NEC Corporation has joined forces with Nagasaki University to promote public health in Kenya. With the university’s Graduate School of Tropical Medicine and Global Health Studies currently being a partner of the Kenya Central Institute of Medicine, NEC has signed on for a new trial program that will study the impact of biometric authentication on global health.
The trial program will run until March 2020 in Kuware County, Kenya, and will specifically look at maternal and pediatric health in an effort to realize the Sustainable Development Goals laid out by the United Nations in 2015. Doctors in the field will use NEC’s face and fingerprint recognition tech to enroll women in the program. After that, patients and doctors will be able to use biometric verification to access their medical history – including birth data and immunization status – even in the absence of a physical identification card.
Participation is entirely voluntary, while the program itself is designed to establish a better medical record to give doctors a better sense of the actual well-being of people in Kuware County. That, in turn, will allow for the development of better public health initiatives tailored to the needs of Kenyan women and children.
NEC is promoting the initiative as part of its Social Solutions Business, making it one of several socially conscious platforms the company has pushed in recent months. NEC recently reaffirmed its commitment to privacy and human rights, and has previously welcomed regulatory discussions about the use of facial recognition and AI. The partnership with Nagasaki University is more proactive, but nevertheless reflects the desire to use technology to improve people’s lives.
April 22, 2019 – by Eric Weiss