KEMRI and NEC Announce Trials on Biometric-based Vaccination Management System for Newborn Children in Kenya
The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), NEC Corporation (NEC; TOKYO: 6701) and Nagasaki University have developed a digital biometric-based vaccination management system for newborn children in Kenya. Validation of this system is taking place through KEMRI with a clinical trial that began in September 2022 at the Kinango Sub-County Hospital in Kwale.
The digital system being provided by NEC, a leader in the integration of IT and network technologies, and KEMRI, one of Africa’s leading research Institutions, will effectively and seamlessly manage vaccination history and scheduling using fingerprint identification for newborn children and voice recognition for caregivers.
This technology marks the first time that biometric identification is being used at a hospital to identify newborn children at the time of vaccination, including those immediately after delivery (*1).
In terms of background, many children around the world continue to lose their lives at a very young age. In 2020 alone, approximately 5 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday. Furthermore, about half of these children under the age of five, or 2.4 million children, passed away within 28 days of birth, with many of the deaths considered preventable (*2).
Meanwhile, in some regions in the world, the use of digital technology has not advanced due to delays in the development of electricity and telecommunications infrastructure. In these regions, medical services may only be recorded by hand. In such cases, health care providers cannot easily ascertain which medical services are needed for the caregivers and children who visit their hospitals, which is one of the factors hindering efforts to ensure that children receive the vaccinations they need.
The new technology combines fingerprint identification for children and voice recognition for caregivers to confirm not only their identity, but also to reliably manage vaccination histories and schedules, thereby promoting the implementation of appropriate vaccinations for newborns and children during the first 24 months of life. Going forward, demonstration tests that network multiple hospitals will begin, aiming for full-scale introduction throughout Kenya by the end of 2023, and more international deployment in the future.
Voice and fingerprint data will be deleted after completion of the trial.
Link to press release:
(*1) NEC research as of February 7, 2023
(*2) Source: Levels and trends in child mortality, Report 2021, UN-IGME
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