During a recent visit to the doctor, I marveled that all the patient files were still in paper form, filling up multiple filing cabinets in the small office.
Well, they're having none of that old-time clutter at the New York University Langone Medical Center, which started scanning palms last month to reduce paperwork and prevent identity theft.
Instead of asking patients for insurance cards, the hospital uses a PatientSecure device to scan palm vein patterns with infrared light, associating unique biometric traits to electronic health records.
This certainly isn't the first palm scanner in use, but its presence in a hospital may signal growing acceptance. The hospital says more than 22,000 patients have already used the system.
The system is optional, the data is protected by law, and it's designed to increase efficiency. Still, it wasn't surprising that at least one patient wasn't keen on the high-tech palm reading.
"It was the kind of intrusion that, if government needed it, you'd have to be under arrest or something," the patient was quoted by the New York Daily News as saying.
What do you think? Would you mind having your palm scanned at the hospital if it could protect your identity and speed up service? Vote in our poll and be sure to add your comments below.