Tech crackdown on medical insurance abuse

The technology is expected to sound out those who illegally use other people's medical insurance cards to purchase medicines from hospitals and pharmacies.

Shanghai will expand use of facial recognition technology to deter abuse of the medical insurance system, authorities announced yesterday.

Over recent years, the city has seen a number of cases involving criminals using other people’s insurance cards to purchase medicine from hospital and pharmacies. Such medicines are often resold later.

Facial recognition systems will be installed at 100 retail pharmacies by the end of September, the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau said.

The systems will alert authorities when the same individual presents different medical insurance cards at hospitals and pharmacies, according to the bureau.

Currently, many of the city’s hospitals are equipped only with low-definition security cameras.

Facial recognition systems have already been tested at several local pharmacies and hospitals, and the government says these trials will provide data for further technological improvements.

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