Taking advantage of smart card in health care


Although, I consider Walking Tree’s health care information system, as one of the rare ERP for health care, which is feature rich and built using latest Web 2.0 technologies, its integration with smart card based application will surely be a great advantage for people involved in health care. I intend to post my thoughts as soon as I finalize the list of features related to smart card’s usage in health care, however, if you have any wish list, please do comment on my post and become a part of the great solution.

What is a smart card?

A smart card is a credit-card sized plastic card with an embedded computer chip. The chip can either be a microprocessor with internal memory or a memory chip with non-programmable logic. The chip connection is either via direct physical contact or remotely via a contact less electromagnetic interface. Unlike magnetic tape on credit card, the microprocessor on the smart card stores personal data in secured format.

Smarts cards may have up to 8 kilobytes of RAM, 346 kilobytes of ROM, 256 kilobytes of programmable ROM, and a 16-bit microprocessor. The smart card uses a serial interface and receives its power from external sources like a card reader. Today’s smart cards are re-usable, hold large quantities of data, speed transaction times, identify the card holder, and even provide loyalty benefits. So, you can very easily see that usage of smart card is inexhaustible.

Why it may work in India?

The main reason for smart card is to – access authentic information – with ease and provider better security to the consumers. There are two ways for that

1)      Use some sort of identification numbers and then build a huge infrastructure for address validation, background validation, etc

2)      Use some sort of technology, which is secured and data contained in that device is authentic

If you look at the advantage of second point and the kind of investment is needed to build something as big as complete address, background and other validation processes, I do tend to agree that smart card will make some difference in the Indian development story.

Context

Recently, Government of India has come with a scheme where they are going to provide proactive health insurance services to the family of central government employee. Following is the smart card specific requirement:

Single Smart Card for all beneficiaries would be required; carrying all personal details, biometric data, medical history, policy limits etc. to the CGEPHIS members. Please elaborate all related issues like smart card specifications, logistics plans , OTC issuance of cards , district-based card-kiosks , POS machine installations & other hardware at the hospitals’ end, connectivity , transfer of data, payment mechanism etc. across the country.

If you look at the underlined items, it is clear that this card contains a lot of useful information related to the individual. Also, it is something which can reduce some of the frauds as well.

Walking Tree intends to provide its end customer with advantage of using the smart card to be able to avail and provide effective health care. If you have any wish list, don’t hesitate to comment on this post.

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