vaccine passport app

A vaccine passport app becoming the new norm post COVID?

Are you ready to move forward to the ‘new normal’?

With COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out universally, global economies are racing to return lives to normal. Though, at the current pace, it will take us years to fully immunize the human population against the COVID-19 virus. A sense of normalcy has started to seep into our lives – schools have resumed, global travel is operational, people are commuting to their offices, while small gatherings have become common.

However, a majority of airlines, governments, businesses, and schools are still considering how, and what will it take, to safely resume in-person operations. Due to the long-term reality of living within a pandemic, both public and private sectors are speeding ahead to create a source of recordkeeping for verifying an individual’s COVID-19 immunity.

What Is A Vaccine Passport App?

A vaccine passport is essentially a vaccine verification app that will carry your health information -primarily your coronavirus vaccination status. Most likely to become a prerequisite soon, a vaccine passport will be used for traveling internationally, participating in marathons, attending concerts, or for even visiting a movie theatre.

A solution of this nature allows people access to a secure, digital record of their COVID-19 vaccine – that can be stored on their smartphone. The entertainment and travel sectors, which have struggled to operate profitably while imposing social distancing regulations, are particularly interested in a method that can swiftly check who is or isn’t immunized. To add to this, according to a new survey conducted in the United States, roughly 76% of travelers aged between 45 and 54 years claimed to support vaccination passports. Meanwhile, approximately 41% of respondents aged 16 to 24 supported them.

Leveraging Blockchain Technology for A Vaccine Passport App

In an effort for reviving travel and for keeping infection risks under control, tech companies are now harnessing blockchain technology as a solution against counterfeit vaccine certificates. A distributed ledger technology, blockchain allows no personal data to be stored or shared publicly, instead just cryptographic proof that a person has been vaccinated is stored within the virtual ledger.

The overall idea is that you will be able to carry a QR code on your phone, most likely within a digital app, that can be scanned by venues or airlines, giving you the authentication to enter. The code should only contain pertinent information — in most scenarios, just a confirmation that you have been vaccinated with an approved vaccine within the appropriate time frame.

With global economies moving forward to the new normal, South Korea has now developed a vaccine passport ‘Green Pass’ – an app that will enable those who have been vaccinated to return to their pre-pandemic lifestyle. Not just South Korea, but countries, such as Israel, China & the European Union have also implemented or have begun to build their digital vaccine passport for enabling global travel.

How Important Is A Vaccine Passport App for Airlines?

After coming to a standstill during the pandemic, travel is likely to make a major comeback in 2021, once the COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely distributed. The International Air Transport Association, an airline trade association that represents 290 airlines globally, is currently in the final stages of creating a digital COVID-19 vaccine passport for travelers. Labeled as the IATA Travel Pass, the digital health document will offer travelers a method to get a certification of things like their vaccination status and COVID-19 test results from medical facilities. This critical information can then be shared with border authorities or airlines.

Given that health is a top priority, digital vaccine passports are likely to become a requirement for travel, both domestic and international. A variety of factors make digital vaccine passports essential for air travel – these factors include passengers breathing in circulated air, the proximity of passengers, etc.

A Recently Launched Digital Vaccine Passport – New York’s Excelsior Pass

The state of New York has developed a health passport app to restore normal life, enabling people to upload vaccine cards or negative test results to access venues and events. Developed by IBM, New York’s ‘Excelsior Pass’ is a simple digital app that can be accessed on mobile devices. This vaccine passport app holds a handful of items: your birth date, your name, a QR code, a green checkmark, and when the time passport expires. A measure for reducing risk in social gatherings, such an app can prove to be instrumental in containing the spread of the virus.

The Existing Vaccine Passports – IBM Clear, Common Pass, & Green Pass

A channel for paving the pathway to more mainstream options, IBM’s Digital Health Pass is designed to provide organizations with a sensible way to bring people back to a physical location, such as an airline flight, school, stadium, or workplace. Built on IBM’s blockchain technology, the health passport app is created to enable organizations to verify health credentials for visitors, customers, and employees.

Similarly, the ‘Common Pass’ health app enables users to document and share their vaccination history and COVID-19 testing status. The app verifies that an individual’s vaccination records or lab test results come from a trusted source. This digital vaccine passport is a collaboration between the Commons Project Foundation, a nonprofit public trust, and The World Economic Forum, an international organization for public-private cooperation.

The Data Conflict – How Do These Apps Handle Sensitive Information?

In the past, tech companies have not always been the most responsible with user information, which is why developers have to work hard to overcome an established trust void. Ultimately, user trust is critical for ensuring a digital vaccine passport’s use and success. This is why companies must be transparent about their privacy policies so that users can make an informed decision.

Digital Vaccine Passport – A Reason for Widening the Digital Divide?

At each stage, the pandemic has exposed inequities and disparities in our society, and vaccine passports may, unfortunately, perpetuate these problems. The opening up of economies after months of restrictions is well-received. However, there are concerns that benefits will be not distributed equally – leading certain groups to be disadvantaged.

Establishing a two-tier society, a vaccine passport may only allow some people to access employment, leisure opportunities, while others might continue to bear the brunt of global inequities. This form of a digital vaccine passport could further discriminate between people if apps exclude individuals who don’t own a smartphone. That said, faster, wider vaccination campaigns across social groups can ensure a whole community gains immunity – speeding up return to normal life.

Do You Want to Build A Digital Vaccine Passport App?

To return to pre-pandemic levels of travel, individuals need a verifiable method to document their health information as they begin to travel globally. With lockdowns ending, a health passport app has now become a need of the hour. An on-demand mobile app development agency, Mobinspire can build custom on-demand apps that are aligned with your requirements. Based in California, we have been developing, testing, deploying, and maintaining mobile applications for over a decade now.

