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Delivering lifesaving information at your fingertips.


  • Client
  • Industry
    Non-Profit, Healthcare
  • Services
    Customer Research, UX Design, Prototyping, Organizational Development
  • Client

    Non-Profit, Healthcare
  • Services
    Customer Research, UX Design, Prototyping, Organizational Development

More than 2 billion people in the developing world lack the formal I.D. necessary to access essential services like basic healthcare.

Simprints is a nonprofit technology company set on changing this. They developed a simple but brilliant technology—a portable biometric scanner that empowers community healthcare workers to digitally link a person’s fingerprints to their medical records—helping the most disadvantaged people in the world’s harshest settings get the care they need.

But technology is only as powerful as the human experience that surrounds it. So Simprints asked Smart Design to design a seamless experience that ensures every medical interaction is a meaningful one. Pilots of the award-winning initiative are underway, having reached over 50,000 people in 2016, with plans to reach 2.5 million in 2017. Armed with new methodologies, Simprints holds the potential to solve numerous global health challenges and help save lives.

Finalist, Fast Company Innovation Award

Simprints was honored as a Finalist in the Social Good category at the 2017 Fast Company Innovation Awards

Winner, Core77 Design for Social Impact Award

Simprints was honored as a Winner in the Design for Social Impact category at the 2017 Core77 Design Awards

Simprints uses a portable biometric scanner to digitally link a person’s fingerprints to their medical records.

What’s universal for “This fingerprint scanner could save your life?”

To design the ideal experience around an I.D. scanner and mobile app, Smart identified a variety of “hero moments” in the patient journey and created a storyboard to illustrate both the needs of both the patient and healthcare worker—from the time the healthcare worker first creates a record for a patient to the successful subsequent identification of that person. The team also had to consider cultural differences and various levels of tech literacy to identify how to best communicate the technology in underserved communities.

It takes a village

Identifying patients becomes especially vital with vaccination campaigns or complex regiments for HIV and malaria. Western methods of identification such as name or birth date don’t always apply in small villages where several people may share the same name or don’t know their exact date of birth. Smart collaborated with experts and other agencies to ensure we were delivering the best experience possible within a technically complex solution. We also leveraged Simprint’s extensive knowledge of their patient population to streamline the process and guarantee that health records could be retrieved easily.

The importance of piloting

Our working prototype of the holistic user experience for the I.D. scanner and mobile app considers the needs of both community health care workers and patients. Simprints piloted our proposed solutions in the field across different use cases in Bangladesh and Nepal to validate and further advance the user experience. Smart also trained Simprints on a wide range of new design research tools, protocols and techniques so the company could continue to innovate and ensure their critical trials were a success.

Hands on, minds on

To generate widespread adoption of the initiative, Smart designed and is currently piloting two additional experiences beyond the product delivery itself: A set of tools to help community health worker improve their workflow, as well as a demo kit of the lifesaving technology for project managers and program directors to clearly understand the system.

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The initial piloted experience, rolled out to developing countries worldwide, reached over 50,000 unique individuals in 2016 in healthcare alone, with ambitions of scaling up to reach nearly 2.6 million people in 2017.

Smart has been absolutely fundamental in not only improving our users’ experience, but also in completely changing our mindset as a company.”
Alexandra Grigore
Simprints Founder

Stopping at never

The sky’s the limit for this award-winning initiative, as Simprints can now lean on the power of design to extend their reach beyond healthcare to tackle other social issues such as microfinance, loan identification and even agriculture with biometric technology.

In August 2017, Simprints was also awarded a $2 million innovation prize to scale up their solution, towards preventing maternal and child health and child deaths in the hardest-to-reach regions of the world. Read on to find out more about their funding boost from Saving Lives at Birth.


Let’s design a smarter world