Protecting our most vulnerable

SMART Access & Identity 2024 Access Control & Identity Management, Products & Solutions

Grahame Saunders.

According to Missing Children South Africa, the country is losing the battle against the surging number of child kidnappings. This civil society organisation has sounded the alarm, classifying the issue as a pandemic. South Africa’s police force is feeling the strain.

Police Minister Bheki Cele has shared the frustrating experience of law enforcement. In some cases, suspects who have evaded capture for months are granted bail with a simple stroke of a pen, further complicating the authorities’ task. This infuriating cycle places an undue burden on the police, forcing them to retrace their steps in the pursuit of suspects who have been prematurely released back into society.

Bianca van Aswegen, National Co-coordinator of Missing Child SA, has highlighted the hurdles presented by the legal system in protecting children from kidnappings. The current legal framework, in some instances, seems inadequate to shield children from this horrific fate.

These feet were made for talking

In this context, NEC XON is offering CertaScan technology to identify infants in hospitals. According to Grahame Saunders, Head of Identity Management at NEC XON, the solution harnesses modern scanning technology and a patented system to scan newborns’ feet. “Footprints are a unique and recognised way to identify each child. Moreover, these footprints can serve as a lifeline for forensic identification throughout a child’s life,” says Saunders.

The feet of over one million babies have been digitally scanned by CertaScan equipment in US hospitals for precise identification. CertaScan ensures that babies are not misidentified (i.e., switched) by the hospital, mitigating legal and reputational risks. Babies can easily be misidentified during hospital evacuations due to emergencies, for example. There have been three notable hospital evacuations in South Africa in the last 2-3 years:

• In 2021, a fire caused Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg to evacuate patients.

• In 2022, smoke caused Panorama Hospital in Cape Town to evacuate patients.

• In 2023, overcrowding and blackouts caused Dora Nginza Hospital in Nelson Mandela Bay to evacuate patients – explicitly mothers and babies.

Drawing from years of experience in maternity settings and in collaboration with the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), CertaScan has developed an innovative identification system. The system is simple to implement and use within a hospital setting, ensuring a seamless integration into existing procedures. The Infant Safety System offered by CertaScan, not only digitally captures and stores newborn footprints, but also allows for the inclusion of security photos and the mother’s index fingerprint.

The CertaScan system comprises advanced scanning equipment, patented software, and comprehensive services, including installation, training, and maintenance. The solution features an affordable fee per scan, making it accessible to hospitals and parents alike. CertaScan’s Infant Safety System proves invaluable in critical situations, including abduction, switched babies, natural disasters, and abandonments.

With CertaScan, hospitals can harness the power of a newborn’s footprints for effective infant identification. The technology even facilitates the integration of these footprints into electronic medical records (EMRs), streamlining record-keeping and ensuring accuracy. “This innovative system has garnered praise from hospital administrators, nurses, parents, and law enforcement agencies, and NEC XON is delighted to make it available to the African market,” Saunders concludes.


Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Powering business resilience and field operations
Infrastructure Products & Solutions
[Sponsored] The Anker 757 Portable Power Station emerges as a strategic asset for businesses looking to overcome power instability and the demand for operational efficiency in remote and field-based environments.

Digital transformation in mines
NEC XON Technews Publishing Mining (Industry)
Digital transformation has been hyped to death, but is a reality all companies in all industries need to address, including the mining sector. BCX and NEC XON weigh in on the challenges mines face.

Eight MP dome for harsh environments
Axis Communications SA Surveillance Products & Solutions
Axis Communications announced a marine-grade stainless steel camera that offers performance in harsh environments. Enclosed in an electropolished stainless steel casing, it can withstand the corrosive effects of seawater and cleaning chemicals.

Defending against SIM swap fraud
Access Control & Identity Management
Mobile networks must not be complacent about SIM swap fraud, and they need to prioritise the protection of customers, according to Gur Geva, Founder and CEO of iiDENTIFii.

Access Selection Guide 2024
Access Control & Identity Management
The Access Selection Guide 2024 includes a range of devices geared specifically for the access control and identity management market.

Biometrics Selection Guide 2024
Access Control & Identity Management
The Biometrics Selection Guide 2024 incorporates a number of hardware and software biometric identification systems aimed at the access and identity management market of today.

Save energy with Paxton’s Net2 Access Control
Paxton Power Management Products & Solutions
Paxton offers access control systems that can help save building energy by utilising smart features. This not only has a positive environmental impact but, importantly, helps save businesses money.

Smart intercoms for Sky House Projects
Nology Access Control & Identity Management Residential Estate (Industry)
DNAKE’s easy and smart intercom solution has everything in place for modern residential buildings. Hence, the developer selected DNAKE video intercoms to round out upmarket apartment complexes, supported by the mobile app.

Authentic identity
HID Global Access Control & Identity Management
As the world has become global and digital, traditional means for confirming authentic identity, and understanding what is real and what is fake have become impractical.

Research labs secured with STid Mobile ID
Access Control & Identity Management
When NTT opened its research centre in Silicon Valley, it was looking for a high-security expert capable of protecting the company’s sensitive data. STid readers and mobile ID solutions formed part of the solution.