Why Newborn Footprints Are Going High Tech

It's the stuff of (scary) movies: babies getting switched at birth. Find out how newborn footprint scans are helping hospitals avoid mixups.
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Mar 2017
Newborn baby's foot with hospital band
Photo: iStock

Baby’s footprint is as much of an identifier as it is a keepsake. And some hospitals are utilizing new technology so that the postbirth footprint process look less like this:

and more like this:

That’s a CertaScan device at Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia, South Carolina. Here’s how it works: the Infant Safety System digitally captures and stores footprints, which can be used to uniquely identify each baby throughout his or her entire life. It also allows hospitals to scan and store mom’s fingerprints, linking her identifying information to her baby’s in the system.

While moms and newborns will still be given hospital ID bracelets, scanning allows for an added measure of security, preventing baby mixups in the hospital.

And that keepsake aspect is still alive and well: Parents will be able to access baby’s footprints on their phones as many times as they’d like.

H/T ABC Columbia

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