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Simprints plans to make its biometric ID open source for greater social impact

Simprints plans to make its biometric ID open source for greater social impact
 

The CEO of Simprints Toby Norman says the company plans to release a full open source stack for its fingerprints identification technology by the end of this year as part of efforts to ramp up the impact of their last-mile interventions in healthcare around the world.

In a chat with Biometric Update on the sideline of the MOSIP Connect event early this month in Ethiopia, Norman said open-sourcing their technology “is a dream and an ambition which we’ve had since we founded Simprints.”

“Our front-end android application called Simprints ID is a mobile ID application which is now used in about 17 countries with about 2.5 million enrollments across our programs.”

“We are now open-sourcing this technology to make it easier for ministries of health, non-governmental organisations and other frontline providers to actually integrate and use this tool to provide their services to people who need them most,” says Norman, who participated in a panel discussion on biometric security at MOSIP Connect.

Speaking about their partnerships, the Simprints CEO said there has been positive impact achieved through their work with partners such as Ethiopia’s ministry of health, which he says, is also “investing a lot now in digitalization including in an open source digital medical registry.”

“It’s an open source stack that’s integrated the Simprints biometric digital ID which until now has been close source. However, from December, that’s going to be a fully open source stack which we are developing,” he mentions.

“We are a non-profit technology from the university of Cambridge. We focus on global health and humanitarian settings and we work with a number of ministries of health around the world to help them make sure essential services such as vaccines reach the kids that need the vaccines.”

With palpable impact recorded through their efforts, Norman says they look forward to expanding their partnership. “We are looking forward to working with a number of NGOs, and African ministers of health. For example, we are already working with the ministries of health in Uganda and Ghana. We are supporting them to deploy the new malaria vaccine, which is a breakthrough from the public health perspective,” he says.

“It’s something we are very excited about. This is just one of the many health and humanitarian applications we are very excited about in the next couple of years.”

The impact of Simprints biometric verification for dedicated healthcare services in Ethiopia was the focus of a webinar last November.

Further pledging the commitment to their mission, Norman adds: “Our company focuses on social impact, so we are always interested in supporting use cases that are helping vulnerable people get access to services.”

“We are really focussing on the last mile, trying to reach populations that are neglected. That has been our focus since we started, and that’s not something we’ll be changing in the coming years.”

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