Researchers examine fingerprint scanning to boost vaccination accuracy

Electronically recording and tracking the fingerprints of infants and toddlers holds the potential to improve the volume and accuracy of immunization coverage, according to a Michigan State University study.

The researchers, led by Anil Jain, a professor with the department of computer science and engineering at MSU, used an optical fingerprint reader to scan the thumbs and index fingers of patients, which they say can be used to create vaccination profiles. Their work, which is being presented at the Proceedings of the International Joint Conference on Biometrics this week in Clearwater, Florida, showed that such an index can be feasible.

"Our experimental results show that fusing the matching results of the thumb and index fingers when matching against an extended gallery of 32,768 infant fingerprints significantly improves the matching performance," the researchers said.

The research was facilitated by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Study (.pdf)