Talking of security, which we were very recently, it is extraordinary how healthcare innovations are throwing off a very useful by-product.
Proper, intuitive, security.
You might have thought that the way forward (and certainly the next security wave) will be fingerprints and you are, of course, right. Many apps now have fingerprint technology built in, normally as an extra layer. Facial recognition is the tool of choice for watching your country’s borders.
Iris recognition technology is probably next and the beauty of that is that no two irises are the same either, not even identical twins’. No two voices either, ‘Alexa, find me a doctor’ is something that anyone in a family could say and Alexa will know who is speaking.
Further out, and more far-fetched at the moment, are techniques that involve heart rate monitoring. Again, no two heart beats and rhythms are the same. Even the way you walk is unique and companies are working on measuring how you take a step is also a way of making sure it is really you.
Human uniqueness should give us hope that one day we will get ahead of the fraudsters and other bad people and we might see the back of passwords and other clunky security techniques for good.
The other good thing here is that this synergy gives companies extra impetus to accelerate ‘security’ technology which also has ramifications for the healthcare industry – and vice versa. We already know that an optometrist can look at your eye and tell you to visit the doctor because he doesn’t like a shadow on your retina. We know that dentists are at the forefront of detecting mouth cancers and being able to combine monitoring your heart’s health with unlocking a door or a bank account is, frankly, a win-win.
For a while yet we will have to struggle on with flawed security and endless password puzzles but it does look as if the unlikely synergy between healthcare and security will pay dividends in several ways. Like every arena on earth, digital transformation will provide ideas and innovations that will benefit others.
The only slight problem in this vision of the future is that robots that do the same job are almost always identical so how do you tell them apart if one has gone rogue or has been programmed by the dark side?