Canadian Manufacturing

Blockchain-enabled digital health credentials to help businesses reopen safely

Digital health credentials with high levels of self-sovereignty over personal data, interoperability, and adherence to standards are an invaluable tool in sustainable reopening, finds Frost & Sullivan

April 30, 2021  by CM Staff

Businesses are slowly beginning to reopen amid COVID-19. PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — As organizations prepare to welcome employees, customers and visitors back to travel, concerts, sporting events, government buildings and workplaces they must strategize to not just reopen safely but return to capacity utilization that will provide an economic boost. Digital health credentials are expected to be pivotal in sustaining reopening and building trust with individuals.

Digital credentials allow organizations operating in any environment to verify an individual’s health status against established entry criteria while maintaining privacy. Blockchain technology is emerging as an ideal framework on which to build digital credentials, as it supports interoperability, flexibility, protection of privacy and security, and provides individual control of personal health information. This also de-risks the solution for organizations and governments and establishes a trusted foundation for the creation of a platform for ongoing consumer engagement.

Frost & Sullivan’s latest visual white paper, Digital Health Passports for COVID-19 and Beyond: How digital credentials are helping us safely and effectively reopen today and why they’re here to stay, analyzes the role played by health credentials in supporting a safe return to normal operations for organizations and governments. It discusses interoperability, privacy and standards in designing these credentials, and the corresponding value that blockchain can bring to solving the security and access challenges facing markets.

“Digital health credentials are both a short-term solution and a long-term strategy to managing individual data within privacy limits to support ongoing engagement with consumers. No one vendor solution will dominate this market, so building in interoperability is a requirement to make these solutions user-friendly,” observed Greg Caressi, Healthcare & Life Sciences Global Client Leader at Frost & Sullivan in a statement. “Digital credentials built on blockchain technology can help individuals gain true access and control of their personal health information. With blockchain, individuals are in control of their information, determining what they share, with whom and for what purpose.”

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Blockchain technology is relied on today in multiple industries, with systems used in many critical applications at scale in shipping, supply chain management, food safety, financial services, etc. Building digital health credentials on blockchain technology will extend the life of the platform in the modern digital ecosystem to:

  • Maximize interoperability.
  • Maintain privacy.
  • Meet unified standards and regulatory requirements.
  • Establish trust in verified data with a tamper-proof audit trail.
  • Meet consumer expectations for individual control over personal health information, determining what they share, with whom and for what purpose.
  • Easily embed the solution into a company’s existing branded, consumer-facing apps.