Massachusetts area hospitals and VA clinics have begun installing Xecan facial recognition cameras to identify and track patients.
According to Xecan, they have been providing ‘touchless clinic technology’ to hospitals and clinics for at least ten years.
What makes Xecan so unique is using ‘immunocompromised cancer patients’ and COVID-19 together to justify using facial recognition in hospitals.
A recent Xecan press release reads like a magnanimous story of how concerned they appear to be about a patient’s well being.
“Now, this technology can help immunocompromised cancer patients feel more at ease during treatment in the era of COVID-19 by reducing/eliminating their need to physically interact with many facets of their treatment. This reduction/elimination of physical interaction with objects and surfaces, which may harbor virus particles, helps these patients avoid infection and improve their treatment experience. Because XECAN offers various means of touchless verification, patients can be verified with or without masks.”
Facial recognition will never help privacy-minded patients feel more at ease.
If you or a family member have visited a hospital in the past ten years, you cannot help but notice a proliferation of surveillance cameras and police officers. Reducing a patients ‘interaction with objects’ or people will only improve Big Brother’s appetite to ID and track everyone who enters a medical building.
Xecan’s selling point of using facial recognition to identify patients wearing masks appears to be targeted at hospital police departments. Unfortunately spying on hospital visitors and patients is nothing new; Mass General Hospital has been using Briefcam’s Syndex Pro since 2017.
Xecan’s “Face ID” has the audacity to claim that facial recognition has the distinct-advantage of being hygienic!
“Automated facial recognition has unique advantages in patient safety and clinic workflow improvement. Compared to RFID technology, it has the advantage of not needing to have patients carry RFID cards. Since the facial recognition uses visible light, it generates more reliable identification in small areas, such as exam rooms and chemotherapy stations where RFID may have cross-talk concerns. Compared to other bio-metric systems, facial recognition has the distinct advantage of hygienic and touch free operation.“
Much like Clear, who cornered the market on facial recognition in airports and sports arenas, it appears Xecan’s ‘hygienic’ facial recognition is poised to be used by hospital’s and clinics everywhere.
Xecan’s Face ID is specifically designed to “be installed at the clinic’s reception area, exam room or treatment room.” Their “Clinical Solutions” drop-down menu reveals how they want to install Face ID in hospital Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy and Emergency Rooms.
A 2018 Xecan press release explains that the company uses a combination palm, facial recognition and RFID devices to ID and track patients throughout a hospital or clinic. Another Xecan press release mentions that the world’s leading hospitals have been using Xecan products to identify and track patients for six years.
“Smart RFID Reception, Patient and Accessory Verification, Smart Exam Room and Patient Tracking Whiteboards. XECAN’s products and services are used by some of the world’s leading hospitals and medical centers. Customers include VA-Boston (Department of Veteran Affairs), Lahey Hospital & Medical Center (Tufts University School of Medicine), Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital – Plymouth, Alliance Oncology and 21st Century Oncology.”
The way cancer clinics refer to Xecan might actually make one think that they really care about a patient’s well being, instead of building a hospital-wide biometric database of everyone.
A ‘breast cancer’ link on the Lahey Health Cancer Institute’s website refers to Xecan as “a patient care and safety management system” and that’s it. There is no mention of facial recognition, or palm scanning patients.
A “Quotes” link reveals exactly what cancer clinics and hospitals are using Xecan for .
“The Patient palm scanning technology from Xecan is a great way of observing the flow of a department and most importantly patient safety. Palm scanning technology eliminates any and all human error for identifying patients in treatment rooms. Also, the use of room RFID readers is a simple way of documentation of accessories used for each patient’s treatment. It is a great component for patient safety all around,” Mike Ahern, RT, Boston VA Medical Center said.
Another healthcare identification firm called Imprivata, which also uses facial recognition and vein scanning, to ID and track patients could give Xecan a run for their money.
The last thing American’s need is to have their hospitals turned into virtual prisons under the guise of COVID-19. Do veterans and cancer patients really want their palms and faces added to a national biometric patient database?