February 8, 2013 -
In looking for a new biometrics-based system that would help track utilization of high-volume, high-traffic services provided for the homeless, The Bergen County, New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS) has worked with Fulcrum Biometrics along with Eyemetric to develop a new Biometrics Data Management System (BDMS). This week, Fulcrum published a case study regarding the new BDMS and how the system has fared.
The system, which has been designed to streamline the sign-in process for basic services including meals and overnight shelter has also enabled the DHS to better document the use of additional drop-in services such as showers, caseworker appointments and computer and telephone use. Information from the BDMS is fed into the county’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) database, and also gives a more comprehensive understanding of the homeless population.
Using the it’s unique modular approach, Fulcrum was able to create the BDMS, which can function independently from the county’s much larger HMIS. Fulcrum worked with Eyemetric to develop a data-sharing method that periodically augments HMIS data while still allowing Bergen County DHS to operate separately.
The system uses finger image scanners from Futronic Technology and a high-speed, highly-accurate finger image matching algorithm from Neurotechnology. Fulcrum used its framework to develop a web-based application that communicates through Fulcrum’s proprietary BioXML.
According to the DHS, another benefit of this system is alleviating many hours of staff time, which can now be allocated to working directly with people.
“We knew the system would help us do things more quickly, but what we didn’t expect was how it has helped us better understand needs. Because of the data we’ve gathered, we have successfully written grants and developed programs we would not have thought of or been able to support otherwise, such as special services for homeless women and youth,” Mary Sunden, Executive Director of Christ Church Community Development Corporation and administrator of the BDMS for the Bergen County Housing, Health and Human Services Center said.
According to Fulcrum, though the BDMS is currently based on fingerprint scans, it has the capacity to become a multi-modal system using any combination of biometrics.
“Fulcrum has been a great partner to work with and the Fulcrum Biometric Framework has given us a tremendous amount of flexibility to customize our solutions to the needs of our clients. For the Bergen County BDMS, in addition to providing operational efficiencies, the system itself has required very few resources to maintain. The FbF bioServer, on which the BDMS operates, has maintained 99.99% uptime since the system came online in 2010,” Ray Bolling, president of Eyemetric Identity Systems said.