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!):
Workforce Management – Biometrics and timesheets: Many businesses are finding that biometrically monitored time clocks are a great way to keep employee costs down. Rather than spending time at the end of each week monitoring employees’ timecards, or worrying about whether time cards are inflated, biometric time cards are tamper proof. Employees cannot edit their own hours. This is especially useful in businesses like group homes or nursing homes where aides, nurses, and other health professionals are constantly coming in and out. These are usually done through fingerprints, but can also be accomplished with palm and finger vein technology which transfers the data back to a computer synced to payroll software.
• Wearables – Movement and exercise technology: We’ve all seen the Nike FuelBands which monitor the wearer’s basic movements each day, but companies are developing methods to monitor specific exercises and calorie loss. Depending upon the movement of your body, newer bracelets can tell which exercises you’re doing and whether or not they are having the desired caloric outcome. In addition, bracelets are now able to monitor sleep—including the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, REM cycles, and how many times the user wakes up each night.
• Voice Recognition – Different uses for voice recognition: Voice recognition can be used for identification, similar to other forms of biometrics. Everyone has a unique voice and this type of system focuses on unique vocal tones and cadences that each person has. This technology is less invasive and less expensive than other scanners, making it more popular among businesses. People having their voice scanned are not prone to the same trepidation regarding palm, fingerprint, and iris scans. Beyond security uses, voice recognition can be used by medical professionals for clinical documentation. By recognizing the clinician’s voice, the software can transcribe their voice into an officially formatted document, saving time on transcription, which means faster turnaround times. Also, you may not have realized it, but every time you speak to Apple’s Siri, it recognizes your voice more and more, enabling it to transcribe your commands more accurately.
• Healthcare – Patient identification: Although healthcare is generally at the forefront of technological advances, the same cannot be said of the clerical side of healthcare. Finally, a number of blood banks are using fingerprint biometrics as a way to identify blood donors. This way there are fewer errors between donor health concerns, duplicate donors, and lost donor ID cards. Now, even if a donor doesn’t have their certified donor ID with them they can still participate in blood donation. Also, hospitals are beginning to offer patient check-in through iris recognition and palm scans. This way there is less fraud concerning whether or not a patient was actually at the hospital when it comes time to pay for insurance.
Jacob Edward is the manager of both Prime Medical Alert and Senior Planning in Phoenix, Arizona. Prime Medical Alert allows seniors to stay in their homes longer and sells equipment throughout the country. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys dining out and supporting his alma mater Arizona State’s Sun Devil sports teams. Jacob lives in Tempe, Arizona.