Biometric Fusion in Disaster Response

Biometrics is popular thanks to its multiple applications observed by Bahaa Abdul Hussein. Biometric fusion is an extension of biometrics where multiple biometric traits are used for enhanced security. A very important area where biometric fusion can be helpful is in disaster response. Biometric fusion can play a very important role in identifying victims and ensuring they get proper aid.

Biometric Fusion: Applications in Disaster response

A disaster like an earthquake, flood, or hurricane can have terrible consequences. Apart from loss of property, there is loss of lives. Many thousands of people can be left homeless and suffering from injuries. The authorities would be overwhelmed with so many people needing help. Both government and private aid agencies work round the clock during such times.

A major problem encountered during such times is problems in identifying victims. Many dead bodies are found in far off locations. The condition of the body may be such that it is impossible to physically identify the person or the identification is delayed until the relatives find the body. This creates problems for the family to claim insurance later on.

Those who are alive need to be identified so their family members are reassured. Identifying those who are hospitalized and cannot speak is an issue. A bigger problem is ensuring everyone gets aid. In such trying times, unscrupulous elements will try to embezzle aid. All these problems call for proper and effective identification of people. This is where biometric fusion can help.

How it helps?

In biometric fusion more than one biometric traits of a person is captured in a database. It can be fingerprints along with iris patterns. It can also be facial pattern with iris pattern. When a disaster occurs, the disaster team members can carry portable biometric scanners. Even if a person is unconscious or dead, the scanners can be used to collect their data.

The data would be instantly authenticated to identify the person. This makes the tasks of workers easy and they can notify relatives. Biometric fusion would be extremely valuable at the time of distributing aid. Authentication using multimodal devices ensures that the right person receives aid. It solves the problem of misuse of aid and people being denied their aid because they don’t have their ID cards with them.

When hospitalized patients are identified, doctors can access their health records, and treat them better. Biometric fusion can prove to be a boon when disaster strikes and can make disaster relief more effective.

The article has been written by Bahaa Abdul Hussein and has been published by the editorial board of

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