William Braithwaite — a health information privacy and security consultant and chair of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s identity management task force — noted that, no matter how long or complex passwords are, they’re still vulnerable to theft. “The real problem is that passwords are being stolen, not that they’re being broken,” he said.
Biometric systems are used to track people. A researcher from Microsoft is showing they can also help keep tabs on the spread of tuberculosis, and even stop it.
Partnered with the non-profit Project Asha, Bill Thies, who works at Microsoft Research India, developed a way to use a simple fingerprint reader and a netbook to track tuberculosis patients in India.
This may sound big brother-ish, but it’s important to make sure TB patients return to local clinics to get their medications. TB is relatively easy to treat and cure, with a standard course of antibiotics. But many patients don’t keep taking the drugs because they feel better. “The challenge is to make sure they finish the course of treatment,” Thies told Discovery News.
Read the whole thing. Tuberculosis is a scourge that is preventable but tenacious.
Our friends at Operation Asha get a well-deserved mention.
Technology and social change (Live Mint – WSJ)
The increasing cost of tuberculosis (TB) treatment is a serious concern in India. Funding requirements have grown 16 times. And instances of multi-drug resistance tuberculosis are rising. Therefore, monitoring the intake of medicines by TB patients for six to nine months is essential. Operation Asha’s eCompliance programme created a biometric identification system to monitor tuberculosis treatments through verifiable tracking, while coordinating phone text messaging-based technology for collecting records into a digitized system.
A high proportion of the seven cases mentioned in the piece have an ID management component.