Fujitsu tablet with integrated PalmSecure sensor

Fujitsu’s ruggedized tablet comes with serious security – palm vein biometrics powered by an integrated PalmSecure sensor.

More and more tablets and mobile devices are ramping up security with biometrics – almost all major smartphones are now equipped with some kind of biometric sensor or scanner. Apple just shocked many by introducing face biometrics in place of their fingerprint scanner, the technology apple paid over $350 million for several years ago.

M2SYS_Palm_MobileWhen taken with an infrared camera, face recognition becomes a rock solid biometric modality. Tech giants switching from fingerprint to face now validates why M2SYS always believed in underlying hybrid biometric technology – each biometric modality works differently in different environments; there is no “one fits all” approach in biometrics. That’s why we invented a solution and platform that lets our partners plug in different forms of biometrics as their business and product matures, without the need to rewrite any code. Can you believe that someone thought of this approach many many years ago? That’s M2SYS.
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Fingerprint vs Vascular biometrics – What are the differences?

Fingerprint vs Vascular biometrics – Are they different?

fingerprint vs vascular biometrics

Fingerprint vs Vascular Biometrics – How are they different?

In biometrics, fingerprint technology is by far the most popular and widely used modality. However, due to the evolving nature of the technology, many other biometric modalities have emerged such as vascular biometrics.  Even though they both share parts of the hand for identification purposes, these biometric modalities are quite different in how they work and their effectiveness in different environments. Continue reading →

Florida Ruling Highlights Continued Urgency to Educate Public on Biometric Technology

biometric identification management technology helps school lunch lines move faster

A student scans their fingerprint in a school lunch line for payment.

You may have heard that the State of Florida recently voted to ban the collection of biometric data from school students. The legislation was a direct response to several Florida school districts capturing student biometric data and using it for various purposes including purchasing lunch in school cafeterias and tracking students on school buses. Ongoing concerns over the protection of student biometric data as well as who has access to it sparked discussion on the use of the technology in schools and prompted legislators to stop it.

One major concern is the storage of biometric information and how secure the system of encryption and verification is. Most, if not all systems work under the principle that it’s not student biometrics that are actually stored, but it is instead a numerical sequence used for verification. The worry is that criminals will find a way to steal a student’s biometric template, reverse engineer it, and then use it to access the current system or another one that relies on the same biometric credential. A legitimate concern since biometrics are quite different from and ID card or token which when lost or comprised, can be replaced. Biometrics on the other hand, are said to be an “irrevocable” attribute since they are based on human physiological characteristics and can’t be “replaced.”

In response to the FL State Legislator’s decision to ban biometrics in schools, Janice Kephart from the Security Identity and Biometrics Association (SIBA) made the following statement:

“I’m concerned this precedent could spill over to other states due to mostly a lack of education on what these systems do or don’t do,” Janice Kephart, the founder of the Secure Identity & Biometrics Association (SIBA) and an outspoken advocate for the use of new authentication technologies said in a recent interview with BiometricUpdate.com. “It’s really concerning.”

After a thorough review of the legislation, Ms. Kephart went on to say that the logic used as the body of the bill was based on “misunderstood science” and essentially penalizes the entire State for the actions of 2 districts who failed to properly notify parents and secure their permission for students to “opt-in” to having their biometric credentials captured. If you read statements from FL lawmakers on the issue, it’s clear that the genesis of their actions seem to be tied more into constituent fear of “Big Brother” and privacy/civil liberty violations then arguments based on fact about how the technology actually works. The use of palm vein biometrics in Pinellas County school lunch lines for example is a clear illustration of how the technology can be misunderstood.

If one were to extrapolate the argument that student biometric data from a palm vein reader could easily be stolen and used by a criminal, the argument seems flawed when you look at the facts about the science. Fujitsu, the company who manufacturers the palm vein device has clearly stated that they use multiple layers of encryption to secure biometric information and don’t even capture an image of the palm vein but instead convert it into a template with a private encryption key. Furthermore, Fujitsu relies on the unique hemoglobin through the bloodstream as a “liveness detection” security measure which again makes the technology virtually impossible to spoof and use another person’s credentials to access a system. Ultimately, is it possible to “steal” someone’s biometric credentials and reverse engineer them to create an image whether it’s fingerprint, palm vein, iris, or another biometric modality. The answer is that anything is possible in this day and age, but the chances of it actually happening are extremely remote. One read at some of the logic behind the FL State legislation and you would think that it’s a piece of cake to recreate a student’s biometric credentials.

