patient identification, stressing the importance of hygiene and following infection control protocols regardless of the biometric technology you use is a key component of our effort to support patient safety initiatives. It is the responsibility of any healthcare vendor to support hospital infection control with their solutions and help facilitate a safe environment for patients and staff. The recent Ebola scare at Carolinas Medical Center ED is a stark reminder that hospitals continue to remain cognizant of supporting infection control protocols that could have devastating effects on patients if not handled properly.

Hat tip to the Carolinas Medical Center staff for their diligence and quick thinking to enact hospital infection control initiatives in the wake of this scare.

Archbold Memorial Hospital Deploys RightPatient® Biometric Patient Identification Solution

RightPatient is a biometric patient identification system

Archbold Memorial Hospital joins the ranks of hospitals investing in biometric patient identification to increase patient safety

Today on our corporate Web site we announced that Archbold Memorial Hospital has deployed our RightPatient® patient safety and data integrity solution. Designed to improve patient safety and medical data integrity, Archbold sought to deploy a next-generation biometric patient identification solution that supported hospital infection control, and would instantly retrieve a patient’s medical record after a fast biometric search.

Archbold will initially be using the RightPatient® biometric patient identification system in their Emergency Department but has plans to expand the deployment to other areas of the hospital including:

  • Patient ID at bedside
  • Self-service patient check-in (kiosks)
  • Mobile patient identification
  • Flexibility to be used at any point along the care continuum

Archbold will use the technology at their flagship location in Thomasville with plans to expand use to their 540 bed network. Executives at Archbold cited the need to increase patient safety as their top concern that accurate patient identification technology will help improve. Plus, mitigating the risks associated with misidentification were a key factor in their decision to invest in RightPatient® – risks that not only jeopardize patient safety but inhibit Archbold from offering the highest quality care possible.

The RightPatient® enrollment process is safe, secure, and fast. Patients simply have their photo taken and that along with a photograph of their iris are automatically linked to their Siemens EHR so that when a patient returns to the facility, they have another photo taken and their Siemens EHR is automatically accessed eliminating the worries of creating duplicate medical records, overlays, or overlaps. RightPatient® offers a choice of five different biometric modalities (fingerprint, finger vein, palm vein, iris, and voice) and Archbold decided to deploy iris biometrics as their modality of choice citing the absence of any physical contact with a biometric hardware device as key to their need in supporting hospital infection control initiatives.

RightPatient® is our patient identity and data integrity platform that utilizes our unique Intrinsic Human Recognition™ technology. It is the industry’s only patient identity and medical data integrity platform that uses fingerprint, vascular, iris, facial, and voice impressions to strengthen patient safety, eliminate fraud and medical identity theft , and reduce provider liability. RightPatient® is built upon the uTrinsic™ platform using a combination of various biometric and human identity variables to ensure seamless patient authentication across any medium and touchpoint. This ubiquity is the best way for providers to generate clean data to lower costs
and secure patient trust.

Proud to be working with the Archbold staff to help strengthen patient safety, eliminate duplicate medical records, and prevent healthcare fraud and identity theft at the point of service with our RightPatient® solution!

M2SYS Healthcare Solutions and Just Associates Hosting Webinar on Patient Identification

M2SYS Healthcare Solutions is offering a free webinar on patient identification in healthcare

M2SYS Healthcare Solutions and Just Associates offer a free webinar on “Adopting Patient Identification Matching Strategies Across the Enterprise” on April 24th at 11am EDT.

Navigating the patient identification highway in healthcare has never been more complex or more important for the industry. Widely regarded as a critical portal for successful implementation and use of additional health IT tools and platforms, the conundrum of how to achieve accurate patient identification has received renewed attention with the ONC releasing a research report encapsulating recent conclusions from meetings that include stakeholders from all aspects of healthcare. What’s clear is that the industry is at a crossroads.

