San Francisco: New York has just become the first state in the US to launch a “vaccine passport” app and this platform is based on IBM’s Digital Health Pass solution which is designed to provide organisations with a smart way to bring people back to a physical location, such as a workplace, school, stadium or airline flight.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo launched the app called Excelsior Pass, a free, voluntary platform, last week.
The technology is flexible and built to scale, allowing other states to join.
The app uses technology to confirm an individual’s recent Covid-19 negative test result or proof of vaccination.
Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app.
Each Pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of Covid-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination.
As part of this initial launch, participating New Yorkers may choose to use Excelsior Pass to verify their Covid-19 vaccination or negative test results as needed to gain entry to major stadiums and arenas, wedding receptions, or catered and other events above the social gathering limit.
Major venues have already announced they will begin utilising this technology in the coming weeks, including Madison Square Garden in New York City beginning this week and the Times Union Center in Albany.
Beginning April 2, Excelsior Pass is set to expand to smaller arts, entertainment and event venues.
“New Yorkers have proven they can follow public health guidance to beat back Covid, and the innovative Excelsior Pass is another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely and keeping personal information secure,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Secure technologies, like blockchain and encryption, are woven throughout Excelsior Pass to help protect the data, making it verifiable and trusted, the Governor’s press office said in a statement, adding that no private health data is stored or tracked within the apps.
“IBM is proud to support the State of New York with its efforts to apply innovative technologies to help residents and communities respond to Covid-19,” said Steve LaFleche, General Manager, IBM Public and Federal Markets.
“In choosing a flexible and accessible tool that places security and privacy at its core, the state is modeling for the rest of the country how new, technology-enabled approaches can help safely reinvigorate economies while also striving to protect public health.”