A hospital in a relatively unimportant town in Kenya has gained national attention for its pioneering work on a biometric immunization tracking program for infants.
This innovative approach includes collecting biometric data from the infant and its caregiver, including four fingerprints and voice samples, in order to track the immunization history and identification of the kid. Other types of biometric data that may be collected include iris scans and palm scans. The biometric information will only be gathered during the first two years of a child’s life, and it will be used to monitor nine vaccinations and one supplement.
The software is now conducting clinical testing at the Kinango Sub-County Hospital in Kwale, Kenya. The program is the result of a cooperation between NEC, a firm that specializes in biometric authentication, the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), and Nagasaki University from Japan. Over one thousand newborns and the adults who cared for them took part in the trials, which got underway in September and are scheduled to come to a close in March.
The preliminary findings, despite the fact that the tests have not yet been completed, have been deemed by the three partners to be “very encouraging.”
The program lends its support to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations. These goals include lowering neonatal mortality, reducing deaths that could have been prevented among newborns and children under the age of 5, and providing legal identification and birth registration for everyone.
It is reported that the biometric data would be discarded when the trials have been finished, and it is anticipated that the program will be completely implemented in Kenya by the end of this year, with more trials scheduled to take place in other institutions.
A pioneer in the field of biometric authentication technologies such as facial recognition, iris recognition, voice recognition, and ear acoustic authentication, NEC is also working on the commercialization of infant biometrics and has a number of projects in its portfolio that are located in sub-Saharan Africa.