Unfortunately, the biometrics industry often falls victim to misperceptions about how the technology actually works and these can be magnified by people who are intent on stopping the inevitable advancement of this technology as a more modern identification platform. As most know, in life perception tends to be 9/10 of reality and this has never been more evident than in biometrics. People who do not completely understand the technology but perceive government as rapidly encroaching on our personal lives and the slow disappearance of personal privacy in our digital world jump on biometrics as just another tool to control our lives. In reality, biometrics is used all over the world and has drastically improved security, saved a countless amount of money, resources, and time for business and governments, and continues to be used in new and creative ways to establish accountability and protect individual privacy.

It’s crystal clear that the biometrics industry has a lot of work left to do when it comes to public education on how the technology works. We hope that biometric vendors take this call to action seriously and embark or continue their push to educate and inform so more rational decisions can be made about the use of this technology in the general public. We need to be taking steps forward in biometrics, not steps back.

After all: Truth is universal. Perception of truth is not.

In what ways do you feel the biometrics industry can better educate the public about the technology?

 

Vodaphone in UK Using M2SYS Hybrid Biometric Platform & Palm Vein Biometrics at Summer Festivals

Vodaphone UK using M2SYS Hybrid Biometric Platform with palm vein technology

Palm Vein Reader

We were happy to hear that Vodaphone in the UK has successfully implemented the M2SYS Hybrid Biometric Platform biometric identification technology with palm vein recognition for their mobile phone VIP recharging trucks that travel to festivals throughout the year. You can read more about the deployment on the Vodaphone UK blog. According to the blogpost, in prior years:

“…we used photos of phone owners and barcoded wristbands, but wristbands get lost, faces need a human to make a judgement call on identity and we think we can do things better with the help of some cutting-edge technology. That’s why this summer’s outing will see our truck packing infrared Palm Vein Readers.”

In an effort to boost security, cut wait times, and increase convenience, Vodaphone incorporated the palm vein biometrics check-in with our Hybrid Biometric Platform recognition technology. As the blog post explains, the palm vein reader:

” …works if your hands are pristine, grubby or even soaking wet…”

Festival-goers (who have a tendency to dirty their hands in the midst of enjoying the music and festivities) can rest assured that relying on their palm vein biometrics for identification is safe, reliable, and won’t mean they have to sacrifice their fun by keeping clean. Congratulations to the team at Vodaphone for their innovative use of palm vein biometrics technology and the cell phone charging service they provide.

Avoiding Patient Identification Problems with Biometrics

Using biometrics to identify unconscious patients or those with Alzheimers or dementia

Photo courtesy of elefanterosado

Two stories in the news caught our eye over the past week where hospitals appealed for the public’s help to identify patients who were admitted under different circumstances. Occasionally, a person will enter a hospital or medical center without any patient identification and due to their medical condition (unconsciousness, dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc.) the facility is unable to determine their identity.

The first case happened when officials and police in Shreveport, LA asked for the public’s help to identify the victim of an automobile accident when the unidentified patient was brought to the hospital without an ID. The only information that police and hospital officials had to go on was a possible first name and a theory on where the victim was from.

The second case comes from Los Angeles, CA where a man was brought to Memorial Medical Center by ambulance without any documentation or evidence of his identity. The article did not elaborate on why there was a problem identifying the patient since he appeared to be conscious but perhaps he was unable to speak or may have been suffering from Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia.

Both of these cases demonstrate the periodic problems that hospitals and medical centers can experience when attempting to positively identifying a patient in the absence of a relative or friend or any type of insurance card or picture ID. To circumvent these types of problems in the future, healthcare facilities can deploy biometric patient identification to ID any patients who may have an existing medical record linked with a biometric template. If the patient arrives without the ability to confirm their identity, the healthcare facility can take a picture of their iris or scan their palm and quickly scan the master patient index (MPI) to determine if they have visited in the past.

