University of Southern California
Clinical Services
PDA Study Management Tool
Physician's Dashboard
HCCII Total Solution
Image Backup Archive
Patient LTVS
PACS Simulator
Internet 2
Multimedia Input Gateway

A Prototype Tracking & Verification System Implemented within an Imaging Center


Most healthcare facilities currently struggle with protecting medical data privacy, mis-identification of patients, and long patient waiting times. To address these issues, a Location Tracking and Verification system (LTVS) was designed and developed using wireless technology for tracking the location of patients and facial biometric technology for automatically identifying staff and patients. By integrating these two technologies, LTVS system provided a simple yet systematic solution to monitor and automatically identify staff and patients in order to streamline the patient workflow, protect against erroneous examinations and create a security zone to prevent and audit unauthorized access to patient healthcare data for partial compliance of the HIPAA mandate.


System architecture shows the Location Tracking and Verification System (LTVS) Server which consists of a web server application that runs the LTVS web-based Graphical User Interface (GUI). The system design and implementation were developed in-house.
Box A -- Facial biometrics verification module with cameras.
Box B -- Wireless Location Tracking module with tags.
Perl -- Practical Extraction and Report Language.
FRS – Facial Biometric Recognition System.
API -- Application Programming Interface.

Figure 1. System architecture

Figure 2. The “Report Page” provides multiple choices for querying the report from the database (see left column “arrow”). For example, in the figure, the GUI display a window of patients John Doe, with RIS ID, tracking device number, location, event time, event date, and system message saying “Patient waiting longer than 30 minutes”.

Figure 3. The GUI showing a window of the floor plan of the clinical evaluation site, USC Healthcare Consultation Center II (HCC II). This example depicts that patient John Doe 1, staff 2 and staff 3 each had been assigned a tracking tag. Their names, tag accession number, status, and physical location are shown in event list table above the floor plan.

Clinical Evaluation & Results:

Technical features of the LTVS which could meet certain clinical needs are given in the Table.

Clinical issues

System Technical features

Lost patients in the department

Real-time Identification of the movement of patients

Patient waiting too long

Provide a warning to the department personnel if a particular patient has been in one location (e.g., waiting room) beyond the time limit

Patient Misidentification

Patient identity can be verified biometrically through facial recognition at the exam site

Security for Protection and Privacy of Patient information

System creates an information security zone in a given subunit. Verifies biometrically access rights to vital clinical information for authorization by the healthcare provider


  • Bing G, Jorge D, Jasper L, et al. A tracking and verification system implemented in a clinical environment for partial HIPAA compliance, Proceedings of SPIE 2006, 6145:184-191
  • Bing G, Jorge D, Nelson K, Patient tracking and facial biometrics integrated in a clinical environment for HIPAA security compliance, Presented at the 91 st Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of RSNA, (Inforad Exhibit), 2005
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