No-touch palm scanner helps ID patients while dodging COVID-19

Imprivata and Keyo's biometric device connects to a health record-integrated interface that helps health organizations quickly verify patients' identities during check-in.
By Dave Muoio
01:30 pm
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Healthcare identity authentication company Imprivata and biometrics firm Keyo have introduced a no-touch device that scans a patient's palm to quickly confirm their identity upon check-in.

Once their hand is placed over the device, the tool maps the veins in their palm within seconds and delivers its verdict to Imprivata's broader PatientSecure platform via a USB connection. Of note, the surfaces of the scanner are covered with an antimicrobial copper coating in case of accidental contact, while the open shape of the device is designed to be easy to sterilize.

Alongside the scanner, the device comes with a software component that integrates with the organization's health record system. The software provides users with a synchronized patient lookup interface and visual prompts to guide patients' use of the device.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT?

Palm vein readers are among the wave of biometrics technologies such as fingerprint scanners, facial recognition and iris scanners that enterprises are using to guarantee that patients are who they are, and quickly deliver relevant medical information to clinicians and administrative staff. Having these tools in place can help organizations avoid fraud, and prevent employees from creating redundant medical records for repeat patients.

The spread of coronavirus, however, has made some of these devices that require physical contact an infection risk. A touchless and copper-coated version of the palm scanner cuts down the risk of transmission through a frequently touched surface, and allows organizations to continue relying on biometric identification.

"Imprivata PatientSecure addresses COVID-19 and other patient safety concerns through a safe and easy-to-use tool that securely matches patients to their own health records – one that does not require patient contact," Gus Malezis, CEO of Imprivata, said in a statement. "This touchless patient-identification solution is consistent with Imprivata's overall digital identity framework for healthcare that our customers are building on to manage identities across the enterprise.”

THE LARGER TREND

Interest in biometrics among healthcare enterprises has growing over the last few years as more experts recognize the technology's potential to solve patient-matching challenges driving up costs. It's also been an exit strategy for at least one health wearable maker, which decided to pivot its smart ring trackers toward biomarker authentication following its acquisition by another company in April.

As for Imprivata, the company made its own acquisition at the top of the year when it purchased enterprise mobile-device-management software-maker GroundControl Solutions. In April the company also announced an update to its long-standing partnership with Microsoft that introduced Imprivata's Governance and single sign-on capabilities to the tech giant's platforms.

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