An Erie hospital has launched technology to improve the safety of newborns.

UPMC Hamot introduced new digital footprint technology at its Magee-Womens Hospital Tuesday morning.

The new system takes and keeps high-resolution, digital scans of newborn footprints.

Since footprints are unique to each person, they can be used to identify people throughout their lifetime.

The scans are entered into the baby's medical record and stored in a secure database of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Hospital officials said this database could be used in the event of a natural disaster or if a child is lost or abducted.

The digital scans are much clearer than traditional, ink-on-paper footprints, usually taken when an infant is born.