Friday, September 21, 2018

New touch-free tool for fingerprinting newborns

Photo of an infant fingerprinting tool
Photo: UC San Diego Health

A new contactless fingerprinting tool developed by researchers at the University of California at San Diego improves identification and access to health care and security. The tool, called ION, was designed with a new approach. Instead of scaling a device for adults down to infants, the ION was designed from the ground up — for infants, but also usable for adults in a “human centered design”.

The ION is fast and accurate. It was designed to accommodate the size, movement and behavior of an infant. Current testing finds identification accuracy at 90% on the first day, improving to 99% or better as early as the second day after birth. 

The research team believes the ION fingerprinting tool will provide benefits on a global scale:
  • to reduce the burden of disease by enabling timely vaccinations, helping to prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases
  • to secure identity at birth, helping to prevent identity fraud with children
  • to assist refugees displaced by war or natural disaster, helping to provide accurate reporting to enable deliveries of food, aid and care
  • to help in the prevention of human trafficking

The ION is currently in trial at UC San Diego and with collaboration partners in Mexico. The next step is to expand testing to Africa and South Asia. Planned enhancements include the measurement of health biometrics: temperature, pulse, breathing and oxygen.

The ION is not currently available commercially but is expected to be ready for market in the next 12 months. Initial funding for the project was from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Researchers Develop Biometric Tool for Newborn Fingerprinting
New non-touch technology rapidly identifies infants and children

Published by Jackie Carr, Sept, 12, 2018 on the UC San Diego Health | Newsroom

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