Can Biometrics bring the much needed safety for the NHS?

Biometrics can bring the much-needed security to the NHS services. The major concern of NHS has been the protection of the patient’s data and staff. According to the NHS Confederation report of 2016, across the UK, every 36 hours NHS handles over 1 million patients. The increasing number of admissions has a downside too. It has increased the number of assaults on the staff. A study in 2009 by the National Patient Safety Agency indicated figures of wrong medication to the patients doubled since 2005. Due to the digitization of the patient records, the risk of hacking or compromised data had risen. The main issue that encompasses these is the safety and responsibility. Due to the privacy concerns, across NHS pin and chip smart cards are used for digital and physical access to patient’s data. But as I have discussed above, these have been misused and have security loopholes that can cause serious data violations. Many view that biometrics is a winning solution to all these issues. In the USA, biometrics have been in use prominently. Oakes (2018) states “In America, 2014 and 2015, the healthcare sector suffered the highest number of data hackings compared to any other sector. According to the Identity Theft Resource Centre, it accounted for 43% of all breaches. In order to counteract data breaches, many large American healthcare providers have utilised biometric security systems that use patients or a medical professional’s fingerprint, iris or face in order to gain access to a patient’s medical health records.” In the UK, NHS is making use of biometrics, where staff accesses the medical equipment or medicine using it.




Oakes, S. (2018) Can Biometrics Increase Safety in the NHS? Available at: https://ievoreader.com/can-biometrics-increase-safety-in-the-nhs/ (Accessed: 15 February 2018)




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