Hampered by the inability of patient matching technologies to be successfully implemented across the enterprise and searching for answers on how to resolve the serious impediment issue to exchanging health information, the industry is hungry for direction. Additional pressures of the rise in medical identity theft and healthcare fraud along with the ever present need to implement stricter controls to improve patient safety have elevated patient matching to the forefront of issues that can be and must be resolved.

In the spirit of understanding more about the precarious and complex situation that healthcare faces in adopting stricter patient identification and medical data integrity platforms, we are teaming up with Beth Just from Just Associates – an expert in Master Patient Index (MPI) and Enterprise EMPI database knowledge and Health Information Management (HIM) expertise – to offer a free webinar on strategies to adopt patient identification solutions across the enterprise.

The free webinar will be held on Thursday April the 24th from 11am – 12pm EDT. To sign up, please visit this Registration Web Link: for more details on the webinar and the topics we will cover.

Please share this invitation with a friend or colleague! Hope to see you next week!

Why the ACA is Making Accurate Patient Identification Mission Critical

ACA passage puts the pressure on healthcare to get patient identification right

President Obama signs the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law on March 23, 2010.

The ACA as a Reality

Whether you support or oppose the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – the 2010 law that was designed to:

— increase the quality and affordability of health insurance

— lower the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage

— reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government

the fact of the matter is, the law is not going anywhere. The latest statistics show that approximately 4.2 million people have enrolled in health plans as a result of the ACA, foreshadowing the inevitability that patient visit volume is bound to spike especially when you factor new patients from the ACA along with the looming retirement of baby boomers.

How the ACA Impacts Patient Identification

As the number of visits increases, the potential risk of creating a duplicate medical record and or/overlay also dramatically rises. Not to mention the fact that increases in eligibility for new patients entering the healthcare rolls also means that we could potentially see a precipitous rise in medical identity theft and healthcare fraud, already an egregious problem in the industry evidenced by the most recent Ponemon Institute Report that indicated medical identity theft cases increased by 19% in the last year.

The urgency to adopt and implement salient patient identification systems that provide 100% accuracy and help link a patient to a unique electronic medical record that properly attributes clinical information, especially across Enterprise Master Patient Indexes (EMPIs) where patients may be identified in different locations, is palpable.

The ACA, Data Integrity & Interoperability

As the healthcare industry becomes uber focused on establishing stricter data integrity policies in light of the increased interconnected ecosystem that directly promotes sharing patient data across disparate systems through the use of Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) and Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs), the advent of the ACA places even more pressure on facilities to implement patient identification technologies that eliminate duplicate medical records and other disparities that can negatively effect patient data integrity. Accurate patient identification is the cornerstone of data integrity and must be addressed if any facility has realistic hopes of joining HIEs with a clean conscience that their EHR systems contain exact information and are equipped with modern technology tools to ensure continued integrity.

Several patient identification technologies can play a key role in helping to ensure the transfer of clean patient data by preventing the creation of duplicate medical records and overlays and eliminating the possibility of fraud and medical identity theft at the point of service, especially as the volume of patients exponentially increases from passage of the ACA and aging baby boomers. The key for healthcare providers is choosing a technology that has been tested and certified by accredited and recognized third parties and offers the ability to store a patient’s identity template in a standardized format so information can easily and cleanly be exchanged with other systems.

As the ACA works out it’s kinks, and more people successfully enroll, the need to solidify modern tools that ensure 100% accurate patient identification becomes mission critical.

What are some other potential problems that you think the ACA will cause for patient identification in healthcare? Please share them with us in the comments!


@RightPatient Hosting This Week’s #HITsm Tweetchat on Patient Identification in Healthcare

RightPatient will host this week's #HITsm tweet chat on patient identifciation and data matching

Join RightPatient™ on February 7th to discuss patient identification and data matching during the weekly #HITsm Tweet chat.

Often considered one of if not the most important challenges to overcome in healthcare, the topic of establishing an increase in accurate patient identification and data matching has seen a significant rise in urgency over the past year as more health IT initiatives are launched.

