Numerous big tech companies are coming together for a new initiative to help businesses, schools and establishments, all safely resume operations and get back to normalcy, via digital COVID-19 ‘passports’.
A coalition including Microsoft, Salesforce, Apple, Cigna, Google, Oracle, Mayo Clinic, among others, is working toward facilitating safety and ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to return to their everyday lives with a digital vaccine passport, which can be stored on smartphones. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has established a global standards group for digital vaccination certificates best practices. The records will serve people in everything from traveling, whether stateside or abroad, because these will be universally accepted, as well as going to concerts, restaurants and events.
The news comes on the heels of a massive, countrywide rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, which has seen nearly 32 million doses distributed to numerous hospitals, standalone healthcare facilities and pharmacies. While it is still early in the process, tech is already ramping up plans to help the general population return to their normal lives and allow for people all over the world to travel once again.
Hospitals, pharmacies and clinics that are currently administering the vaccines can only benefit from the open-source digital immunization record and eventually standardized model for proving one has been properly vaccinated. Currently, immunization records are being tracked by writing on a paper card.
The downfall of this is that, even in 2021, some people do not have access or do not choose to use smartphones. This takes the convenience of having a digital record out of their hands, but the caveat is that they still will have a paper card on them. However, there is a plan to accommodate them in distributing cards with a unique QR code or ones that can easily store in a wallet or purse.
In developing this new way of tracking immunization, it also helps improve the process for healthcare professionals as the information is more easily transported and can seemingly be better certified, secure and verifiable. This can possibly be successfully executed per a unique and encrypted digital copy of one’s vaccination record. The only way this works is if everyone is one the same page and the information is universally stored and classified, regardless of where you go for your shot.
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