biometrics and health how facial recognition can promote healthcare
biometrics and health how facial recognition can promote healthcare

Biometrics and Health: How Facial Recognition Can Promote healthcare in Africa


Africans generally believe in the saying “Health is Wealth” this is because health has an enormous impact on society and can be considered as one of the prerequisites to prosperity. Unfortunately, health care in Africa is burdened by a series of issues that are creating various limitations in the sector. Ordinarily, everyone should possess equal access to quality healthcare as a basic human right, yet, for many, the reality is healthcare is either too costly or inaccessible. In other cases, the quality of available health care is too poor to serve the purpose for which it’s meant for. Considering the various challenges of health care in Africa, access to healthcare peaks as the greatest hindrance. An average of 20,000 Nigerians travel to India each year for medical assistance due to the absence of a solid healthcare system at home and fewer than 50% of Africans have access to modern health facilities.

The good news however is technology is gradually transforming how health care is being delivered in Africa, giving more people in remote areas and around the world access to better care. Likewise, easier access to data helps both doctors and policymakers make better-informed decisions about how to continue to improve the system.

Facial recognition has been capturing a fair share of headlines recently and there are much interesting facial recognition and monitoring applications that are and will soon be making positive impacts — especially in the healthcare space.

In this article, we highlight some of the ways facial recognition can play key roles now and over the next several years in Africa’s healthcare:

  • Facial Recognition Facilitates Patient Check-In Process

Hospital’s check-in process could be greatly simplified by allowing patients to come into a facility without being subjected to the stress of filling out any paperwork or showing identification, they would simply let the system scan their face and have their identities verified. In addition to speeding up the process, facial recognition could be used by providers to personalize their experience birthing easier service delivery.

  • Facial Recognition aids detection and diagnosis of chronic pain and other conditions

Facial recognition could be used to scan a patient’s face to determine their level of pain in order to manage chronic pain and medication usage. It can be used to assess the level of pain in people with dementia who have challenges with verbal communication and develop a pain score to determine the medications, speeding up the treatment of pain.

Furthermore, facial monitoring and eye-tracking combined with artificial intelligence are recently being used in medicine by recognizing and diagnosing diseases. This technology takes advantage of modern devices to analyze, sort, and find patterns across huge amounts of data, it also serves as an extension to a doctor’s experience and knowledge of making faster and more accurate diagnoses.

  • Facial Recognition ensures security in a healthcare Facility

Pairing facial recognition algorithms with cameras in inpatient rooms can verify who is in the room before displaying patient health information on video screens. Facial recognition technology can also be used to scan visitors entering the facility to detect and identify individuals of interest to foster better security. It could be used to identify individuals and match them to a list of individuals who are known patients or others who are no longer allowed access to the facility. Facial recognition can also ensure that unauthorized people do not gain access to restricted areas.

  • Facial Recognition eases access to necessary patient’s information

Patients often visit multiple health care providers, and patient records from one facility may have information on diagnoses, lab test results, or other data critical to providers at another institution. Accurate patient matching would help ensure that the doctors, nurses, and other clinicians caring for a patient across a range of health care facilities have the information they need to offer high-quality, coordinated, and safe care. This is achievable through the synchronization of a patient’s info with his/her face, enabling better matching of records so that patients and their clinicians can have a more complete, accurate picture to inform medical decisions.

In many ways, people have become more familiar with the use of biometrics in their daily lives but more to the numerous benefits of biometrics is its promising advantages in the area of improving patient matching in Africa Health care. African Biometric companies such as Myidentitypay are integrating Facial Recognition into different spheres of the business world and the future remains encouraging for biometrics in Africa.

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