IBM Using Blockchain to Help Businesses Reopen during COVID-19

Srimayee Sen Sarma

November 20, 2020

IBM’s healthcare unit, IBM Watson recently announced that they will soon be launching an app to support global businesses to reopen their physical operations after most of them were forced to close down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The blockchain-driven application called IBM Digital Health Pass will allow individuals to safely return to their workplaces. In a blogpost updated on October 13, the firm announced that the IBM Digital Health Pass application works by letting organisations set their COVID-19 health screening and verification parameters. It will be capable of generating a pass for every individual user based on different criteria, including on-site temperature and health screening test results. The pass with all the data will then be recorded and can be shared on the IBM blockchain networks.

Keeping health at the forefront

The goal of the application is to make the transition from home to the outside world safe and smooth. People using this app will receive digital health status update and thus can visit any public place without worry. IBM aims to use this Digital Health Pass application for public gatherings as well, such as the places where health checks would be mandatory following the pandemic, such as sports events, airports and galleries.

Data security, privacy and transparency

Vice President of IBM Watson Health Blockchain Solutions, Eric Piscine assures that the application has data privacy at its core, and users will have full control over their information. There will be complete data security and sensitive information related to health will not be misused by the Digital Health Pass app.

He said in a statement, “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.”

Users can download the app and input their relevant details after verifying their identity. The firm maintains that people can choose to share their COVID-19 health status only through this application with authorities. There will be no need to expose any other health-related facts that they do not intend to.  

IBM’s fight against the pandemic

The Digital Health Pass app is not the first technological innovation brought forth by the tech giant to fight the global pandemic. This year in April, IBM launched the Rapid Supplier Connect Network. It is another blockchain-driven solution that connected non-traditional suppliers of essential medical equipment and devices to healthcare organisations to tackle medical supply shortages caused by COVID-19.

Now with the launch of this application, hopefully, businesses will be able to reopen their physical offices without the fear of further spreading the disease. People too can go out of their homes safely, knowing they are not contributing to the dispersal of the deadly virus. 

Sources: Cointelegraph, DistilINFO IT, The Chain Bulletin 

About the author
Srimayee Sen Sarma

Contributing Author

Sid has been a content solutions evangelist and a digital marketer for 10+ years. Having written for brands such as IBM, Infosys and other technology corporations and startups, he is always at the cutting edge of researching & writing about emerging technologies.

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