The multinational conglomerate General Electric (GE), based in the US, together with Albany International Airport in New York have rolled out the launch of the first Blockchain-powered platform targeting airports in an effort to reassure passengers it is safe to fly again. The Wellness Trace App, which is run on Microsoft’s Azure enterprise Blockchain, tracks the cleaning of public areas as well as passenger and employee screening. The app enables staff to confirm when areas have been cleaned by using 45 QR barcode stickers placed around the airport and is designed to rate in almost real time the cleanliness of cloakrooms, restaurants, hotels and other facilities. Travellers can also use the QR codes to rate their opinion of the cleanliness of different places, thus providing instant feedback to both cleaners and safety and maintenance staff at the airport.
SGInnovte, has created a Digital Health Passport which is a Blockchain-based solution to help reduce the impact of COVID-19. It is being paid for by the Singapore government, in partnership with a local start-up, Accredify. The objective is to be able to store and share by using a QR code (on a permissioned basis) those individual COVID-19 medical records such as treatments, vaccinations, date, location and results of swab tests. This digital solution removes the reliance on analogue, paper-based procedures which can be more easily forged or lost and harder to share, especially globally. Digital Health Passport offers greater transparency, security and privacy since no personal health information is disclosed, enabling users to also select the information they wish to be shared as well as to set expiry timings.
The use of Blockchain technology to store and track COVID-19 test results has been used in The Mediterranean Hospital in Cyprus for several months using the E-H Cert App. It has been reported from The Mediterranean Hospital that, “This innovative new EHR system will provide the hospitals a fast and simple method of on-chaining the patients COVID-19 related testing and treatment records, giving a final result of the health status of the individual without showing exactly the treatment records. Allowing government authorities, employers and other concerning parties to access said health information at the discretion of the individual but controlling privacy exposure. So that the individual can go about life as usual”.
Using technology such as Blockchain has helped in the battle against COVID-19 as the world economy looks for a new way to be able for citizens to be able to return to a degree of normality. As Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve in the US proclaimed recently at a conference, “The economy as we knew might well be over”. There has understandably been concern over safeguarding people’s personal data, but there will certainly need to be a safeguarded way in which to record and share information as to whom has/has not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 if we are to believe that vaccination is the best way for this pandemic to be quashed.