Press Release: IBM and Accredify join forces to help enable organisations and people to return to work and travel
Integrated IBM Digital Health Pass and Accredify’s Digital Health Passport solution designed to help enable safe travel, help economies return to growth and countries track and register vaccination roll-out
SINGAPORE, 23 February 2021 – IBM (NYSE: IBM) IBM and Accredify, headquartered in Singapore, today announced plans to collaborate to help enable oversea travels and return to work and manage vaccination roll-out with a verifiable and privacy-preserving way. As part of this offering, IBM Digital Health Pass will integrate with Accredify’s Digital Health Passport. IBM and Accredify intend to work together to help governments and organisations make data-driven decisions as they look to minimise risk and communicate effectively.
The solutions from IBM and Accredify are designed to help countries with travel agreements to facilitate safe travel for citizens returning to their home country, business travellers to their destinations and international students travelling back to their universities. As more countries roll-out COVID-19 vaccinations, credible information of the tracking and management becomes critical. The solutions from IBM and Accredify will also help businesses implementing return to work programmes to verify the health status of employees by leveraging verifiable credentials from health providers made via Accredify and IBM’s solutions.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, many organisations relied on simple COVID-19 screenings, such as self-reported health surveys, to support re-entry to workplaces and other public and private institutions,” said Eric Piscini, Global Vice President, Emerging Business Networks, IBM Watson Health. “Now, as testing becomes more prevalent and vaccine distribution accelerates, we are expanding the availability of IBM Digital Health Pass with Accredify so that credentials created on one platform will be recognized by the other to create a seamless experience for individuals as they seek to travel across borders.”
“The safe reopening of travel borders and workplaces is crucial for economic revival, but a major difficulty which countries and employers will encounter is procuring a reliable and efficient solution to ensure travellers and employees are COVID compliant to prevent reinfection,” said Quah Zheng Wei, CEO and Co-founder, Accredify. “After observing the success of Accredify’s Digital Health Passport in Singapore, we knew this was a sustainable solution that would support the recommencement of cross-border travel and workforce re-entry. We look forward to working together with IBM to replicate Accredify’s Digital Health Passport’s success in other countries in the Asia Pacific region.”
When Singapore’s migrant workers were infected at the onset of the pandemic, Accredify, together with SGInnovate, co-created the Digital Health Passport and assisted in the issuance of verifiable COVID-19 discharge memos to these workers in July 2020. The discharge memos were used to certify the foreign workers’ COVID-19 health status to facilitate their re-entry into the workforce and dormitories. Within 6 months, discharge memos issued using Accredify’s solution were verified more than 4 million times across multiple locations in Singapore (Source: Accredify).
“SGInnovate recognised that a fast, reliable and scalable solution would need to be quickly deployed to replace the then paper-based medical documents as the pandemic escalated. We took immediate action by approaching Accredify to launch a digital health mobile app that leverages blockchain technology to securely manage and automate the verification of digital records,” said Dr Lim Jui, CEO, SGInnovate. “Seeing the immense benefits such as ease of mind and convenience that the Accredify Digital Health Passport brings to healthcare professionals, patients and travellers today, we look forward to greater Deep Tech-driven outcomes achieved through the IBM-Accredify collaboration.”
“The Digital Health Pass is built on IBM Blockchain technology and utilises multiple data types, including temperature checks, COVID-19 exposure notifications, COVID-19 test results and vaccine status, to generate a verified health status,” said Brenda Harvey, General Manager, IBM APAC. “This is one of a number of solutions that IBM offers to address client needs as vaccine availability scales. Many of these solutions combine hybrid cloud, blockchain, AI and are hardwired with security, to enable governments and businesses to collaborate across complex global networks. For example, IBM’s Vaccine Accountability Network is designed to strengthen trust and accountability at each point of the vaccine supply chain.”
Protecting data privacy was a vital consideration in the design of IBM Digital Health Pass. From a user perspective, IBM Digital Health Pass puts the individual in control, allowing them to securely store, manage and authorise sharing of their health status from their smartphones with designated recipients without exposing the underlying data used to generate the credential. Organisations can establish the criteria and business rules so that it can be very flexible to an organization’s unique needs. Those organisations will rely on public health guidance and local and state policies to guide those decisions. The solution provides the platform to help support these organisations.
Accredify also leverages blockchain technology to issue tamper-proof COVID-19 medical records. Contents from a health document are used to generate a unique fingerprint known as a “hash,” an alphanumerical sequence of characters, which is then uploaded and stored in the blockchain. By only storing a record’s fingerprint on the blockchain, deciphering or accessing an individual’s personal and medical information is impossible, ensuring that a high level of data privacy and security is maintained. In addition, medical records issued by Accredify’s partner clinics are accessible in the Digital Health Passport, providing a secure portable repository for individuals to access their COVID swab results and vaccination records. To ensure an individual is COVID compliant, authorities can instantly check the authenticity of an individual’s health record by simply scanning the document’s unique QR code in the Accredify Digital Health Passport, providing an efficient on-site COVID-19 health screening procedure for employers and immigration authorities.
IBM has long been a leader in the responsible stewardship of technology and clients’ most valuable data. The IBM Digital Health Pass conforms to the company’s high ethical standards, long-established Principles for Trust and Transparency and guidelines for deployment of technologies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. IBM supports equitable and inclusive application of health passes as well as expansive access to the COVID-19 vaccine and other related healthcare services.
About Accredify: https://accredify.io/whyaccredify/aboutus
About IBM: https://www.ibm.com/sg-en
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