HIMSS 2014: Palm Vein Biometric Patient Management Making a Strong Case at Healthcare Exhibition

February 24, 2014 – by Peter B. Counter     

Professionals working in the healthcare industry are time poor and beset on all sides by the threat of fraud. There are those who would try their best to steal patient credentials to sell on black market websites and lesser abusers of the system that will lie about their identities in order to net medication or piggyback insurance. Thankfully biometrics have arrived on the scene in order to address all of these issues through efficient and secure patient management systems.

This week in Orlando, Florida, the HIMSS conference and exhibition is taking place: A four day event (Feb 23-27) that stands as the world’s largest educational health IT program and exhibition. It is highly attended and, like most other technology conferences we’ve seen this year, biometrics is holding a substantial presence, particularly in the area of medical patient management.

QuadraMed Corporation announced today that it has partnered with HT Systems in order to combine its EMPI with HT’s PatientSecure technology. The joint effort will give healthcare providers the capability to link and manage patient records across IT systems, protecting them with palm-vein biometric access control.

Vicki Wheatley, executive vice president of EMPI Solutions at QuadraMed underlines the benefits, saying: “The integration between QuadraMed’s leading EMPI technology and HT Systems’ innovative biometrics solution will help organizations ensure accurate patient identification—and ultimately—patient safety.”

It seems that palm-vein biometrics is particularly well suited for this purpose. The modality benefits from being particularly difficult to spoof, since vein-patterns are hidden from sight and can’t be pulled from objects a patient has come in contact with.

Fujitsu has been a strong proponent for the technology, going a step further in protecting via vascular pattern last year when it announced that it can extract and match renewable 2,048 bit codes from a palm vein image at incredibly high speeds.

The Japanese tech company’s PalmSecure solution will now be offering this level of security to patient management as well, with today’s announcement of a strategic partnership with patient self-service solution provider Vecna. The company’s On-Site Registration solution enables patients to update demographics, pay bills, verify insurance, and print directions to their care provider, now protected by the uniqueness of their palm vein patterns.

“Our On-Site Registration kiosks optimize patient communication at the point-of-service,” explains Ben Bau, VP and GM of patient self-service solutions at Vecna. “By working with Fujitsu’s PalmSecure solution, we’re able to complement barcode scanning, manual authentication, and credit card authorization with a biometric identification solution to offer patients and their providers valuable time-saving services.”

Both of the palm vein solutions described here are on display in Orlando this week. The QuadraMed Booth is #3249 and Vecna is exhibiting its solution with Fujitsu at booth #652.