Impact of Biometrics on COVID-19

calendar_month June 11, 2020

During this global pandemic, many communities, businesses, organizations, and ABI research analysts have analyzed the long and short term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on biometrics and similar technologies. Without a doubt, the importance of biometrics on developers, investors, companies, and customers will be significant.

Biometrics systems are now increasingly regarded as a key piece of technology in the early detection of Covid-19. It is also an important tool for public safety monitoring and patient screening; both of which are necessary to minimize the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Biometric technologies are becoming more relied upon by various industries, particularly in health care, border control, and surveillance, biotech companies, and law enforcement.

The impact of biometrics can be seen in two specific areas. These are:


Many field agents, security officers, health care workers, and law enforcement personnel rely on temperature and fever detection tech as a defensive weapon against Covid-19. These front-line staff utilize handheld biometric tools, smart clothing, portable thermometers, body-worn gear to detect high body temperatures. On a larger scale, biometric technology is being applied through Closed Circuit TV infrastructure, infrared systems, surveillance cameras, and security barriers at border control locations.

Macro Level

At the command level, biometric technologies are useful in surveillance and face recognition actions. These are being fitted with new screening programs to identify individuals who aren’t wearing protective face gear. New development in artificial intelligence is also used to stabilize identification issues that occur as a result of partial face cover-up. This remains a constant challenge for facial recognition programs; therefore pushing AI and ML algorithms to the next step. There’s also a push in improving contactless biometric tech such as iris recognition to combat the Covid-19 threat.

What is the long-term impact of Biometric technologies on Covid-19?

In the near future, the Covid-19 pandemic will have a major impact on upcoming biometric applications, across various verticals and markets. Biometrics relying on contact-only applications such as fingerprints will suffer the most, particularly in industries like healthcare, workforce management, immigration, visa, and border control.

Governments are going to place more emphasis on iris and face recognition technologies. As a result, additional investment will be made into merging facial recognition with machine vision and AI. Iris recognition will also see substantial development especially because it can bypass partially concealed faces that result from wearing masks. Iris recognition will also become important in monitoring health, i.e. blood concentration, pupil dilation, etc.

The world will also see the creation of novel biometric detection tech such as fever and temperature detection programs that also study emotional, behavioral, and psychological patterns. This will come in handy while predicting, anticipating, and monitoring abnormal incidents.