What do airports and hospitals have in common?
Caryn Seidman Becker, chairman, cofounder and CEO of Clear, a biometric document verification system, believes the two have a lot of similarities.
Speaking at Forbes 2023 Healthcare Summit in New York on December 5, Seidman Becker explained that passengers feel like a number when they head to an airport, which isn’t unlike entering a hospital — both are vulnerable, anonymous experiences.
Clear has become synonymous with airport travel, initially partnering with the Department of Homeland Security. And while the service was created for travel, Seidman Becker made the case that the healthcare industry might need its tools more.
“As an identity company, what we quickly realized was that starting in airports, making experiences safer and easier for travelers in a stressful situation when they felt like a number in industries that were regulated, was highly portable, and important,” she said. “Maybe even more important to the healthcare industry.”
Seidman Becker noted that hospital systems and air travel are highly regulated businesses with a focus on the customer experience. Both are arguably long, painful events with a need for simplification, she added. As an example, she shared her personal experience with extensive wait times and outdated technology at hospitals throughout her husband’s journey with pancreatic cancer — specifically highlighting healthcare’s continued use of fax machines and CD-ROMs.
“It is your information and it’s just too hard to get it, to understand it, to share it. If you look around in so many different industries, they’ve gone through digital transformation,” Seidman Becker said. “My kids can order their tacos at the push of a button. They track it every minute until it gets to their couch. So many other industries are just so analog.”
Despite multiple discussions surrounding artificial intelligence, its advancements and current and potential use in healthcare throughout the conference, Seidman Becker said the industry’s resistance to advancements is preventing adoption of tools such as Clear. The company’s goal in moving into the health space is to eliminate the physical clipboard.
“What we see is, oftentimes, the biggest competitor to many consumer experiences is inertia. If you make it hard, they’re not going to do it,” she said. “They’re not going to engage in the digital app, at which point that can impact outcomes as well as costs.”
Embedding Clear into a health system’s network can lower costs and make processes more efficient and secure, Seidman Becker argued, citing examples of facilities currently using Clear.
UHealth Miami has optimized the service as an identification tool for employees as a digital front door and for patients for password reset. Wellstar is using Clear for check in, Verado is using identity authentication on the front and back end and BeWell is using Clear to connect the user in a consumer facing application format.
“The time is absolutely now,” Seidman Becker urged audience members whom she was hopeful were already Clear members.
This article originally appeared on PRWeek US.