Biometric Technology in Africa – Implementing Fingerprint Solution in HealthCare Sectors


Africa, the second largest and second most populated continent in the world, has abundant natural resources but remains the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped continent due to the spread of several deadly diseases, high level of illiteracy, lack of access to foreign capital, malnutrition, and other various issues. Still, Africa strives to improve its conditions with the hope of one day being recognized as a major contributor to the global social and economic landscape. Many Africans are thinking outside of the box to achieve this goal.

One such African, Matthias Spuehler, is a friend of mine -who works for Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Namibia. He integrated a biometric software solutions developed by M2SYS Technology called Bio-SnapON™. M2SYS is a well-established biometrics research and development firm offering various biometric software solutions and biometric readers for identity management. Matthias’ concept was to use fingerprint biometrics to accurately identify patients. Using biometric technology, patients can safely be administered treatment and avoid the risk of adverse health effects associated with misidentification.

During the biometric enrollment process, patients scanned their finger on a fingerprint reader and entered additional information that would be used for future identification, such as a digital picture, driver’s license, and contact information. Once enrolled, this information could be retrieved with a single fingerprint scan.

Biometric technology is penetrating the marketplace at an amazing rate. A fingerprint biometric system can be used to eliminate the hassle of barcodes, passwords, magstripe devices, and PINs. After researching, I found that M2SYS is revolutionizing the biometrics industry by offering innovative fingerprint software solutions and dependable fingerprint readers that accelerate acceptance rates, reduce costs, and maximize return on investment.

Cases exist where the incorrect substitution of a single letter in a patient’s name becomes the cause of a detrimental health effect. In non-automated environments such as CHS, messy piles of paper and overstuffed file cabinets can be the catalyst for human error. In this digital era of globalization, why take the chance?