A rugged device that uses fingerprint technology to register newborns at the time of birth – or at the appropriate cultural moment such as naming ceremonies.

What is it?

Know-Mi is a rugged device that uses fingerprint technology to register newborns at the time of birth – or at the appropriate cultural moment such as naming ceremonies. Birth registration data then lives in the cloud (ie. existing server infrastructure such as telecom server storage) where the data can then be leveraged for social/community benefit in healthcare and education in both a pre-emptive and responsive way. Furthermore, data collected at birth can not only create centralised, virtual birth records but also centralised, virtual health and education records that support targeted implementation of social programs and services. In this way, data collected at birth can have a direct, measurable impact on life of the child, potentially from cradle to grave.

[Considerations and Caveats: We note that there is an inherent tension in the brief regarding the beneficiary focus of the design challenge and solution. On the one hand, improving birth registry addresses specific needs and benefits from a government/institutional perspective, which are different concerns from those of the individual beneficiary at the community level. Balancing the needs of each group will require careful consideration and research throughout the design, testing and development process of such a solution.]

How is it used?

Know-Mi will likely be a handheld device. However, Know-Mi’s design and form-factor may allow for a “wearable” component to make it more accessible or appropriate in the specific context of its use, as determined by social, cultural and other factors. For example, when the Know-Mi device is used at the time of birth, consideration for storage, access and usability may be designed from the point of view of the midwife, as the primary handler of the device. On the other hand, if Know-Mi is used in a ceremonial context, other culturally sensitive customisations of the device may be required. Therefore, Know-Mi may be designed as a stand-alone device, but with several accessory options to serve several potential use cases (e.g. healthcare worker as primary handler vs. appointed community member as primary handler).
[technical use vs. ritualised use].

[Considerations and Caveats: While our examples assume the use of Know-Mi in rural contexts, there is possible need for the use of the device in urban contexts and hospitals where birth registry is not sufficiently systematic or efficient.]

What technologies does it incorporate?

1. Fingerprint Technology
2. Mobile Technologies (e.g. text)
3. Voice Recognition (*subject to dialect/language availability)
4. Wireless Data Transmission
5. Data Compression
6. Data Analytics
7. Live/Video Chat (e.g. during birth, in the case of need for emergency support)
8. Off-Grid Technologies (e.g. solar charger)
9. Photo Capture
[10. Other wearables could be developed and integrated into the delivery of support services and incentives linked to Know-Mi during the pregnancy and post-natal stages. Examples could include: wearable patch to deliver essential nutrients to undernourished mothers.]

How does it work?

**NOTE** Core concept features (short term) are outlined in Usage Scenarios 1 + 2. Expanded concept features (long term) are outlined in Usage Scenarios 3 – 5.

USAGE SCENARIO: STAGE 0 | Pregnancy and Introduction to Know-Mi

This stage is about introducing the Know-Mi system to the mother during pregnancy, probably during a routine healthcare visit. Early engagement with the Know-Mi service will build awareness and trust, such that by the time of birth of the child, the mother is comfortable with the notion of birth registry and understands its immediate and long term benefits.
i) Registration of expectant mothers can be used to engage the mother with Know-Mi early on and also deliver benefits such as: mother health-record registry, pre-natal care education and health literacy (via text messaging), reminders and access to health services (via text messaging or push-notifications).
ii) Early engagement helps to position the mother as a central beneficiary of the Know-Mi service, and to inform and empower her.
iii) Registration data of expectant mothers can also be used to track mother/infant mortality rates.

USAGE SCENARIO: STAGE 1 | Birth Registry Services

For the purpose of illustration, we will assume a scenario where the device is used to register the child by the midwife at the time of birth:
i) At the appropriate time after birth, the midwife activates Know-Mi, which uses voice and/or text prompts in the local language/dialect.
ii) The midwife explains to the mother that Know-Mi will register the child’s birth and explains the benefits of birth registry for the child and family. In this way,
Know-Mi becomes an “issue-based” product that, through its very use, helps to build awareness and stimulate demand for birth registration and the rights that go with it.
iii) The mother is guided through simple prompts to input basic information such as parents’ names, address and mobile contact info, which can be input via voice
recognition or keyboard input if voice recognition is not available for the local dialect. GPS technology can also verify the location of the family. A photograph of the
parents and/or baby could also potentially be captured.
iv) Registration of the birth culminates in finger/handprint capture of the baby and the parents.
v) Know-Mi confirms the registry of the birth and sends a text to the family mobile phone with a confirmation of the registration and a Reference Number. The reference number could be generated using an algorithm to personalise the number using key digits and/or letters relevant to the registrant’s key information to make it memorable).
vi) Know-Mi can also capture maternal and infant mortality and causes at the time of birth.

