CAMBRIDGE CATALYST Issue 05

SOCIAL VENTURES

WORDS MATTHEW GOODING

Simprints is a small technology company making a big impact on the fight against poverty. Christine Kim tells us how it is using biometrics to improve healthcare

isit the Simprints office on the right day and you’ll find the team of one of Cambridge’s

about, as well as thinking about how we can innovate as a company.” When not building planes, the Simprints team spend their time building biometric systems to help tackle poverty in developing countries. “Our mission is to transform the way we fight global poverty,” Christine says. “The global development sector is going through huge change – it has been throwing billions of dollars into programmes that aren’t reaching the last mile; the people who actually need these services. “The problem is we don't have the data we need. Without it, we’re trying to fight poverty with blind spending. These programmes need to be able to verify their impact to show that they’re meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals or whatever other goals they have, and you can’t say you've reached a goal without data.” Simprints’ first device was Vero, which scans a patient’s fingerprint then connects to a mobile device via Bluetooth to bring up their medical record. Since its release in 2016, the Simprints team has been applying biometrics to other areas. It partners with health authorities and NGOs around the world, and is currently working in countries such as Ethiopia, where it is part of a consortium looking at different strategies to eradicate parasitic worms. Simprints technology is being used to identify

hottest social start-ups buried under a mountain of Lego bricks. “We have Lego days that happen every three months or so,” explains Christine Kim, the firm’s head of strategic partnerships. “For 48 hours, we don’t open emails or focus on anything work related.” Instead of their usual tasks, the team spend the time trying to come up with creative ideas around topics like how they can be more environmentally friendly and lower their footprint. “Last time, some of the guys really wanted to make a working plane, so they were building all these little planes and trying to make them fly,” she recalls. “It’s a chance to be creative and work on side projects that we’re passionate

IMAGES Simprints created a device called Vero, which uses a patient’s fingerprint to access their medical records

ISSUE 05 26

cambridgecatalyst.co.uk

cambridgecatalyst.co.uk

Powered by