Eagleville Hospital installs Politec Authentication Security Suite using Iris Recognition biometric for IT safety

Reston 26 March 2002Eagleville Hospital, located in Pennsylvania, has installed the Politec Authentication Security Suite (PASS) using Iris Recognition biometric technology to strengthen system security in preparation for the data privacy and computer security requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Eagleville Hospital began implementation for 250 of its users in March 2002 and plans to complete its rollout in April.


The PASS system is a complete, robust security solution that is used to secure, manage, and control access to electronic information and can also be applied to secure physical environments. This flexible system enables assignment and administration of roles, responsibilities, policies, and procedures for each individual user from a central location.

"Last year, we systematically evaluated several alternative biometric approaches to providing security and privacy to meet HIPAA requirements", stated Kenneth Atlee, Director of Information Systems and Technology at Eagleville. "We chose Politec's PASS system, a recognised expert in health care security, because of its powerful capabilities which are built upon Iridian's Iris Recognition technology. Of its many benefits, Iris Recognition technology provides unparalleled accuracy, is non-intrusive, and our employees do not need to touch anything. They simply look at a camera."

In addition to the advantages that are provided by the PASS system's centralised control and administration, the system's power is further realised by the way in which it uses biometric technology. Instead of, or in addition to passwords or PINS, biometric measurements from a person are captured and used to authenticate their identity. The PASS system can be configured with a variety of biometrics such as iris recognition, fingerprint, voice and facial recognition.

Robert Nichels, President of Politec Inc. stated that this implementation will provide Eagleville Hospital with significant advantages in relation to their return on investment. "Eagleville will be able to protect patient confidentiality, eliminate passwords, lower IT support costs, and reduce fraud while supporting HIPAA compliance."

Eagleville Hospital's new PASS system uses the Panasonic Authenticam desktop camera to secure their information. While the Authenticam camera uses one of its two lenses to create a video image of the iris, the other can be used for general purposes such as video conferencing.

With Iris Recognition, the coloured ring that surrounds the pupil of the eye is analysed and complex characteristics known as crypts, filaments, freckles, pits, radial furrows, and striations are used to create a unique, secure biometric code. Due to the chaotic formation of the iris and its unique properties, it is virtually impossible to duplicate. Additionally, it is one of the few biometrics which can be used to identify as well as verify a person's identity. Iris recognition technology is non-intrusive and non-threatening. Nothing needs to be touched and no special environment is required.

For more than thirty-five years, Eagleville Hospital has specialised in the treatment of men and women who suffer from addiction to drugs and alcohol. A 334-bed facility, Eagleville is a private non-profit, multi-faceted service, prevention, research, education, and training organisation. The hospital serves as a regional resource for the treatment and prevention of substance abuse, as well as a national resource for training and research of addiction and behavioural health care.

Politec is a 30-year old, international IT organisation that is ISO9001 certified and leverages its 5000 employees to provide total solutions for the health care, federal and commercial markets. Politec develops and delivers applications that utilise biometrics including iris recognition, fingerprint, facial, hand geometry, and voice technologies to address issues in the area of security and information assurance. The company also provides software development and systems integration in the areas of biometrics, electronic medical records, medical portals, imaging, document management, forms processing, business process automation, and compression.

Iridian Technologies Inc. of Moorestown, New Jersey, is specialised in research, development and marketing of authentication technologies based on Iris Recognition, the most accurate biometric identifier. Holder of exclusive United States and international patents on the core concepts and technologies behind Iris Recognition, Iridian offers unparalleled security for physical facilities, information networks, and electronic transactions.

Leslie Versweyveld

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