South Korea to Introduce Blockchain-Powered COVID-19 “Vaccine Passports”

Brian Njuguna  Apr 02, 2021 00:10  UTC 16:10

2 Min Read

In order to revive cross-border travel and keep infection risks under control, the South Korean government seeks to issue blockchain-enabled COVID-19 “vaccine passports” to immunized citizens. 

Rolling out a blockchain-based application

The South Korean administration plans to issue a digital certification system powered by blockchain technology to verify an individual’s coronavirus vaccination status using a smartphone application from this month. 

According to Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun:

“The introduction of a vaccine passport or ‘Green Pass’ will only allow those who have been vaccinated to experience the recovery to their daily lives.”

He added that the vaccine passport will be instrumental in enabling people to experience a sense of return to normalcy. 

Deterring identity theft

Chung acknowledged that the system’s security will be boosted by blockchain technology. As a result, identity theft will be eradicated and transparency enhanced. 

South Korea has expanded its vaccine rollout, with persons aged 75 and older getting the first priority. The vaccine is jointly developed by BioNTech and Pfizer.

In October last year, South Korean hospitals showed their intention to set the ball rolling in ushering in a new healthcare era using industry 4.0 technology like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data.

Blockchain technology was to be deployed in upgrading the quality of medical records, hence boosting the realization of data-centric hospitals. Data was to be collected using biosensors and digital neural networks for smart medical centers.

Furthermore, the Singaporean administration teamed up with local startup Accredify to establish a blockchain-powered digital health passport to boost medical records management. This development was to enable healthcare data to be kept in a digital wallet.

The blockchain-enabled application was piloted in May 2020 using COVID-19 data during the height of the global pandemic. At the time, COVID-19 discharge memos were authenticated more than 1.5 million times. 

Image source: Shutterstock

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