Medical History at brink of Iris - Eye-tech comes
to the aid of humble, illiterate villagers
 
Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India - August 19, 2004

How many times have you thought it is difficult to preserve the doctor's prescription slips? How many times has the doctor asked you to get all previous case sheets before examining you?

Preserving the prescription will be a thing of the past for people in Chiluvuru in Guntur district, 15 Km from here, which is turning into a fully 'wired' village. Thanks to the benevolence of NRI K Krishna Prasad, the village hospitals use an Iris Recognition Technology (IRT)

When a patient visits the doctor for the first time, his iris, which is unique in make, is photographed by a special camera and his health data is fed into a computer. When the patient comes for a follow-up, the database identifies the patient and dishes out the information.

"Many are unlettered. They need not remember or preserve the health record. Precious time is saved as the doctor need not do a check up once again," says Dr Sreeni Tripuraneni, president and chief executive officer of Hyderabad-based 4G Informatics, which is implementing the IRT. Sreeni brought the technology, a brainchild of a Cambridge University faculty member, Dr Johan Daughman, associated with New Jersy-based Iridian Technologies, India in January this year.

"Government Solutionss spend Rs 26,000 crore a year on welfare schemes but how many of them reach genuine beneficiaries, "he says asserting that theĀ IRT can be effectively used to check frauds in food-for work schemes, social welfare hostels, distribution of scholarships, ration cards, pension and Provident Fund.

The technology is in vogue in the UN refuge camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan for welfare scheme distribution, for identification of Haj pilgrims at Saudi Arabia, he tells this paper.

"IRT scores over fingerprint and face recognition techniques as the identification in this case is true and positive," says the medico, who specialised in vascular surgery but took medical informatics with a thrust on biometrics.

The latter techniques are used in a verification mode. 4G is working to forge ties with the Government Solutions organisations for identification and security functions.

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