The State of New York announced a pilot blockchain health certificate app developed in partnership with IBM that will show proof of Covid-19 vaccination or negative test results. As governments around the word seek to re-open the economy, blockchain-based health passports are being trialed, favoured for their security.
Governor M Cuomo announced this pilot program, titled the Excelsior Pass, will use blockchain technology to verify a Covid-19 result. The Excelsior Pass was tested at a Brooklyn Nets basketball game at the Barclays Centre, and most recently trialed at Madison Square Garden for an Ice hockey match.
With many airlines and governments considering health passes, there have been legitimate concerns raised regarding data privacy. As the result of this, many companies have turned to blockchain-based applications, which are able to ensure the privacy of the user through the secure blockchain technology.
Similar in format to a mobile boarding pass, the Excelsior Pass, uses a confidential data transfer to confirm health status and can be easily used on an individual’s smartphone. Each pass will have a unique QR code which only confirms the validity of the individual’s health status. This pass is completely optional, and user data is kept completely private.
Steve LaFleche, General Manager, IBM Public and Federal Market, commented on the pilot scheme:
“This solution can provide New York, and other states, a simple, secure, and voluntary method for showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or certification of vaccination. IBM is proud to support the State of New York with its efforts to apply innovative technologies to help residents and communities respond to COVID-19.”
Emirates, Singapore Airlines, and British Airways, are a handful of airlines that are trialing blockchain-based health passports, as a way to prepare for airline travel once it is no longer restricted.
There is increased interest in digitizing healthcare systems, due in part to recent industry adoption of the blockchain, but hastened by the global pandemic. Governments and private companies around the world are turning to blockchain technologies that will allow them to stimulate their economies, safeguarding the user’s health, but also the user’s privacy.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.