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When it comes to facial recognition in healthcare and other verticals, many still associate the technology with security and the detection of bad actors based on their facial matching profile. Countries like England and China use facial recognition to apprehend criminals and persons of interest that law enforcement is seeking by cross-checking facial recognition systems that use CCTV feeds. In healthcare, there is a desire to use the technology for more than just security, and it may add significant value to hospitals despite the "Big Brother" concern some have.
The use of facial recognition in healthcare has increased in recent years, partly due to advancements in AI that have helped increase the different usages of the technology. The AI-powered facial recognition products in the marketplace have allowed healthcare executives to consider using the technology in a number of different ways that go beyond the security options. The list below highlights some of the potential uses for facial recognition technology in healthcare.
A common use of facial recognition technology is system and biometric authentication. With IT looking to reduce the number of steps needed to enhance security, facial recognition supports the use of computer cameras to detect and authenticate the users attempting to log in. Microsoft has included this technology in its latest Windows 10 operating system and enables its clients to use Windows Hello facial recognition for workstation or laptop authentication.
Face ID on Apple devices is another popular use of facial recognition technology for authentication. This use case is attractive to healthcare IT executives because it meets the additional security requirements around multifactor authentication and reduces the number of steps needed in a traditional password-based authentication practice.
Securing hospital facilities
One of the most popular uses for facial recognition in healthcare is for security. Law enforcement can use the technology to detect and identify individuals of interest by scanning all visitors and individuals entering a hospital facility. They can then compare each individual to a list of flagged individuals. The use of facial recognition technology in hospitals can help identify individuals who may be drug seekers or previously ejected individuals whom the hospital is no longer allowing to access the facility.
Sentiment analysis and emotion detection
Real-time emotion detection is also another valuable use of facial recognition in healthcare. It can detect and identify a number of emotions patients exhibit during their hospital stay and analyze the data in order to gauge how they are feeling. The results can help identify where patients may need more attention if they are in pain or sad.
Hospital traffic pattern analysis
Intel recently showcased one of its facial recognition technologies that can identify an individual with software. In healthcare, a hospital could run the application through its facility and detect traffic patterns that include overall statistics around patients and visitors based on age and gender. The system can also allow a healthcare facility to track patients without the use of physical tracking devices. This can be a helpful tool to locate patients in nursing homes or outpatient assisted living facilities.
Fortunately for healthcare, facial recognition technology has matured in recent years thanks to its popular use in retail and law enforcement. While there are valuable use cases for facial recognition in healthcare, concerns of privacy and security are still top of mind for everyone.