Sharp Hospitals Try Palm-Scanning ID System
New Technology Scans Vein Patterns In Palms
Last Updated: 1062 days ago
Sharp hospitals across San Diego County are using a new way to identify its patients which is much more accurate than fingerprints.The new palm-scanning technology is being used for the first time in southern California.Heres how the technology works: users place their right hand on the scanner. A little camera, using infrared technology, scans the veins in his or her hand, not the fingerprints.Vein patterns, which are defined at birth and do not change, are 100 times more accurate at identifying. The vein patterns are so unique that even identical twins can be distinguished. Supporters of the new technology also say it is less invasive than scanning the retina.After a hand scan, the patient provides their birth date. If there is a match, his or her personal medical record pops up.Kim Castillo of Sharp Healthcare said the benefits of the technology include receiving fewer errors at check-in or in medical records among patients sharing the same name, checking patients in faster, eliminating personal information overheard by others and allowing a patient to be identified if he or she is unconscious.Experts at the Identify Theft Resource Center in Mira Mesa are praising the new technology.HIIPA requires a second form of ID, all of which can be forged, said Linda Foley of the Identity Theft Resource Center. But you cant fake a palm print.This month, counselors at the center have received 146 cases of medical identity theft.Foley said some people may be concerned about privacy, but Castillo said the patients identity is secure.The computer doesnt actually store the palm vein, said Castillo. It translates into a digital number and thats whats stored.Representatives for Sharp said the technology is safer than identification numbers, passwords and even fingerprints. They claim veins in our hands cannot be tampered with or stolen.Sharp Healthcare also said cut, dirty or burned hands would be recognized by the system. The only thing that would keep the scanner from working is if the hand could not be laid flat on the scanner.In a scientific poll by 10News, 50 percent of San Diegans polled said the palm scan sounds like an appealing option, while 39 percent say it does not.