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Can Google Glass fight fraud in government programs?

Google Glass hasn't yet reached the mass market, but some data-centric service providers – especially those who want to connect to critical data from the field – are exploring ways to use the new device.

Google Glass' ability to display data to the wearer without the need to return to the office or patrol car obviously has great potential for law enforcement and first responders.  But there are a lot more government workers and contractors who could benefit.

Pondera Solutions, a California-based contractor that investigates fraud for Medicaid and other government programs, is about to add Google Glass to its toolkit.

"Bad guys find new and creative ways of bilking money out of these systems.  If you build models, they're going to find the cracks in the system and ways to get around," said Jon Coss, CEO of Pondera.  "So when we see new technologies coming out, such as Google Glass, we are very, very interested in learning how to use it."

Pondera employs Google tools to deliver fraud detection as a service (FDAS) to governments.  "We combine the power of Google with integrated third-party data to combat fraud, waste and abuse in large government programs," Coss said.  Specifically, the company uses Google's predictive analytics tools to process claims and "program actors" through its fraud-detection models. 

Pondera identifies discrepancies in the data. It looks for things as simple as a provider billing large amounts for Medicaid without a valid address or market activity. These fraudulent billers “haven't turned on the lights, they don't have a UPS account and they're billing a large number of ghost patients -- people we can't validate or people who are incarcerated out of state," Coss said.

The processing of data is done overnight and it is delivered to client dashboards the next day in the form of alerts.

So where does Google Glass come in?  Coss said that it promises to deliver easy, private access to company data. It can also serve up relevant information from the FDAS service to auditors and investigators in the field “that they can access in a hands-free way, privately, with no one looking over their shoulder," Coss said.  "Literally anything that is on the FDAS system we can serve up through Google Glass."

Google Glass also has potential security benefits for field personnel.  "They don't have to take their eyes off the person they’re talking with," Coss noted.

Google Glass' ability to stream video may also enhance security and data collection, though Coss said Pondera is not planning on using that capability immediately.  "We have some interesting opportunities to take video while in the field," he said.  "I don't know that were going to go in that direction, but we're certainly investigating possibilities for that."

Pondera plans to deliver Google Glass capabilities to some of its clients by late summer or early fall.  In the meantime, they're working to ensure the security of the data as it transits Google Glass. "It's got to be secure," Coss said.  "Anytime we transfer, store or display that information we need to make sure that that's locked down and secure." 

Posted by Patrick Marshall on Mar 25, 2014 at 10:09 AM


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