[Know-Mi software application]

USAGE SCENARIO: STAGE 2 | Child Healthcare Services:

i) Data analytics of birth registry data from Know-Mi can be used to trigger text prompts to educate the new mother at key age milestones of the baby about child healthcare and development needs as they grow, and/or the detection of early warning signs for common illnesses or regional epidemics.
ii) Other prompts can be generated by cross-referencing Know-Mi birth data with healthcare programs. For example, a mother may be prompted via text at the appropriate time to register her child for vaccination or health checks, or may be alerted to mobile clinics and health programs coming to her area.
iii) Birth registry data can also be leveraged for planning and dissemination of healthcare programs to those areas most in need.
iv) Healthcare visits can also provide an opportunity for data capture and birth registration of older (unregistered) children using Know-Mi.

USAGE SCENARIO: STAGE 3 | Child Health Record:

This service concept extends the use of the Know-MI device to the healthcare context and ongoing healthcare management of the child.
i) Healthcare clinics or mobile healthcare workers are equipped with the Know-Mi device. (rural + base of the pyramid communities)
ii) Fingerprint recognition calls up the healthcare record of the child onto the Know-Mi screen.
iii) Any additional medical interventions are added to the child’s health record by the healthcare worker and uploaded to the data cloud.
iv) The child now has a centralized, virtual health record that can be accessed by any healthcare worker equipped with a Know-Mi device.
v) This application can extend throughout the life of the child, through adulthood and up to registration of death.

[Care-for-Mi software application]

USAGE SCENARIO: STAGE 4 | Child Education Services:

i) Data analytics of birth registry data can be used to send prompts via text to the mother at key age milestones to encourage parents to register the child for school.
ii) Prompts may also inform parents about school options in their area and/or about programs which benefit the child and may incentivise enrolment.
(e.g. The Feeding and Heath Program in Osun State, SW Nigeria that improves attendance through the provision of 2 meals a day to students)

USAGE SCENARIO: STAGE 5 | Child Education Record + Educational Development Services :

This service concept extends the use of the Know-MI device to the education environment (rural + base of the pyramid communities).
i) School administrator or teacher(s) is equipped with the Know-Mi device.
ii) Know-Mi fingerprint recognition is used to register school children at the start and end of each school term.
iii) School registration data is uploaded to the cloud to create centralised, virtual school records.
iv) School registration data can be used to identify and trigger resonse to the specific needs of schools and individual students. For example:
– schools in need of additional resources (teachers, materials) according to demographic outlook per community to trigger provision
– youth at risk for social or economic exclusion because of poor/non attendance and trigger
– youth eligible for vocational, educational or skills development programs

[Teach-Mi software application]

Who uses it?

i) Know-Mi handler: midwife; healthcare worker; doctor; or appointed community member (will vary according to local social and cultural circumstances)
ii) Know-Mi interaction: mother or father of child, with support of Know-Mi handler

i) Know-Mi handler: healthcare workers in local hospitals, mobile clinics or other health/NGO workers
ii) Know-Mi interaction: patient (for finger-print recognition); healthcare worker for download and upload of healthcare records

i) Know-Mi handler: school administrator, head teacher, or teacher(s)
ii) Know-Mi interaction: student (for finger-print recognition); handler (as above)

Why does it help?

1. Provides a method for trusted, verifiable and reliable demographic capture with no administrative burden.
2. Adapts to local cultural contexts.
3. Centralises demographic data in real time.
4. Creates a ready (data) resource that can be leveraged to inform or activate other health and education programs.
5. Integrates and applies data from several resources (ex. health and education ministries, NGOs)
6. Has the potential to create a cradle-to-grave system that requires use of a single device and a centralised data cloud.


Team's Location


Team's Occupation


Team Members

Ayodeji Alaka, Leeor Levy

Focus Area(s)

Data Collection/Data Insight

UNICEF Pillar(s)

Health, Education, Child Protection

These pages have been pulled directly from applications submitted to the Wearables for Good Challenge in 2015. They represent the work of the individual teams and have subsequently not been edited.


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