Diagnostic 3D ultrasound of fingers could be used for biometric identification based on matching paired images using internal fingerprint structures that would be difficult to fake, offering the possibility of a unique automated fingerprint identification system, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
For the study, 3D images of the fingers of 20 volunteers were collected. A group of four readers, including two musculoskeletal radiologists, then attempted to match the pairs based on anatomic and physiological features of the human finger. Radiologists matching the image pairs were 100% successful, and the average success of all four readers was 96%.
“The purpose of the study was to evaluate whether the use of internal finger structure as imaged using ultrasound could act as a supplement to standard methods of biometric identification. There is a wide range of applications for an inexpensive ultrasonic fingerprint reader, including widespread use in cell phones,” according to Ganesh Narayanasamy, PhD candidate in Applied Physics and lead author of the study.
In addition to its many possible biometric identification uses, the findings also have a medical application, say the authors. “This could become a method of patient identification and even continuous physiological monitoring. The techniques should become useful for other types of musculoskeletal ultrasound and for monitoring of arthritis treatments,” said Dr Narayanasamy.