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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5-9

Infectious disease transmission through touch-enabled biometric system: A digital dilemma

1 Department of Community Medicine, HIMS, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
2 Texas A and M University, Texas, USA

Correspondence Address:
Sudip Bhattacharya
Department of Community Medicine, HIMS, Jolly Grant, Dehradun, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jssrp.jssrp_1_21

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We use biometrics to authenticate the identity of humans by their behavioral or physiological features. Due to the digital revolution in India, the biometric technology is penetrating its roots in the health care (in the primary, secondary, and tertiary care levels) and other industries at a rapid pace. As an example, “Aadhaar-enabled Biometric Devices” have already acquired a lot of appreciation, after the successful implementation of “Ayushman Bharat Yojana” in India. However, during the COVID-19, pandemic, many institutes banned biometric attendance of their employees, due to the fear of infection transmission. The current paper aimed to describe the potential of infection spread through touch-enabled biometric devices and discussed the control measures to limit the spread of infectious diseases. A literature search was done using “PubMed,” “Google Scholar,” and “Scopus” databases for the key terms “biometric,” “infectious diseases and biometrics,” “infection and touch enabled biometrics,” and/or “touch enabled sensors”. All the relevant articles were included to support the argument for this narrative review. Commonly biometric systems use two types of sensors one is contactless, and another system requires direct contact to authenticate human beings. To authenticate by the biometrics (touchable), the end user must make direct physical contact for some time. It may increase the possibility of contamination with contagious/infectious agents (by food and water) to its subsequent users. Later, this event raises the chances of inoculation of dangerous contagions into our airway, and this is one of the ways, how infectious disease transmission occurs. To prevent infectious disease transmission, a multimodal confirmation system having the option for added means of authentication, like a spoken codeword or token or traditional methods like written attendance can be deployed within the organizations/healthcare facilities/medical colleges. To conclude, this paper proposes the adoption of a multimodal approach to prevent transmission of infectious diseases through fingerprint scanners.

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