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Surging In-Office And Online Doctor Visits Fuel Demand For ‘Hybrid Healthcare’ ID Solutions

If you’re reading this and you’ve been through the massive shift wrought by COVID-19, you’ve likely been to, or arranged, a telehealth appointment with a healthcare provider.

And along the way, you’ve entered data into portals, clicked on links and uploaded images of various forms of identification.

Asher Polani, executive adviser of healthcare at AU10TIX, told PYMNTS that the demands of this information flow and the many interactions needed between providers and patients across numerous platforms and websites, have shone a spotlight on security vulnerabilities, breaches and the legacy systems that have been in place with providers.

In fact, the June/July Future Of Identity Report shows that 38 percent of individuals are very concerned with how their data are handled, while 43 percent of patients intend to continue to use telemedicine in the near future. Another 45 percent of consumers think telehealth gives them the same level of care they would get from in-person visits.

No matter the ways in which care is provided — virtually or in person — identity verification and payments rendered at the point of care are critical.

But there’s a lack of balance between fluidity and security throughout it all, said Polani.
As he told PYMNTS, healthcare and IT have been on a path of marked growth through the last several years.

“But there’s been a heterogenous environment,” he added, “with legacy systems built 20 or 30 years ago” that simply cannot give hospitals, clinics and individuals the levels of connectivity they desire. “This creates a challenge in terms of access, of how to maintain information and how to store it or disseminate it.”

Providers have a tough time keeping track of it all — and must grapple with the ever-present threat of fraudsters. Weak links give the bad actors points of vulnerability to explore and steal data and even documents.

The great reopening — in which visits are resuming in person, giving rise to a hybrid model of telehealth and brick-and-mortar activity — is only exacerbating the problem.

Thus, there arise some existential questions, such as whether old-school usernames and passwords are sufficient anymore. Polani told PYMNTS there are justifiable concerns about personal identities and the security of information — and the answer may lie in data-powered solutions that can protect this valuable information.

As he said, “the idea of verifying the documents that you hold is an authentic one. Using a camera and a vision technique actually to identify and verify that you are really the person that we would like to give the service to whether you are local or remote is of great importance.”

The challenge lies in addressing the far-flung, disparate systems that can be found across the healthcare ecosystem. But as Polani said, “You can’t change the topology overnight. There are limitations of budget, capacity management, additional resources.” Providers must weigh whether to invest in tech overhauls or whether to build new clinics.

At some point, regulators are going to need to step in and mandate the verification and authentication methodologies that are most effective, he said. He pointed to solutions on offer from firms like AU10TIX that authenticates on a forensic level formal IDs, associate and seamlessly extract information from your formal IDs, complement them with images and other credentials, that taken together, can help construct an uncopiable identity.

“It’s not a user ID and a password that can be stolen by somebody and be copied or can be hacked,” he said. “It’s you — and nobody can copy this ‘you.’”

Along the way, the continuum of care can be improved, as the inefficiencies of spelling mistakes or lost statements are rendered moot.

“We don’t need you to type, we don’t need you to say anything; just present your ID and face, and that’s that,” he said. “The healthcare system is going through a revolution. It’s a question of priorities and security and accessibility. These are the top priorities.”

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