Blockchain Technology Being Used to Issue Digital COVID-19 Immunity Certificates
According to a report by UKAuthority published on April 29, 2020, U.K.-based Open University (OU) has developed the world’s first blockchain-powered prototype mobile application that can certify COVID-19 immunity results.
Blockchain-Enabled App to Certify COVID-19 Immunity Results
Tech researchers from the OU’s Knowledge Media Institute have developed a prototype mobile phone app to facilitate verification of tamper-proof test results and vaccination certificates. Notably, the mobile app uses blockchain technology to ensure the reliability of test results.
Despite the fact that COVID-19 immunity tests in the world today are still pretty much a work-in-progress, OU is confident that the prototype developed by them will aid GPs and pharmacists to carry out tests and issue digital certificates through the app.
The app is of specific importance to frontline staff, essential workers, and those individuals who’d be required to prove their immunity to the novel coronavirus by displaying that they have the necessary antibodies to tackle the virus. Data extracted from the app could be used to verify the physical fitness and health of such workers to work in a certain environmental setting and to travel.
Per sources close to the matter, the immunity certificates will require the use of a solid pod which is essentially a decentralized personal data store using the W3C Verifiable Credentials standard. In addition, it will also involve a consortium blockchain that will help encode hashes of certificates so they can be used as immutable blocks of record.
How Does It Work?
Before getting tested, the holder will be required to provide proof of identity. This proof of identity will then be hashed and uploaded to the blockchain network. After this, if it’s known that the holder is immune, then the GP or pharmacist would issue the immunity certificate to the solid pod on the phone.
Later, whenever a verifier would want to check the holder’s immunity, they can simply use their own phone to check the certificate and send its hashed version to the blockchain to match it against the identity.
Commenting on the development, Professor John Domingue, director of the Knowledge Media Institute, said:
“Like many researchers, the OU’s blockchain team have been highly motivated to contribute to resolving this global pandemic. We’ve been looking at how our existing technology could be repurposed to aid immunity certification.”
“Our app, building on several years of research into decentralised certification, is readily scalable, applicable generically, and waiting in the wings for immunity testing to be in full effect.”
In related news, BTCManager informed its audience how Block.One, the firm behind the smart-contract platform EOS is developing a COVID-19 testing app.