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Who Could Know Who I Am? The Possibility of Patient Identification With Retinal Imaging

      When fugitive Jean Valjean rhetorically asks, “Who am I?” in the musical version of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, he feared what would happen if someone recognized his face and identified him by the convict number on his yellow passport. Almost 200 years later, digital imaging of unique biological characteristics has expanded the possible means of identification. Simon and Goldstein first described a unique patient-specific retinal vascular network for identification in 1935.
      • Simon C.
      • Goldstein I.
      A new scientific method of identification.
      Since the concept's advent, several variations on the assessment of retinal vessels have been proposed to improve the accuracy of identification.

      Rahman NA, Mohamed AS, Rasmy ME. Retinal identification. Proceedings of the 2008 Cairo International Biomedical Engineering Conference 1-4.

      • Kose C.A.
      • Ikibas C.
      A personal identification system using retinal vasculature in retinal fundus images.
      • Meng X.
      • Yin Y.
      • Yang G.
      • Xi X.
      Retinal identification based on an improved circular Gabor filter and scale invariant feature transform.
      Hill developed a retinal identification system for use in humans,
      • Hill R.B.
      Retina identification.
      but its application has mainly been limited to high-end security systems rather than patient care.
      • Amiri M.D.
      • Tab F.A.
      • Barkhoda W.
      Retinal identification based on the pattern of blood vessels using angular and radial partitioning.
      Beyond human use, county fairs have used retinal vessel patterns in fraud prevention to verify prize-winning livestock
      Weld County Government
      Retinal imagining verifies ID of showmanship livestock.
      and identify cattle
      • Allen A.
      • Golden B.
      • Taylor M.
      • et al.
      Evaluation of retinal imaging technology for the biometric identification of bovine animals in Northern Ireland.
      and sheep.
      • Gonzales-Barron U.
      • Corkery G.
      • Barry B.
      • et al.
      Assessment of retinal recognition technology as a biometric method for sheep identification.
      ,
      • Rojas-Olivares M.A.
      • Caja G.
      • Carne S.
      • et al.
      Retinal image recognition for verifying the identity of fattening and replacement lambs.
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