Livin La Login Loca
Lengthy login times are a famously frustrating problem in healthcare.
It’s a £40,000,000 famous problem. And whilst patient-facing services have progressed in this regard (including the introduction of biometric login), computers and systems that healthcare professionals use are stuck in the dark ages.
Mobile apps FTW
Thankfully mobile devices and apps very rarely suffer from this problem – in fact most of us now take for granted the fact that these devices are always on (no boot up time!) and an app can launch in milliseconds.
So now the slowest part for many apps is not getting onto the device or launching an app – it’s logging in with your username and password. And although this is seconds and not minutes, it’s still wasted time. We saw this first hand with Compassly users. It was always a few seconds for someone to re-enter their password, and more if the person couldn’t remember their password immediately, or typed it wrong. Although it’s not much, we wanted to do better.
And luckily the solution is already here and waiting – almost all mobile devices now contain sophisticated biometric verification hardware. We’re so used to using our fingerprint or face to unlock our phones, make contactless payments or login to online banking that we sometimes take for granted what a marvel it is. We decided to harness this magic to make logging in to Compassly even quicker.
How it works
When you first login, you’ll be given the choice of setting up your biometric login:
Once this is registered, instead of the generic username and password screen you’ll see your account ready to go, and the option to either enter your password or use biometric login.
Tap on the biometric button, the device will try to authenticate and if successful you’ll be instantly securely logged in.
This works across iOS and Android, using any fingerprint or face biometrics setup on the device. The password option is still there just in case you can’t use biometrics this time (face masks with Face ID ☹️), and at any time you can remove biometric login.
Why we focussed on this
There is of course the arithmetic that if you multiply those seconds across many, many users it starts to add up to some serious time. But we had a deeper motivation; having to enter your password every time is annoying. It represents friction, a loss of momentum, a delay when you just want to get on with using the app. Eliminating that wherever we can is very important for us. We consider it a privilege to have our users trust Compassly, and we hate to waste any of their time or cause them any frustration.
If you’re using a device from your organisation then they may have disabled biometric ID – or if the device is shared across multiple users then biometric won’t work as it can only be linked to a single user. And obviously if you haven’t set biometric login up on your own device, or have disabled it… this won’t work. Some Android devices may also have biometric solutions that are proprietary and cannot be used by the native Android biometric service that we use.
We don’t yet have a solution for the web app unfortunately – to the best of our knowledge, it isn’t possible, but we’ll keep looking.
Having biometric is just one of the ways we will look to make Compassly quicker, easier and more secure for our users. Spot anything else that you think we could improve? Please let us know – we welcome all feedback from our users.