The healthcare sector has been a major beneficiary of technological innovations. Imagine the days gone by when every process required manual handling. The caregivers would have to collect tons of data and save them in paper form. Think about how much storage they needed for all the files.
With that came the attendant risk of losing the data due to theft or other types of damage. Fire or flooding could result in the loss of critical data. But now, with technology, collecting patient information in a safe manner is easy. Cloud storage ensures the safety of the information. Users can also get quick access whenever they need it.
Artificial intelligence (AI), an emerging technology, is helping with product development and better customer engagement. There is also considerable cost reduction. Projections for AI in healthcare are $45.2 billion by the end of 2026.
Our article explores digital identification tech solutions in the healthcare sector. Let’s see what we can uncover.
Understanding Digital Identification
Digital identification is the process of confirming that a person is who they say they are. Only in this case, you use technology.
Remember the days you would need to verify your identity by providing manual proof. You would have to show your identity card, passport, or driver’s license. If you were seeking healthcare, you would need to fill in forms every single time.
Thanks to technology, there is the option of using an identity validation solution. You can, in an instant, verify the identity of an individual. Those with age verification ensure that those seeking access to services are of age.
Identity validation software analyzes data that are unique to the individual. It then uses other factors like ID documents or biometrics to cross-check the info.
Identity validation solutions also help adhere to GDPR, COPPA, and ESRB laws.
Digital Identification in the Healthcare Sector: Understanding its Role
Let’s now explore the critical role of digital identity in the healthcare sector.
- Better Patient Management and Treatment
A patient walks into a hospital. After filling the forms, he takes a seat. The administrative staff goes through files to get the patient’s historical data. This then goes to the doctor, who has to take a few minutes to peruse the files. As you can imagine, it will take some time.
But one critical fact remains. How sure will the doctor be that the individual seated in front of him is the records owner? Human error, negligence, or inattention can lead to the wrong data attribution. The ripple effect can be devastating. The physician could prescribe a course of treatment the patient does not need.
There could be wrong prescriptions, which could result in fatality. Identity validation software removes such issues. The unique data sets and cross-checking with other means of identification is critical. It helps ensure the right patient is receiving the treatment.
Digital identification software can bridge information access across different healthcare stakeholders.
Take the example of healthcare insurance providers. They may need to query social databases for pertinent information about a patient. They don’t have to go through tedious data query and verification processes.
Since the information already exists in the social database, it becomes easy. All the underwriters need to do is query the database system. With such innovations, there will be higher efficiency and better service dispensation.
Digital identification can also help reduce/prevent insurance fraud or unauthorized access to treatment. Double charging or double payments are not uncommon in weak or fragmented systems.
The unique identifiers available in the identity validations software can address such problems. The technologies will increase efficiency in the insurance and healthcare sector. It can also be the solution to increasing insurance coverage and inclusion. The same applies to accessing healthcare services from different institutions.
Digital identification systems and Electronic Health Record (EHR), create a patient data history. The information includes treatments, test results, health status, diagnosis, and more. Identity verification through unique identifiers can prevent deadly disease treatment and management errors.
- Data Security
Do you know that the healthcare sector is a prime hunting ground for cybercriminals? 30% of large data breaches happen in hospitals. In 2021, the cost of data breaches per incident was $9.3 million. What makes data breaches in healthcare so problematic is the type of data. Without a doubt, it is very sensitive information, full of personal details.
The challenge with legacy systems is that bypassing security measures is kids’ play. Asking patients to tick a box or provide an address as a confirmation of identity is quite weak.
Digital identification systems like biometrics and facial recognition can improve data security. It gets even better in combination with strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
- Better Healthcare Control for Patients
Technological innovations like digital identification put more control in the patient’s hands. Take the example of accessing medical information. You no longer need to visit your doctor’s office for medical records.
With the interoperability, you can get everything you need from your smartphone. It allows for greater involvement and awareness around healthcare issues. Patients can pick up inaccuracies or errors in the medical records. It can be a major help to healthcare providers.
Greater control extends to not needing any documents as proof of identification. That further improves remote access to healthcare. It doesn’t matter what part of the globe you are in. As long as the unique identifiers match up, you get access to your records.
- Digital Identity in Healthcare Research
Research is a critical part of healthcare that runs on data collection and analytics. The insights form the basis of many breakthroughs and decision-making. Data comes from health provider reports, health sector statistics, and health trends.
Yet, the quality of data also depends on access to patient records. Looking at the disease/treatment history and outcome can yield some helpful insights.
Digital identity improves the ability to address many health care concerns. The doctors can also keep up with monitoring, treatments, and illness progress and the data on this will be helpful in medical research.
Digital identity solutions have so many benefits to the healthcare sector. Patients can get better quality care and healthcare experiences. This is due to the elimination of cumbersome, manual identification processes.
Healthcare providers can improve efficiency and quality of care. And that includes disease treatment, diagnosis, and drug dispensation even from remote locations.
The research field is also a big beneficiary of digital identification.