Biometrics for Babies: Fingerprinting Technology Improves Infant Identification

UC San Diego has an ION identifying newborns


There’s a world of information at your fingertips, and with new biometric technology developed at UC San Diego, that world now includes infant identification. Researchers have developed the ION, the first portable image device for fingerprinting pediatric patients as young as one day old.

“Accurate identification of a child to enable timely vaccinations can improve care, reduce disease burden and save lives,” said Dr. Eliah Aronoff-Spencer, assistant professor of medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. “This new technology allows for quick, accurate fingerprinting that may eliminate the need for paper identification and improve health care and security for millions.”

The portability of the ION means infant identification can happen outside of the hospital as well, such as in remote locations or areas hit by natural disasters.

The ION is currently in clinical trials, and early results are promising, with a registration accuracy of 90% on the first day of birth and nearly 100% re-identification accuracy as early as two days after birth. UC San Diego is planning further studies along with enhancements to the device to capture additional biometric and clinical data.

Learn more about their biometrics research at the UC San Diego News Center.