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NEONX - innovative technology for patient check-in with anti-fraud facial recognition system

Grant number: 19/09111-6
Support type:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: February 01, 2020 - October 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Electrical Engineering
Principal researcher:Paulo Gurgel Pinheiro
Grantee:Paulo Gurgel Pinheiro
Company:Hoobox Robotics Tecnologia do Brasil Ltda. - ME
CNAE: Desenvolvimento e licenciamento de programas de computador customizáveis
Desenvolvimento e licenciamento de programas de computador não-customizáveis
City: Campinas
Associated grant(s):21/06384-1 - NEONX - innovative technology for patient check-in with anti-fraud facial recognition system, AP.PIPE


Waiting time in emergency rooms and urgent care centers is a critical factor that affects patient safety, comfort, and is one of the main performance indicators of a care unit. Long waiting periods may cause overcrowding in the sector, which in turn triggers problems in the treatment and evolution of patients, decrease of comfort, refusal of new ambulances or patients, and increased stress in the medical and care staff. In Brazil, for example, the wait time in urgent care centers is the most common complaint for 23% of the health insurance customers.Overcrowding on urgent care units is not just a reality of Brazil. Between 2008 and 2015, the number of visits to urgent care units (or walk-in clinics) in the United States increased from 47 to 103 visits for every 1000 people in 2015 (a 119% increase), and the mean time to see a doctor of 58.1 minutes. In Canada, the standby time can be as long as 78 minutes.Several methodologies have been adopted to decrease the time between triage and medical consultation. One example is the Lean Project, which started in 2018 and reduced the wait time from 3 to 1.5 hours in 20 hospitals in Brazil. However, few attempts have been made to decrease the time between the arrival of the patient in the unit and the identification process, which is still done manually and slowly. With the significant advance of walk-in clinics, a trend in both Brazil and the United States, the patient identification time is critical. In some walk-in clinics, even the triage is done on a mobile application where the user answers questions about his symptoms. For these clinics, the time between arrival and patient identification is the main bottleneck.The identification of the patient before a medical consultation is essential to prevent fraud in the use of a health insurance plan. This is the main type of fraud that is performed by patients in hospital settings. Technological and research investments have been made using biometric sensors to reduce such frauds, being fingerprint recognition the most common. However, these advances have further increased the wait time.The NEONX project has been under development since August 2018 at the Israelita Albert Einstein Hospital and the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Lab in Houston, TX, where the company is also incubated. Since then we developed the base facial recognition technology and validated both the express check-in and the user's journey. NEONX aims to be the most effective face recognition system for automatic registration of patients in urgent care centers (or walk-in unit), designed to improve the efficiency of identification, and the quality of care by decreasing the wait time and fraud.Based on our validation results and current prototype for face recognition, we present the methodologies to i) improve the precision of the facial recognition technology, ii) develop a better scheduling/triage application for walk-in units, iii) develop the totem system and a cloud platform, iv) integrate NEONX with the Albert Einstein's management system to validate our MVP.The result of this project will be an express check-in system with facial recognition designed to decrease the time between the patient's arrival to the urgent care center (or walk-in unit) and their medical consultation. The product will have two parts: i) a mobile application, where the customer will be able to perform registration, schedule consultations, exams, and answer triage questionnaires; ii) a totem system, which will receive the customer in the unit and perform the automatic identification. (AU)

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