NEC and Simprints are teaming up with the Gavi Vaccine Alliance to improve immunization rates for young children in the world’s poorest countries. The new solution combines Simprints fingerprint scanners with NEC’s authentication engine to create digital identities for children under the age of five.
Once created, those biometric identities can be used to build a complete medical history and immunization record. The information will be stored on Simprints servers, and will ensure that children whose identities are not recorded at birth – including half of all children born in sub-Saharan Africa – will still be able to follow the standard immunization schedule.
Parents and caregivers will be asked to give informed consent before their children are enrolled in the vaccination program, allowing Gavi to reach as many as 20 million children who still go unvaccinated. The program will begin with a trial phase in Tanzania and Bangladesh by early 2020, and will help support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
For the project, NEC’s authentication engine has been specifically optimized for infant fingerprints, and to address some of the shortcomings of the Simprints scanner. The scanner was built to assist healthcare researchers in the developing world, but often struggled with infant rprints, which are softer and more difficult to read than their fully developed adult counterparts.
This is not the only program leveraging biometrics to improve healthcare in developing countries. NEC recently partnered with Nagasaki University researchers to promote public health and create biometric medical records in Kenya’s Kuware County.
June 7, 2019 – by Eric Weiss