Illustration from Freepik

The healthcare-focused division of IBM, IBM Watson Health, will be releasing an app to help individuals safely return work and school amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm said in an updated blog post on 13 October.

According to the announcement, the new IBM Digital Health Pass will allow organizations to set their own COVID-19 health verification criteria, which will help them reopen after long months of lockdown. The app will be able to use multiple data types, such as test results and on-site temperature scans, to generate an individual’s pass, which is then recorded and shared using the IBM Blockchain network.

The VP of IBM’s Blockchain Solutions, Eric Piscini, said in a statement:

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“We believe that trust and transparency remain paramount when developing a platform like a digital health passport, or any solution that handles sensitive personal information, and we remain committed to this philosophy as we continue to build solutions to help support organizations during the current public health crisis.”

After downloading the app, users will need to go through identity verification before being able to enter the relevant data. The app will also allow its users to maintain full control over their data, with them being able to share if they have COVID-19 without revealing any other health data. Employers, on the other hand, will be able to use their employee’s health status review to design data-driven policies and responses.

The goal of IBM is to use the Digital Health Pass during public gatherings where health checks are required, such as airplanes, galleries, sports events and others. This is not the first blockchain-driven solution that IBM has released to help people tackle COVID-19. Back in April the tech giant launched its Rapid Supplier Connect network, which connected healthcare organization with the non-traditional suppliers of needed medical equipment.

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