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.



M2SYS Releases White Paper on Using Biometric Technology To Eliminate Time Theft, Tighten Compliance

RightPunch soft clock for time and attendance

RightPunch soft clock custom employee time and attendance data interface

We are proud to announce that we have recently released a free white paper entitled: “Eliminating Time Theft, Establishing Accountability and Increasing Productivity with Biometric Technology.”  This  white paper begins with a look at the problems lack of employee accountability creates for a business and how it negatively impacts efficiency and profitability.  It then examines the increasing problem of employee time theft (offering in depth look at actual examples like extended lunch breaks, lollygagging, etc.) and how it impacts a businesses bottom line, causing billions of dollars of losses each year.  The white paper then studies limitations that traditional employee time and attendance methods pose including; sharing personal identification numbers (PIN’s), replacing stolen or lost employee ID badges, cost of resetting passwords and more.  We then explore monetary and productivity losses from inefficient payroll techniques including detailed charts and graphs that break down the numbers and present alarming statistics on just much these factors can drain profitability.

The white paper then discusses the positive impact that biometric identification technology has on employee time and attendance providing concrete examples on realized monetary savings and the direct links of adopting biometrics to increase risk mitigation.  Next we break down the different biometric modalities (fingerprint, finger vein, palm vein and iris recognition) providing the benefits of each as well as a detailed modality usability and accuracy chart.  We finish up the white paper by comparing a PC-based biometric “soft” clock with a wall mounted biometric time clock.

We hope that this white paper is helpful for our readers to gain a more thorough understanding about the value of biometric technology for time and attendance and the advantages that it brings compared to other more traditional forms of employee identification.  Please fill out the contact form on the right if you would like to receive a copy of the white paper, or click on this link:

Thank you for sharing this post with anyone that you feel may benefit!

Contactless Biometric Sensor Market Poised For Rapid Growth

M2SYS Palm Vein Reader with Fujitsu PalmSecure Contactless Sensor Technology

Recent reports have suggested that the contactless biometric sensor market is poised for rapid growth as more deployments of the technology take hold in vertical markets around the globe.  The report suggests that market growth for touchless sensing could reach $3656.8 million ($3.6 billion) by the end of 2015.  Touchless biometric sensors can be found in biometric hardware like Fujitsu’s PalmSecure Palm Vein biometric reader, Hitachi’s VeinID Finger Vein device and contactless fingerprint readers.  The report defined target applications for the technology as gaming, consumer electronics, automotives and transportation.

As biometric deployments begin to expand into markets and environments that are characterized by end users who may possess less than ideal skin conditions to use fingerprint technology, contactless biometric sensor technology is proving to be a viable solution.  We have previously stated that fingerprint technology is not a one-size-fits-all solution due to its reliance on skin integrity and difficulty to function properly in certain environments and with various ethnicities.  Contactless biometric sensors (which have also proven to be more accurate than sensors that require contact) alleviate these problems plus offer the added feature of being more hygienic, a problem that plagues biometric technology with sensors that require contact.

Expect to see more interest in vascular biometrics and iris recognition as companies, organizations and countries seek to deploy secure, accurate, hygienic biometric identification solutions in the future.


M2SYS Guest Blog Post on Privacy and Developing a More Thorough Understanding of Biometric Technology

"Biometrics erases privacy"

Does biometric technology erase privacy?

M2SYS was given the opportunity to write a guest blog post on developing a more thorough understanding of biometrics to help address some of the concerns that privacy advocates have about using the technology.  It was a response to a recent guest post on biometric privacy concerns by James Baker, political consultant for NO2ID in the UK).

Here is a link to the post:

Thank you to James for allowing us to present our opinions and perspective on the subject and we hope to augment the existing research efforts on biometrics and privacy to help bridge the gaps that exist between the industry and privacy advocates.


Future Places Where Biometric Technology Could Be Used More Often

Where may we see biometrics used in the future?In case you had not noticed, biometric identification technology is on the rise.  So much so in fact that more and more businesses, governments and individuals are choosing to deploy biometrics over other traditional identification technologies like personal identification numbers (PIN’s), barcode/magstripe cards and RFID technology.  Biometric technology is one of the fastest emerging markets across the globe due to increased applicability of the technology for civil and commercial applications and the rise in the need to increase personal security.  Recently, a report suggested that biometric technology is forecasted to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 23% from 2011 – 2013.  That’s impressive.

This post is not meant to discuss the growth potential of biometric technology however.  Instead, we wondered what the biometric landscape of the future may look like if  deployments become more widespread into common applications that affect our everyday lives.  Here are some places where we you may see biometric identification being used more often in the not too distant future:


  1. Libraries – Already prevalent in UK school libraries, biometric identification at libraries could soon be a widespread reality here in the U.S.  The practicality of this deployment is reflected in shrinking budgets as library systems across the country figure out ways to slash costs and improve services.  Biometric identification is a good fit since it virtually eliminates printing and maintaining library cards which is a large expense in the overall budget.
  2. Customer Reward/Membership ProgramsThink for a moment about the number of plastic customer reward cards that you carry in your wallet or on your key chain.  There’s the grocery store, pharmacy, retail, fitness club, gas station, car rental agencies, financial services, insurance and many others.  Now think for a moment the possibility of eliminating those plastic cards by substituting biometric identification instead.  Think about the amount of money that can be saved by not having to print and maintain these plastic customer reward/membership cards and the impact on the environment.  Membership oriented facilities have already began the transformation away from plastic cards and more towards biometric identification.
  3. Visitor identification – How many times have you walked into a building as a visitor and had to stop to fill out your name and information and show picture ID before being granted admittance?  Considering that anyone can scribble false information on a form and flash a fake photo ID, does this leave you feeling safe and secure?  Switching to biometric identification at visitor points of entry changes the dynamic completely by eliminating the ability for someone to fake their identity and provides a more concrete audit trail should a problem arise prompting a review of visitor history.  There are even some visitor management software Integrators who have already started deploying biometric identification technology with their end users.
  4. Point of Sale – Going out on a limb here, but our guess is that as biometric technology becomes more accepted throughout society, we may see it introduced again to the retail point of sale environment as a means to pay for transactions.  After a recent failed attempt at widespread adoption of biometric technology to process merchant transactions the technology landscape has changed and a stepped up effort to educate consumers on the science of the technology to combat privacy concerns may be effective enough to introduce it again for mainstream use.  Considering the black mark that the last failed attempt to incorporate the technology had on the reputation of biometrics, we  would venture to say that of all predictions, this one is the least likely to happen anytime soon but still plausible.  We do know that biometrics is making a comeback in retail for other applications and if this success continues, we could soon see it again for point of sale transactions.

What everyday applications that require a mode of identification do you see biometrics being used for in the future?  Any unusual ones?  Please share your feedback in the comments section below.