Coronavirus: IBM Launching Blockchain ‘Health Pass’ to Support Return to Public Spaces

13 October 2020

An IBM division is launching a blockchain-based health verification system designed to help individuals safely return to shared physical spaces like work, school, flights or stadiums.

  • IBM Watson Health, a data, analytics and technology company working within the health industry, announced Monday its Digital Health Pass would allow organizations to establish their own criteria for COVID-19 health verification.
  • These include test results and temperature scans that can be generated for an individual's pass, and recorded and shared using the IBM Blockchain network.
  • Organizations are seeking solutions to aid the return to public spaces, according to the general manager of IBM Watson Health, Paul Roma, yet they also need to protect users' privacy.
  • The digital pass will use "sophisticated cryptographic techniques" in order to verify individuals' health statuses while ensuring the underlying data does not become public, the company said.
  • Users can manage their information through an encrypted smartphone wallet app, according to the project's website.
  • They can load health results, such as COVID-19 tests, by scanning a QR code into the app, which can then be viewed by parties with access to the user's data.

See also: Privacy Group Slams California Bill That Would Put Health Records on the Blockchain

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