Healthcare Providers Use Fingerprint Scanning for Patient ID, Staff ID, and to Protect ePHI, But How Do Fingerprint Scanners Work? Part 4 of 4

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This final installment of our fingerprint scanning series gives a brief history of using fingerprints for identification and security, how we use them now and possibly in the future.

Using Fingerprints for Identification and Security

Thumbprints were used as personal, identifiable seals in ancient Babylon (2300 B.C.E.) and references indicate that King Hammurabi (1792-1750 B.C.E.) had law enforcement officers take the fingerprints of people who had been arrested.

The first recorded instance of using fingerprints to actually solve crimes appears in a document from the Qin Dynasty (221 to 206 B.C.E.) entitled, “The Volume of Crime Scene Investigation – Burglary”, explaining how the Chinese used handprints as a form of evidence.

It is probably not a surprise that today, fingerprint scanners are used in police stations and by those in security industries, but other businesses are using them as well. The storage lockers at Universal Studios use fingerprints instead of physical keys or cards and Walt Disney World scans fingerprints when entering to combat ticket fraud. Some airports and stadiums use fingerprint scanners as a “fast pass” for people who want to avoid long lines.

The use of fingerprint scanners is becoming more mainstream. In the future we may no longer need to carry keys, identification, or even wallets. Fingerprint scanning technology may offer a more convenient, secure tomorrow.

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