In times of emergency (especially if someone arrives without the ability to identify themselves) a patient may have a special medical condition that would affect the care they receive and could die if a proper identification tool did not exist. Biometric patient ID can help to quickly identify that patient if their information has previously been established and is on file. Just another example of how biometric patient identification is a great fit for healthcare.

M2SYS CEO @themizan to Speak at 2012 Biometrics Summit in Miami

M2SYS CEO will be speaking about public safety and biometrics at the 2012 Biometrics Summit in Miami

M2SYS CEO to Speak at 2012 Biometrics Summit

Where: Miami Hilton Downtown, Miami, FL

When: February 27 – March 1, 2012

M2SYS Informational Session: Day two,  02/29/12, 3:25pm

M2SYS CEO Mizan Rahman will be speaking next week at the 2012 Biometrics Summit in Miami, FL. Mizan will be joined by James Rokosky from our partners at DSI-ITI, LLC. to dicsuss using multi-modal biometrics to enhance the public safety sector by securing the identification and tracking of inmates and visitors.

Due to increasing crime rates, correctional facilities are finding it difficult to securely manage the ever-growing number of identification records for prisoners and visitors. Proper identification of inmates prior to release is critical to public safety, and often times, over-populated and under-staffed jails may release unauthorized inmates due to human error or to inmates swapping ID bracelets with other inmates. Multi-modal biometric identification solutions provide a fail-safe way to properly manage correctional facilities. By using biometric identification at key areas throughout a detention center, the management system can track inmate and visitor movements throughout the day. Inmate and visitor whereabouts can be determined at any time, which increases accountability and in turn, increases overall jail security and safety.

Sharing experiences of how biometrics has evolved in the public safety sector, this session will focus on the functionality and advantages of using multi-modal biometric identification in detention centers for inmate and visitor management, including:

  • How to deploy biometric identification for prisoner and visitor identification within a facility
  • Why liabilities inherent with identity management in the public safety sector are virtually eliminated with biometric identification
  • Using accurate and efficient multi-modal biometric technology to track and control visitor registration and inmate intake, release, medicine dispersal and location

If you are in Miami for the conference, please drop in to hear Mizan speak. Hope to see you there!

Fujitsu and M2SYS Team Up for Webinar on Biometrics for Time and Attendance in Healthcare

Fujitsu and M2SYS team up for webinar on using biometric employee ID for workforce management

Fujitsu and M2SYS Webinar

 

Word is spreading across the workforce management landscape about the benefits of using biometric employee identification for time and attendance. Most notably, biometric technology has proven to:

 

  • be a more affordable alternative to expensive wall mounted time clocks
  • eliminate “buddy punching” resulting in a more productive work force
  • reduce payroll inflation and payroll error rates
  • be more secure and efficient than a PIN or ID card

Recently, we teamed up with Fujitsu to offer an educational webinar to our healthcare community about the benefits of palm vein biometric employee identification as a workforce management tool including:

  • the problems with traditional punch options
  • introduction to our RightPunch™ PC-based biometric time clock
  • the architecture and process flow of RightPunch™
  • advantages of using Fujitsu’s palm vein biometric modality
  • advantages of using biometrics for employee ID
  • case studies of successful deployments for our RightPunch™ biometric time clock

To view a copy of this webinar, please click on this link or visit Fujitsu’s Web site for more information on their “PalmSecure for Healthcare Webinar Series.”

Is that the Right Patient?

Today, we welcome a guest post from Iatric Systems.

Meaningful Use brings increased utilization of electronic records, providing instant access to patients’ medical information – which is a great thing. It also brings the heightened chance for error in patient identification and the subsequent disaster that creates. The ability to select the correct patient and verify their identity based on their prior visit medical record demographics from the health information system becomes more important than ever before. Misidentification at the point of entry creates major problems throughout the life of the patient’s account. First and foremost is the contamination of the patient’s medical chart and the impact incorrect medical information could present to the patient. We could contend that cleaning up incorrect patient information was in some ways easier when everything was paper-based compared to what it will be with electronic records.

