SimPrints Technology Ltd.


The ability to accurately and reliably identify patients is an essential step in providing quality
healthcare in emerging markets. The past 10 years has seen a wave of clever mobile health
applications developed by governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) around
the world, helping to provide medical care to vulnerable communities. These applications
have benefited from the rapid expansion of mobile phone technology worldwide. Africa, for
example, now has more mobile phone subscribers (648m) than either the U.S. or Europe
(World Bank 2011). Benefiting from recent technological innovations, mobile health
(mHealth) tools are able to improve patient care, facilitating tasks ranging from running
diagnostic decision trees to monitoring drug stocks. Despite this huge potential, patient
identification and authentication remains a key bottleneck in expanding the reach of mobile
healthcare. Matching patients digitally to health records is difficult in the absence of a
national health number, formal government issued ID or fixed address. These challenges are
intensified in conflict or disaster regions—according to the UNHCR (2012), more than 45.2
million people have been forcibly displaced globally. As a consequence, many government
agencies and NGOs find their ability to deliver healthcare seriously impeded.
SimPrints provides a solution to this problem by linking patients to health records through a
single unique identifier: their fingerprint. A person’s fingerprint is a biometric ID that’s
completely unique to them and—unlike typical paper records—cannot be faked or lost. While
expensive mobile biometric scanners like the iPhone 5S (Apple Inc) are penetrating developed
markets, these systems are far too expensive for mass production in emerging markets.
Leveraging research from the University of Cambridge, SimPrints is developing a novel
scanner that works with existing mHealth applications to provide users with biometric tools at
a considerably reduced cost

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Simprints Technology Limited, CAMBRIDGE £25,000 £ 15,000


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