Despite the recent collaboration by the ONC and other entities on recommendations to the industry via findings from a study to assess current industry capabilities for matching patients with their health information, a lot needs to be accomplished in order to raise patient identification and data matching accuracy and many questions still remain on how soon this may come to fruition for the industry.

In order to raise more awareness of the difficulties to establish any type of meaningful changes across the industry for patient identification and data matching, we asked the good folks @HealthStandards who administer the weekly #HITsm tweet chat, if we could offer the topic of patient identification and data matching as a topic of discussion. We are excited to report that this week’s chat (follow #HITsm on Twitter) will be dedicated to patient identification and data matching!

The chat will be held this Friday, from 12 pm – 1pm EDT and those who wish to participate can find more details on the chat as well as the topics that will be discussed by visiting the HealthStandards Web site.

Interested in participating in the discussion? Join us this Friday at 12pm and follow hashtag #HITsm to learn more and give your two cents on the topic.

What patient identification and data matching issues do you find to be the most important as we move forward?

Accurate Patient Identification Along the Care Continuum

biometric patient identification is gaining steam in healthcare due to its ability to accurately identify patients without a shadow of a doubt

Biometric patient identification systems are gaining momentum in healthcare. Seen here is a handheld iris recognition camera tethered to a smart tablet for bedside and mobile identity verification.

Ask any healthcare professional who is in synch with some of the major issues that the healthcare industry faces about the persistent problem of establishing accurate patient identification and chances are they will agree that it continues to be a top priority. Current patient identification and data matching initiaves underway by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) offer practical suggestions for matching patients with their health information.

A quick scroll down the list illustrates that the bulk of recommendations centers on standardizing patient identification attributes, supporting non-traditional matching attributes such as email addresses to improve data matching, enhancing EHRs to include the capability of providing duplicate medical record reports, and alerting patients to the importance of keeping their demogrphic information current and up-to-date. These are all very solid building blocks to advance the goal of accurate patient identification but seem to place the emphasis on accurate patient identification at the point of entry and does little to address the importance of verifying a patient’s identity at each touch point throughout the care continuum.

As clinicians know, ensuring patient identification accuracy prior to administering any type of care from medication distribution to diagnostic testing to radiology and oncology services and beyond is essential to make sure the right care is delivered to the right patient. For example, according to research from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) 1.5 million preventable adverse drug effects (ADEs) happen in the United States each year and ADEs cost the United States $37.6 billion each year, with approximately $17 billion of these costs associated with preventable errors. The healthcare industry continues to struggle with errors due to the inability to accurately identify patients prior to care administration. It is costing the industry billions of dollars, not to mention jeopardizing the safety of patients and sullying the brand of healthcare facilities who are victims of patient misidentification that leads to in accurate care.

Most hospitals have policies in place that require clinicians to verify a patient’s identity prior to administering any type of care. The problem is that some of the patient identification technologies that facilities rely on like bar coded wrist bands have become antiquated and are highly susceptible to fraud and errors. Thus, even though a clinician may dutifully check a patient’s ID before say, giving them medication or prior to administering a test, the back-end technology most hospitals rely on to establish identification accuracy does not support the evolving healthcare landscape that requires adopting modern systems that eliminate any possibility of misidentification because they are based on verifying identity through a patient’s physiological characteristics. Characteristics which define individual identity that can’t be forged, swapped, or shared. Technologies like using biometrics for patient identification.

Technolgies such as biometric patient identification are gaining momentum in healthcare settings not only for their ability to accurately identify a patient upon entry into a healthcare facility but also for their utility to quickly and accurately identify patients bedside, in home health, the ER, and other mobile environments or in any other setting prior to care administration. The difference that biometrics brings to the table is it’s ability to not only provide patient identification accuracy without a shadow of a doubt, but also the ability to interface directly with tablets or smart devices and return a patient’s digital health care record in CCD format. The advent of biometrics for patient identification has significantly altered the approach to ensuring ID accuracy, and promises to help reduce or even eliminate errors that are caused by misidentification along that care continuum.