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University of Maine Deploys @M2SYS Palm Vein Scanners for Student Check-In at Dining Halls

Palm vein scanners and multi-biometric software to eliminate students sharing meal plans

The University of Maine

Today we announced that the University of Maine has deployed the M2SYS palm vein scanner with our Hybrid Bio Snap-OnPlatform and Hybrid Bio-Hyperpliance Multi-Biometric Identification Matching Server software for student check-in at their on-campus dining halls. The goal for the deployment is to use the palm vein scanner to more effectively track dining hall traffic and eliminate shared cards where students share their meal plans at a price of $4,100 per academic year.

University of Maine officials chose the comprehensive M2SYS Hybrid Bio-SnapOnsolution because of the fact that it instantly interfaced with their dining hall lunch line point-of-service (POS) software without any code level development on their part. In addition, due to the large size of their student enrollment database and their decision to deploy the palm vein scanner as their biometric hardware of choice, the University also chose to deploy Bio-Hyperpliancewhich is a scalable, hyper-threaded multi-biometric matching server designed to increase matching speeds and boost convenience for large scale deployments.

We are starting to see more and more Universities using the M2SYS palm vein scanner and other biometric identification (finger vein, fingerprint) on their campuses to help increase efficiency, reduce expenses and establish more accountability in areas like employee workforce management and student dining hall lunch line POS. As more Universities across the country catch on to the benefits of using biometrics for identification, we expect this growth to continue.

For a copy of the news release please click here.

Biometrics in Healthcare — One to Many Identification as a Way to Eliminate Patient Fraud

Checking in at the Dr’s Office

Healthcare professionals are catching on to the value of using biometrics for patient identification. As cases of medical identity theft increase and liability mounts, the industry has been turning to biometrics to ensure 100% patient identification accuracy, safeguard patient health, eliminate medical identity fraud, and cut costs. In addition, biometric patient identification systems instantly interface with any electronic health record or patient management software which means they can be up and running quickly without any database or code-level integration needed. Seamless interface capability helps smooth the transition from a more traditional means of identifying patients (name, DOB, social security number) to biometrics, a more modernized method that uses physiological characteristics of the human body to identify a patient.

Before you consider investing in a biometric patient identification system, it is important to understand the two fundamental differences in how back end biometric engins/systems/algorithms authenticate an individual:

a) 1:1 (one to one) verification – This method of authentication answers the question: Am I who I claim to be? and involves confirming or denying a person’s claimed identity. For example, when used in patient identification a patient would present a form of identification (driver’s license, social security card, insurance card, etc.) and after their record is pulled up they would then scan their biometric information to verify that they are the same person their identification states they are.

b) 1:N (one to many) identification – This method of authentication answers the question: Who am I? and the system must identify a person from a list of users in the template database. For example, when used in patient identification a patient would scan their biometric information first which immediately pulls up the patient record associated with their template before presenting any other form of identification.

Why is it important to understand the differences between biometric verification and biometric identification when it comes to eliminating medical identity fraud and duplicate records? Relying on 1:1 verification can create problems during patient registration. Since medical records are usually associated with a person’s date of birth or social security number, 1:1 verification creates the possibility of a person using a forged, fake or stolen ID to link their biometric identity to another patient’s record. Furthermore, since ID’s or insurance cards can be forged repeatedly then it’s possible that multiple medical records could exist for the same person all using the same biometric template. 1:1 verification would not catch this at registration.

The key to eliminating patient fraud is to catch a perpetrator at the time of registration before services are rendered. 1:N matching allows a healthcare facility to prevent medical identity theft by instantly performing a dedupe of their records before the record is created.

Understanding how biometric patient identification works and the functionality of the backend system is essential to working towards the ultimate goal of improving patient care. Eliminating patient identify fraud and lowering medical liability litigation costs  is key for the healthcare industry to maintain economic vitality to continue the fight of safeguarding our health.