CNET News, July 28, 2011

A New York City hospital is using patients' palms, not insurance cards, to pull up their records, according to a new report. The New York University Langone Medical Center started scanning palms last month to reduce paperwork and prevent identity theft, the New York Daily News reports, using a device that images the veins in a patient's hand. Shaped like a butter tray, the black PatientSecure device uses infrared light to scan palms, then links the unique biometric trait to a patient's electronic health records. That's right: no need to pore through a purse for an insurance card. When you return to the hospital for a visit, just place your hand on the box, and let the machine do the talking. The hope is that such technology can help receptionists and patients spend more time dealing with each other than paperwork. NYU is the first hospital to use the system.

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