2024 Winner: Simprints

Simprints’ mission is to transform the way the world fights poverty. They build technology to radically increase transparency and effectiveness in global development, making sure every vaccine, every dollar, and every public good reaches the people who need them most. Simprints empowers organizations and governments with open-source biometric identification tools to reach more beneficiaries, create greater impact and overcome data challenges. They build portable and robust identification tools designed for severe conditions, seamlessly integrating with mobile apps, data clouds, and existing platforms to help frontline workers focus on delivering essential services in low-resource settings.

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Primary Area of Impact: Healthcare & Poverty Alleviation

Geographic Area (Continent): Africa, Asia, Oceania

Geographic Areas (Countries): Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kiribati, Malawi, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Organizational Type: Non-Profit

Year Founded: 2013

Mission: To transform the way the world fights poverty by building technology to radically increase transparency and effectiveness in global development, making sure every vaccine, every dollar, and every public good reaches the people who need them most.

Social Challenge

Billions of dollars of health and humanitarian aid are not reaching the intended recipients. Within global health alone, a report by Transparency International estimated that $500 billion per year is being lost to corruption, and corruption in the health sector kills an estimated 140,000 children per year. At the heart of this problem is the lack of reliable identification (ID) for 850 million people worldwide, whose access to healthcare, financial services, and many other public benefits are restricted. This lack of reliable ID is a serious bottleneck to delivering global health, humanitarian aid, and development interventions. Reasons for lack of ID vary, ranging from accessibility to affordability to eligibility, and these barriers are often compounded for people living in extreme poverty, people with disabilities, women and girls, and displaced people.


Simprints pioneered the world’s first biometric digital ID designed exclusively for—and by—frontline health workers in ‘last mile’ settings. By using a biometric like a fingerprint or face, frontline workers can quickly and accurately link patients to a consistent record and verify that life-saving healthcare and other essential commodities have been delivered, leading to better continuity of care. Simprints is a global leader in empowering communities with tools to reach more beneficiaries, create a more significant impact, and tackle data challenges. Their distinctive end-to-end model and programming combined with strategic collaborations with governments and other entities build local capacity and ensure the success and efficiency of deployments at scale. Additionally, Simprints is leading the charge to define biometrics industry standards around data privacy, security, and ethics in collaboration with human rights lawyers and the International Red Cross.


Simprints’ impact is not only substantial, but also sustained and they have been a genuine value-add to the advancement of global health. As of 2022, there were 2.1 million cumulative beneficiaries biometrically verified through Simprints. Their digital ID tools enable health workers to pull up patient records 10 times faster while reducing fraud and errors by up to 40%. In a longitudinal study of an antenatal program in Bangladesh, 37.4% of women in the Simprints cohort achieved the World Health Organization recommended 8 antenatal care (ANC) visits, compared to 13.1% in the control group, an improvement of 185%. Research shows that a minimum of 8 ANC visits can reduce perinatal deaths by 43%-68% compared to a minimum of 4 ANC visits. In another project in Malawi, the introduction of Simprints led to a 56% improvement in accurately linking women to HIV care.


Simprints is uniquely sustainable, being the first open-source, safe and ethical biometric digital ID technology designed to seamlessly integrate with existing tools and systems, preventing system fragmentation. It boasts interoperability with various systems, ensuring users are not permanently locked into a single type of system. Their innovative technology addresses a crucial gap in the market by being specifically tailored for high-needs low-resource settings and operates offline on lower-end smartphones, featuring inclusive algorithms designed for rural populations in Africa and South Asia. Notably, it incorporates iterative, contextualized, and informed consent for each data collection step, ensuring ethical biometrics and community buy-in. Their strategic move toward open-source platform is a significant leap in innovation, fostering greater collaboration and sets Simprints apart from others who often use proprietary technology or focus on specific aspects of biometrics.


Simprints focuses on knowledge transfer as a core part of their work, specifically around how to use technologies like biometrics safely, ethically, and responsibly. They have produced white papers and handbooks on how to deploy biometrics responsibly. They open-sourced their technology to enhance adoption and scalability by governments and other stakeholders. Simprints’ planned path to scale is through integrations with digital health platforms already being used in national programs by governments and large NGOs. For example, DHIS2 and CommCare (two of the most widely-used platforms) cover 85 countries and nearly half of the world’s population between them. Simprints has received Letters of Support from both platforms to open-source the Simprints technology. Assuming a conservative total uptake of one out of every 50 people enrolled in just these two platforms, this strategy would enable Simprints to reach a cumulative total of over 70 million people or 10 times more than a closed-source stack.


  • Selected to join Innovations in Healthcare Innovator Network, 2021
  • Alexandra Grigore (Simprints Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer), Winner of Elevate Prize, 2020
  • Winner of MIT Solve Health Security and Pandemics’ Challenge for “Biometrics for Vaccines Delivery,” 2020
  • Winner of Design for Social Impact Award, Core 77 Design Awards, 2017
  • Toby Norman (Simprints Co-Founder and CEO), Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awardee, 2017

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