Manchester-based cybersecurity firm VST Enterprises has signed a deal with digital health company Circle Pass Enterprises (CPE) to create a digital health passport designed to make it easier for individuals to return to work after the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The two companies have partnered to create “the world’s most secure digital health passport”, known as Covi-pass, and will work with governments and the private sector to deploy the technology to 15 countries around the world.
These countries will include Italy, Portugal, France, Panama, India, the US, Canada, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and The Netherlands, with the goal of supplying 50 million digital health passports. The first passports will begin shipping from next week.
VST Enterprises’s VCode and VPlatform technologies will be integrated into the into the Covi-pass to ensure it is secure.
How the coronavirus digital health passport works
The Covi-pass will work using a colour system of green, amber, red to indicate whether the individual has tested positive or negative for Covid-19 and relevant health information.
Firstly, the user downloads the app and enters key information such as name, address, age and verifies their identity using their fingerprint or a facial scan.
They then take a Covid-19 test, administered by an authorised healthcare professional, and the results are scanned into the Covi-pass. They can then use the digital health passport to authenticate their health status to enable “a safe return to work, life, and safe travel”.
However, a significant shortage of coronavirus test kits could make testing a challenge. Nevertheless, VST believes the technology could be key to ending the lockdown.
“We firmly believe that the digital health passport alongside government-approved testing kits is the key to removing the lockdown restrictions in a gradual and controlled way. The current technology being trialed using bluetooth and proximity apps is fundamentally flawed because of its privacy issues of real time tracking, the security and data breaches which we are already seeing and being reported and the reticence for citizens to uptake and download the tracing app,” said Louis-James Davis, CEO of VST Enterprises.
“The issue at present with other health passports is that not only is the feed of information voluntary, but the technology being used (in most cases a QR code or barcode) can’t be interacted with outside of the safe distancing zone. Data and sensitive information scanned or stored in either a QR code and barcode can be hacked and are inherently insecure, leaving data and personal details to be compromised.
“Both barcodes and QR codes are old second generation technology. VCode & VPlatform represent the next ‘third generation’ of ultra-secure and versatile code technology to military grade encryption with over 2 Quintillion code permutations.”
VST Enterpises is also in advanced discussions with senior UK Government officials, NHSX and the Home Office about its cybersecurity technology.