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Duke Hospital uses patients' palms for ID

Posted August 19, 2011

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— Carrying a picture ID around may soon be a thing of the past. It's already happening at Duke University Hospital, where patients’ palms act as their IDs.

Duke has adopted a new patient identity system in their emergency room and main admissions desk. A small black box scans the patient's palm.

The system began in Japan in about 2004 and utilizes a palm vein identification system that's unique to each individual.

“It's a lot more accurate. Once we did our research, we really understood that the vein pattern's unique, more unique than a finger print,” said Cecelia Moore, who’s in charge of Duke’s patient admissions.

Moore says some patients wouldn’t want their fingerprints taken anyway.

Patients' palms used for ID at Duke Hospital Patients' palms used for ID at Duke Hospital

The new system also helps with patients who don’t have any ID or are unconscious and can’t identify themselves.

“We can still identify them, so we're absolutely positive of that identity,” Moore said.

Duke has had the palm vein identification system in place for about six weeks, and they've enrolled about 2,000 patients into the system.

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  • eyeoneastsky Aug 29, 2011

    lbzebulon you hit the nail on the head. And red widow UNC may not be ready for it but it will be there. I predict this will be nation wide shortly. I am sure Duke is not the first.

  • 2gurlz2boyzMom Aug 25, 2011

    UNC just isn't ready for something like this!

  • lbzebulon Aug 19, 2011

    One step closer to the mark of the beast?

  • North Carolina Home Aug 19, 2011

    "The new system also helps with patients who don’t have any ID or are unconscious and can’t identify themselves"

    Now this system is made to order for voting fraud.