A leading company providing user authentication solutions in healthcare is taking a step into patient authentication applications through its acquisition of a provider of biometric patient identification technology.

Imprivata Inc., Lexington, Mass., has acquired Tampa, Fla.-based HT Systems, which develops and markets palm vein-based biometric patient identification systems.

The acquisition enables Imprivata to expand its security footprint within the healthcare industry, said Omar Hussain, president and CEO of Imprivata.

“The acquisition of HT Systems represents our first strategic investment in expanding our market to patient identification,” Hussain says. “It’s always been a part of our vision to be a healthcare security company, and part of our vision was to have an offering in the patient area. We’re fortunate to find this company with a great technology and product.”

HT Systems offers PatientSecure, a biometric patient identification system, which uses the vein patterns in a patient’s hand to positively identify a patient and retrieve the correct electronic medical record when the patient presents for care. Linking patient identity to record retrieval improves patient satisfaction and safety, eliminates opportunities for duplicate medical records and guards against identity theft and insurance fraud.

Also See: Biometrics Vendor Integrates with Epic

Under the terms of the transaction, Imprivata paid approximately $19.1 million in cash at closing. Additionally, Imprivata will pay up to $1.9 million in retention-based payments two years from closing plus up to $5.0 million based on achieving certain sales targets over the two-year period following the transaction.

Patient identity is a significant issue for integrated delivery systems, because the systems typically treat patients with common names, Hussain says. Because palm vein patterns are unique to each individual, it eliminates the potential for confusing one patient’s records with another’s.

Imprivata, which has 1,200 customers worldwide, provides technology solutions to authenticate users of healthcare IT systems, providing single sign-on, authentication management and secure communications applications.

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