Denver Medical Examiners Put Families’ Minds at Ease Using New Mobile ID Technology
Coroners and Medical Examiners now have a cleaner and faster way to identify unknown decedents at the scene. The new solution is FingerSCAN DecedentID – an Android application that runs on commercial-of-the-shelf (COTS) Android devices and works with the Integrated Biometrics Watson Mini fingerprint scanner.
WoVo Identity Solutions, the developer of FingerSCAN DecedentID, introduced the new solution at the Colorado Coroners Association Annual Conference earlier this month. Prior to this conference, the coroners at the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner had the opportunity to privately test drive FingerSCAN DecedentID as an early adopter of the new technology. Coroner Harris Neil of the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner had this to say:
“The FingerSCAN DecedentID application has enabled us to identify decedents within hours of the death, rather than the following day, as was the case with inked prints. As the application has been moved to its current version, it’s actually possible for me to email a print card to the fingerprint technicians electronically from the scene and get an identity confirmation the same day. An example of how this has helped was a recent case where a young man committed suicide by jumping from a bridge into traffic. As is typical with cases like this, the story makes the news identifying the decedent only as a “person”, and therefore many families with missing family members begin calling the office. In the past, all we could do is rule out by gender, and obvious characteristics; and then take information to call back those whose family member it could possibly be. In this recent case, using FingerSCAN DecedentID with the Watson Mini fingerprint scanner, I was able to get prints at the scene and have the decedent identified within one hour. Thus we were able to notify the next-of-kin, and put all other caller’s minds at ease rather quickly.
In addition, FingerSCAN DecedentID auto-generates a form (decedent fingerprint card) suitable for submission to any agency, so comparisons are fast and easy. This has eliminated a number of forms in our office, and several tedious steps. Being able to take full, rolled “nailbed to nailbed” prints is a huge help as well.
I have also had cases where a body is fairly decomposed, but I’ve been able to get usable prints at the scene using the FingerSCAN DecedentID system. I’m quite certain in several of those cases, the process of removal and refrigeration of the body overnight would have caused deterioration of the condition of the fingers to the point that usable prints would have been far more difficult to obtain had we not obtained them at the scene. Another advantage is prints can be obtained electronically without the use of ink, so there’s no mess or need for all the equipment that is required for printing with ink.”
According to Kathleen Erickson, CEO/Owner of WoVo Identity Solutions, “I knew Coroners and Medical Examiners needed a low cost, mobile solution like this and thought it would only improve and expedite their identification process. I had no idea that the benefits would extend beyond this so I’m very pleased and have plans for launching many more mobile apps to benefit various industry groups. A huge thank you goes out to the folks at the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner for being my early adopter and guide to what coroners and medical examiners need in terms of their decedent identification process.”
FingerSCAN DecedentID is an Android application that works with the Integrated Biometrics Watson Mini fingerprint scanner. The Watson Mini fingerprint scanner is FBI IAFIS Approved and Appendix F Certified. The scanner implements patented LES technology that is the only biometric technology that can meet the stringent image performance requirements of the FBI in a “thin” form factor.
FingerSCAN DecedentID currently runs on commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Android devices running OS 4.X and 5.X. JumpKits, Tablet Bundles and Software Licenses can be purchased from WoVo Identity Solutions’ online store or by calling the company direct.