Mitek Extends Check Imaging Tech to Health Care, Insurance

Mitek Systems' Mobile Capture imaging software has long allowed banks to offer customers mobile banking capabilities. Now the company is turning the technology toward the health care and insurance industries as well.

Mitek says it has created a cloud-based mobile document capture service that can be used by the health care and insurance industries for receipt clearance and other back-office workflow functions.

Mitek's Mobile Capture technology has been wildly popular with smartphone users and is currently used by six of the top 10 financial services firms in the U.S., including Chase, Bank of America, CapitalOne, PayPal, Fidelity and Schwab, according to CEO Jim DeBello.

Each year, the Mobile Capture software handles 10 billion checks or one-third of the checks processed each year by banks, which has lead to a fundamental change in how back office systems process deposits, DeBello said.

"We look at the camera as the replacement of the keyboard for data input. It's easier. It's more convenient, and from the consumer perspective, it's an optimal experience," DeBello said. "We've been getting calls from executives in the insurance and healthcare industry asking if we can do this for them. So the light bulb went off in our head."

Mitek uses Amazon.com's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to host the new Mobile Imaging Cloud (MIC) application, which provides mobile application developers, systems integrators and businesses with a way to create smartphone and tablet apps that use a camera as an input method for a wide variety of tasks.

The application lets smartphone users take pictures of a receipt, and then it automatically enters values on, for example, a health care insurance reimbursement form. The technology can work in a stand-alone mode or be integrated into a company's enterprise financial systems.

"It's really a way [for healthcare and insurance companies] to acquire customers and retain them through the mobile imaging cloud," DeBello said. "Basically, we're enabling 600 million smartphones to become scanning devices."

DeBello said the Mobile Imaging Cloud technology is designed for rapid prototyping and deployment of applications that use mobile cameras. The product is available today in both hosted and packed options. While the product could be deployed in many industries, Mitek is initially focusing on health care and insurance.

"We just think it will have most impact in industries with a lot of paper. We think that means the health care and insurance industries," DeBello said.

Mobile Imaging Cloud first captures, then extracts and routes information contained in documents. It can be used to create camera-based mobile applications that simplify receipt management and expense reporting tasks.

For example, millions of Americans have flexible health care spending accounts that often require them to copy medical receipts for reimbursement from an insurance provider. "This allows someone to ultimately snap a picture of a receipt from a pharmacy, or a receipt from a physician's office, and get reimbursed more quickly," DeBello said.

In another example, a physician practice or hospital could use the Image Capture software to snap a photo of a patient's insurance information for input into a database or electronic medical record.

Other potential applications include remote mobile order entry, prescription submission, faxing, or insurance claims processing.

For example, if someone is involved in a car accident, the drivers could snap photos of their respective licenses and insurance information for transmission to their insurance providers.

"That way, you expedite coverage," Dobell said. "That's a workflow improvement."

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian , or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed . His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com .

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