February 28, 2018

Identity Platform for DHIS2 Maternal Health Initiative

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Element Inc, icddr,b, and the Health Information Systems Programme at the University of Oslo Announce Identity Platform for DHIS2 Maternal Health Initiative

Oslo, New York, Dhaka, and Seattle – The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), Element Inc, the Health Information Systems Programme at the University of Oslo (HISP), in collaboration with Intellectual Ventures’ Global Good Fund and icddrb, announced today their intention to deploy Element’s biometric software in a maternal health initiative in Matlab, Bangladesh.

Together with the Center for Intervention Science for Maternal and Child Health (CISMAC) at the University of Bergen, and icddr,b, NIPH and HISP are deploying an eRegistry – a combination of point-of-care data collection, clinical decision support and routine statistics built on the DHIS2 tracker – to deliver antenatal services to pregnant women and newborn babies in Matlab.

The eRegistry initiative covers over 250 health workers and 15,000 pregnant women. As part of this new collaboration, the partners intend to use Element’s biometric software on the eRegistry initiative’s Android tablets to link women to services at the community and clinic levels.

The collaboration will showcase Element’s innovation in 1-N matching of large populations – local to a mobile device, without specialized hardware. Using only the camera of the Android tablet, a health worker captures the palmprint biometric of a woman in a non-touch process. Element’s software will then identify the woman among the larger enrolled population, without requiring attributes such as name or ID number for 1-1 authentication.

Additionally, Element enables offline enrolment and identification on tablets, with asynchronous data syncing when the devices gain connectivity. As such, a woman can be enrolled using one tablet in the community, without cellular or wifi signal, and later identified on a different tablet used by another health worker or clinic. This portable identity allows health workers to access a woman’s unique health record at multiple touchpoints, reducing duplication and ensuring that information is not lost between visits.

The DHIS2 health information system is used in over 88 countries, making it one of the largest in the world. eRegistry is built on the DHIS2 Tracker, an extension of DHIS2 that supports management of individual data. This collaboration marks the first step toward an integration of Element’s biometric platform with DHIS2, a milestone in providing biometric digital identity for global health organizations.

“Matching patients to health records is a vital need for continuity of care,” said Michael Frost, Senior Advisor at NIPH and lead product manager for DHIS2 Tracker. “Integrating mobile software-based biometrics into eRegistries and DHIS2 – with the ability to sync data and updates across devices – can fundamentally change the way we provide longitudinal care in any health system using DHIS2.”

The collaboration builds on Element’s mobile biometrics platform for face and palm recognition, as well as the BioNIC initiative by Element, Global Good, icddr,b, and other partners to deliver the world’s first mobile software solution for infant biometrics.

About The eRegistries Initiative

The eRegistries Initiative is based at NIPH and is dedicated to increasing the availability and timely use of routine maternal and child health data in order to improve quality of care and health outcomes around the world. An eRegistry is a maternal and child health registry that combines point-of-care data collection with clinical decision support and traditional health registries, resulting in single data entry that is used for improved patient care, program management, decision-making and research.


About Intellectual Ventures’ Global Good Fund

Global Good is dedicated to inventing technology for humanitarian impact. Millions of people suffer and die each year in poor countries from causes that humanity has the scientific and technical ability to solve. Funded by Bill Gates and focused on a shared vision with Nathan Myhrvold, Global Good invents technology to solve some of humanity's most daunting problems. Global Good does this by collaborating with leading humanitarian organizations, forward-looking governments, research institutions, and corporate and private sector partners that bring our inventions to market. www.globalgood.com

About Element, Inc.

Element develops and distributes a mobile-based, software-only platform for biometric identity. As pioneers of mobile deep learning – and among the first in the field – Element works with partners around the world to build more efficient and inclusive societies. Element’s current focus is on Asia and Africa, where over 1 billion people lack proper identification. Element’s end-to-end biometric solutions are being used to build global immunization platforms, enable connected diagnostics, provide a digital identity resource for healthcare providers, and empower access to financial services, among others. www.elementresearch.com

Photo credit: icddr,b