Blockchain Apps track COVID-19 cases

Blockchain Apps track COVID-19 cases
Following various gruelling lockdown phases, more South African businesses opened their doors this week. For a split second, one may think that the COVID-19 pandemic is not so bad as people go about their everyday lives. However, since the easing of lockdown, the infection rate in South Africa has increased drastically. One should still be vigilant when moving about. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an app that could warn you if someone in your immediate area is infected? Today we discuss blockchain apps that identify COVID-19 cases.

Blockchain Apps identify COVID-19 cases

Thanks to blockchain technology, an increasing number of apps have become available that can detect if a person has been tested for COVID-19. Also, the apps can tell you if the person tested positive or negative.

This makes it easy for employers to keep track of employees’ health status to minimise exposure to the virus at the workplace. If you go to town, some of these apps can assist with identifying hot spots before you enter a given area.

One such a blockchain app is the Ethereum-based app by Civic Technologies that was launched earlier in June this year. The Civic Wallet entered into a partnership with the Circle Medical group in San Francisco to conduct COVID-19 tests at the group’s hospitals. The app is called Health Key and verifies employee health status without compromising their privacy.

Besides being able to indicate the number of infected people in your surrounding area, the app also makes provision for those who received a vaccine, once a vaccine is developed. During the first week, more than 12 000 people downloaded the app. At the same time, 100 000 people signed up for the app’s beta testing.

How does it work?

Even though this sounds like a very useful app, issues of protecting individual identity and invasion of privacy may be of concern.

To address these concerns, CEO of Civic, Vinny Lingham recently said in an interview that app users do not have to transmit their personal information. One can walk into a building anonymously and still prove that you have been vaccinated. Did you know Civic Technologies is a South African company?

When downloading the app, the Ethereum network creates a 3D face map with a video recording. At the same time, verify your email and phone number with your government issued ID. Your personal information will then be stored on the secured blockchain. No one can access your information without your permission.

Proving one’s health status is in public interest

The development of health screening apps come amidst an outcry by various world leaders. But it has not been without some backlash. Earlier this year, Bill Gates announced a plan to develop and implement COVID-19 vaccines. However, he was met with outrage by the public who believed he was planning to track people with digital identity.

Regardless, various organizations and governments across the globe have already implemented similar health screening apps. One such is the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Secretary-General of ICC, John W.H. Denton AO was quoted in an article stating leading-edge technology can enable a gradual reboot of the global economy whilst at the same time, ensuring public health.

These apps can address the current crisis and serve as a solution to verify immunization and individual’s compliance records like immunity passports.

Do you think proving one’s health status is in the interest of the public or is someone keeping tabs on you? Let us know in the comment box.