We are known for overcoming technical challenges, spearheading innovative initiatives, and eliminating organizational inefficiencies. Harnessing a comprehensive methodology, we hope to bridge the gap between our clients and their goals. Known for our experience, expertise, and technical proficiency, our team is well-versed with building apps. So, if you wish to build a digital vaccine passport, get in touch with us.

Blockchain technology in healthcare

Application of Blockchain Technology in Healthcare

The vulnerabilities of traditional database systems resulted in a decade of unending data breaches and the consequent financial losses. Fortunately, blockchain has emerged as a successful technology in ensuring data security. With an impressive CAGR of 64%, blockchain technology in healthcare is to set to reach $5.6 billion of market value by 2025.

What is blockchain technology?

Initially emerged as an alternative for traditional online payment methods, blockchain brings excessive transparency and security in data storage. This technology provides a way to store data in a dynamic collection of blocks. Each new block connects to the previous one making an unending chain.

Each stakeholder with access to the chain can view the information stored in blocks. However, information is immutable. In essence, the data in blocks is represented by hashes which disallow modifications. Thus, unlike traditional databases in hospitals, banks, and other institutions, there is no centralized authority in the blockchain.

Although blockchain can also be public, as in the case of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, yet healthcare requires private blockchain. In this approach, the blocks are accessible to only a limited number of people and groups associated with the department. Every node in the chain takes part in decision making. Thus, a modification in any block will require approval from all nodes.

Another factor making blockchain crucial for healthcare is its high degree of fault tolerance. Since this information storage scheme follows distributed rather than a centralized approach, the information will be accessible even if multiple nodes are down or unavailable.

Some businesses are also trying to utilize blockchain as an analytics platform and to address large storage issues. However, the technology proved its mettle the most in ensuring data security since its advent in 2009.

Use of Blockchain Technology in Healthcare

Blockchain is a horizontal innovation technology which implies that it is applicable in many disparate industries. Logistics and delivery industry and banking sector are a couple of examples. However, healthcare is one of the top beneficiaries of this technology.

Prevention of Drug Counterfeiting

Counterfeiting is at the core of issues regarding healthcare in general and pharmaceutical industry in particular. This illegal market is generating revenue of over $200 billion a year. Fake drugs are not only causing a massive financial loss to registered drug manufacturers.

It is also wreaking havoc with the public’s health. WHO confirms that 15-20% of fake drugs lack either correct constituents or appropriate percentage of ingredients.

The application of blockchain is significant in drug traceability because it eliminates every possibility of data tampering. The technology allows drug manufacturers to generate an immutable hash.

This unique hash ID enables retailers, and hence patients, to distinguish the original product from counterfeited ones. Thus, a blockchain dedicated to drug manufacturers can serve as a certificate of legitimation for pharmaceutical companies.

Patient Data: Management and Processing

The arrival of electronic patient record (EPR) two decades back apparently brought great relief to healthcare departments. However, hackers soon started to exploit the vulnerabilities in these centralized systems.

The ransomware attacks of May 2017 fueled the need for blockchain technology in the healthcare industry. This intrusion managed to encrypt and modify millions of records in over 150 countries.

Consequently, the national health services (NHS) of the UK alone suffered approximately £92 million. With such humongous losses, the governments are ensuring to make quick and flexible blockchain regulations.

Blockchain technology in healthcare enables practitioners to store data in blocks and associated a hash ID with it. This ID allows easy retrieval of data and makes the block tamperproof.

One of the most attractive features of block technology in healthcare is the transparency of records. Patients decide about who should view personal information. Moreover, the authorized individuals cannot share the data with anyone sans permission from the patient.

Permissions for Clinical Trials

Research and practical implementations are part and parcel of healthcare. All of the medical breakthroughs would have been impossible if experiments of drugs on humans were disallowed. The return on investment of manufacturing companies depends on the outcome of experimentation. Thus, many companies tilt the outcome in their favor by manipulating with records.

Blockchain prevents such manipulations. It uses smart contracts to sanction the permission for acquiring patient’s record or using a patient for experimentation. Since blockchain is a network of participating computers, one cannot change any dataset without the consent of majority of nodes in the network. This network also includes patient and healthcare regulators.

Studies indicate that the percentage of unreported clinical trials in Europe was as high as 90%. Blockchain limits the access to retrieval and modification of data. Only the authorized personnel can access while others can request for gaining permission.

Simplifying Telemedicine

Patients demonstrate trust deficit while dealing with the traditional healthcare system. They often complain of getting surcharged and lengthy procedure to meet prerequisites.

Blockchain addresses this challenge by providing the ability to generate smart contracts. This term often misleads because such a contract is not a digital document. Instead, it defines a code which suggests the terms of interaction and data use between various stakeholders.

Explore Blockchain Solutions by Mob inspire

The enforcement of smart contracts depends on the consensus of majority of stakeholders. Therefore, a contract comes into practice as soon as more than 50% of authorized users of blockchain agree and terms.

Blockchain healthcare startups including Zenome and HIT Foundation provide smart contracts to legitimize the process of research using patient’s history.

Blockchain for Your Business

Benefits of blockchain technology in healthcare are evident from both business value and facilitation of patients. The factors of transparency and excessive data security make it inevitable for health industry.

This is why governments are actively participating in developing a regulatory framework. The regulations for blockchain are far less rigid so that more entrepreneurs can be encouraged to invest in this sector.

Mob Inspire is assisting companies for over a decade in streamlining their businesses. We carry the privilege of successfully growing multiple startups and pulling struggling enterprises out of crises. Contact us today so that we can discuss the opportunities of growing together.