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BLOK BioScience biometric digital health pass offers privacy protection for COVID-19 testing

facial recognition can identify people wearing masks

An on-site testing and digital pass platform that employs facial recognition and could help ensure the global pandemic is better controlled within work places or schools is now available from biotech company, BLOK BioScience.

Healthcare IT News reports that the end-to-end system, a component of which boasts an ID2020 certification, is built to help organizations carry out rapid on-site testing for COVID-19, with results made available in 15 minutes. It also offers a digital clearance pass which protects data privacy by verifying the identity of the holder against an ID document with on-device face biometrics.

The solution could play a vital role by helping organizations run a COVID-19 test-and-trace platform that will enable them better check and control the spread of the virus around their premises.

The system includes a front and back end, with the front end made up of two apps, BLOK Pass for individuals and BLOK Verify for businesses.  They are each used to perform a quick check of a person’s COVID-19 status by scanning their phone before they are allowed access to an area.

After the phone scan, the system then confirms the person’s health status against a pre-selected entry criteria which is marked with green, amber and red light signals, each representing a different instruction.

For the back end of the system, organizations can set their entry requirements based on COVID-19 test results, travel history, symptom tracking, close contacts and vaccination records, the report explains.

Chris Justice, BLOK BioScience president, said the move is aimed at helping organizations maintain safe and open environments amid the pandemic, given that people may have to live with it for a long time to come.

“We’re working with a number of schools, care homes, event planners and airports to introduce an ethical and secure testing and digital pass solution that will build trust by protecting people’s health and privacy. With entire industries struggling, this trust is so important if we are to keep our society open safely,” Health IT News quoted him as saying.

“By combining our unique digital health pass with our fast, low-cost point-of-care testing solution, these forward-thinking organizations are minimizing the chances of an outbreak occurring unchecked and protecting their people’s health, privacy, opportunities and – in some cases – whole livelihoods,” Justice added.

The BLOK BioScience boss concluded that because COVID-19 is previewed to stick around for much longer, it was important to develop such a solution that takes into consideration “…long-term ethical and inclusive solutions to meet the health and data privacy needs of organizations and their people.”

The system has an application programming interface (API) that allows it to connect with third-party platforms.

BLOK has also joined the ID2020 Alliance as an official member to support the group’s vision for responsible digital ID, and the company’s CTO Areiel Wolanow has been appointed to ID2020’s Technical Advisory Committee.

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