'Happy Feet' Program Could Improve Vaccination Programs, Receives Funding

Source: International Business Times

By: Sanglap, Ranina


The Grand Challenges Explorations initiative has awarded funding to a new project that has the potential to improve vaccination programs in the developing world. The “Happy Feet” project will allow health workers to access the vaccination histories of children by scanning or photographing their footprints. “Biometrics for very small children is notoriously difficult because infants grow, and they grow fast,” said Dr. Stephen Davis from the RMIT University. “We have ideas about how to overcome this, and we think the footprint is the ideal biometric to work with.” Immunization cards can be easily lost, but children need to be positively identified to look up their vaccination history. Knowing their immune status also helps doctors and other health care workers determine whether the vaccine is working in the targeted population. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funds the initiative.