December 6, 2018

Population Services International and Element Join Forces to Expand Healthcare Access for Last Mile Health Systems

Throughout the world, patients lack a reliable form of identification — a factor that impedes health providers’ ability to identify patients and offer long-term personalized health services. Population Services International (PSI) and Element, Inc. are teaming up to solve this problem to ensure access to identification to improve delivery of healthcare.

Through a new partnership with Element, PSI – one of the world’s largest health organizations, operating across 67 countries – is piloting a cutting-edge biometric identification platform to support the provision of targeted health services through community health workers. Unlike traditional biometric solutions, Element’s non-touch technology enrolls and authenticates clients by capturing images of the person’s modalities, such as the palm or face, using the camera on a basic smartphone or tablet. From tackling malaria and HIV to reducing child mortality and advancing reproductive health, PSI will be able to leverage Element’s platform to provide access to and transform healthcare for potentially millions of clients without forms of identification.

By using Element’s palm biometric technology in addition to SMS vouchers, PSI will have the capacity to connect clients to PSI’s social franchise clinics and community health workers.

“Element moves PSI closer to empowering youth to take their health into their own hands,” said James Brown, Director of Marketing and Innovation at PSI East Africa. “For PSI, the biometric platform provides an extraordinary opportunity to follow a client’s health journey in real-time, helping us continuously improve our programming, reach more clients, and develop longer term health relationships with them.”

Element’s software-only platform leverages the existing camera on mobile devices to biometrically enroll and authenticate individuals — offline or online. This means a PSI health worker can use an Android tablet to register a client’s biometric modality, in this case a palm; that same client can later present their palm at any PSI clinic and have their palm print scanned to redeem services. This process ensures no information is lost or duplicated between visits.

Additionally, Element’s end-to-end security architecture creates unique user profiles that cannot be reverse-engineered to the original palm print and cannot be used in isolation as an input for user identity recognition, ensuring state of the art data security and user privacy.

“At Element, we strive to build an inclusive platform that meets people where they are - in a user friendly, subtle, and non-invasive way,” said Montague Hermann, Director of Global Market Development at Element. “Without the dependency on mobile connectivity, our solution will improve the scope of PSI’s existing referral mechanisms and create better linkages to different levels of care.”

Element’s software is designed for interoperability, and data captured in one application can be synced with any nation-wide EMR or HIS system, including DHIS2, as well as mobile applications like the PSI Connecting with Sara platform (CwS).

About PSI

Population Services International (PSI) is a global nonprofit organization focused on the encouragement of healthy behavior and affordability of health products. Founded in 1970 to improve reproductive health using commercial marketing strategies, PSI has since expanded to work in 67 countries in the areas of malaria, family planning, HIV, diarrhea, pneumonia and sanitation. A hallmark of PSI is a commitment to the principle that health services and products are most effective when they are accompanied by robust communications and distribution efforts that help ensure wide acceptance and proper use. PSI works in partnership with local governments, ministries of health and local organizations to create health solutions that are built to last. For more information, visit

About Element

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. Element was founded by Adam Perold and Yann LeCun, Chief AI Scientist at Facebook and a professor at NYU. For more information, visit

Read more at:

Planet Biometrics: PSI and Element to Work on Healthcare Biometrics

Find Biometrics: Healthcare Nonprofit Piloting Android-Based Biometric Patient Identification