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21 August, 2014 - 07:58 By News Desk

ARM takes SimPrints cash haul to half a million

SimPrints co-founder and Gates Cambridge Scholar, Daniel Storisteanu

Superchip giant ARM Holdings has fortified its ‘pay-it-forward’ strategy to help Cambridge UK technology startups by pumping an additional US$100k into healthcare fledgling SimPrints.

SimPrints, which is developing a fingerprint scanner for global healthcare applications, had originally gained £400k – £250k from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and £150k from ARM.

Now ARM and additional partners have invested an extra US$100,000 to take SimPrints’ haul to US$500,000 and help accelerate what is being hailed as a gamechanging invention. It will also fund recruitment of fresh talent. 

The SimPrints team participated in Accelerate Cambridge, an early stage support programme for new ventures run by the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. The company will now, in partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Global mHealth Initiative and with BRAC, the world's largest NGO, use the seed funding to optimise their system and conduct a pilot study in Bangladesh. SimPrints’ biometric fingerprint scanner is designed to transform access to health records – solving a long-standing problem in the delivery of mobile services in healthcare in developing regions. Community health workers are often unable to carry out the four antenatal visits recommended by the World Health Organisation due to challenges in patient identification, access to health records and visit verification.

SimPrints’ device will accurately connect people to their digital records via a simple fingerprint scan. The light-weight, durable and cost-effective portable biometric scanner and software integrates with any mobile health application to allow for real-time identification and access to patient records via fingerprint identification.

The scanner will tackle current problems like misidentification caused by common community names or unknown dates-of-birth and the limitations of paper-based health records - prone to loss or damage and often difficult to access.

Co-founder and Gates Cambridge Scholar, Daniel Storisteanu said: “This half a million funding is a huge opportunity for us to attract talent and accelerate our development, so that we can build and optimise every technical aspect of this system to address global health challenges.”

Dr Alain Labrique, director of the Johns Hopkins University Global mHealth Initiative, added: “This is a very exciting initial investment into a promising technology that addresses a key bottleneck in global health programs.

“As we struggle to identify ways to strengthen vital registration systems that improve our ability to deliver care to every person who needs it – knowing who someone is and being able to pull up their prior health record is a real game changer for the footsoldiers of global health.”

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