Blockchain-powered app manages COVID travel risk

International SOS and Singapore-based Energy Drilling have successfully piloted a blockchain-enabled app which provides trusted recognition of personnel health status. The app, which is designed to provide businesses with an efficient and controlled return to work has also been successfully tested with International SOS' own Singapore-based employees.

In the pilot, a 10-strong crew bound for a PTT Exploration and Production oil rig were screened with a PCR swab test, and the results verified by a doctor. The medical results were then saved on the crew’s individual AOKpass app and sent to the client ahead of their journey. The results helped facilitate a smooth entry to the Songkhla Port Authority in Thailand, providing medical test results from an accredited source.

The ICC AOKpass app securely stores an authenticated digital copy of an individual staff member's COVID-19 compliance status certificate, localised at all times, with hardcopy certificates digitised, authenticated and then made available for verification by employers, authorities or other third parties -- with no transfer or external storage of underlying personal health information.

Dorjee Sun, CEO of Perlin, which developed the AOKpass, said: “Currently, there lacks a common technical standard for digital health passports, which creates inefficiency as travellers will have to navigate many different processes and unnecessary duplication to have their health status verified. In contrast, the ICC AOKpass is an easy-to-use mobile app using a common global standard that can be deployed and used anywhere in the world today. It can adapt to the rules of any given country and allows users to instantly verify their COVID-19 compliance status anytime, anywhere.”

A glimpse of the future of safe travel?

Juliana Gim, managing director of International SOS Singapore, believes the pilot demonstrates how travel might resume amid COVID-19.

“The successful pilot of ICC AOKpass with Energy Drilling is encouraging as it marks an important step in our journey and the aim of implementing a trusted and standardised global system to facilitate the return to work across many industries. In time, we hope that this will see widespread adoption to facilitate a fast, safe and secure return to work,” she explained.

Alex Maroske, head of quality, health, safety and environment at Energy Drilling said the app had been a major enabler at his company.

“Thus far, the app has proved invaluable in ensuring the health and safety of our workforce and enabling business productivity during the trip,” he explained. “Using blockchain to secure and verify the data, as well as the ability to control and carry around your own health records is a breakthrough and will be a major enabler in allowing businesses to return to work.”

Listen to CIR's latest podcast on employee health, well-being and security amid COVID-19, featuring the experts from International SOS.

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