World Health Organization Join Hands with Estonia to Issue Blockchain Covid-19 certificates
The Estonian government is going to ink a partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) to issue Covid-19 vaccination certificates based on blockchain technology.
To realize the objective, Estonia based blockchain focused firm Guardtime, headquartered in Switzerland, will head the trial, initially piloting the feasibility of a platform that can function seamlessly in ‘pathfinder countries.’
To begin the process, a MoU (memorandum of Understanding) will be inked electronically by the Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas and WHO President Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tomorrow.
The agreement will pave way for Estonian entrepreneurs and academics to begin work on the venture.
Ratas stated “Estonia can offer its best experience to a global organization to accelerate the safe and reliable flow of information between countries.”
Estonia has a reputation of being a digitally advanced country and Guardtime has partnered on several major e-government ventures.
Ratas said “We have the opportunity to raise to international level the principles of decentralized governance on which the success of the entire Estonian digital state is based.”
The blockchain technology powered platform will offer digital vaccination certificates, an evidence of Covid-19 vaccination. Elders and others in priority groups will be vaccinated initially. Issue of a “yellow vaccination card” is the foremost step in the venture.
It will be utilized worldwide after a vaccine reaches the market. The card will pave way for worldwide sharing of vaccination info, while blockchain technology guarantees its transparency and dependability.
Ratas also affirmed they will be doing the necessary ground work for launching X-Road for trans-border health info exchange, permitting WHO and other EU Member States to setup global services. X-Road is Estonia’s open-source software and ecosystem tool for data disbursement.
Estonia’s initiative against the backdrop of the pandemic involves the public-private partnership based creation of a Covid-19 app HOIA, which literally implies ‘take care.’ Rolled out on August 20, the app informs users if they are near to affected individuals.
The Government announcement on HOIA emphasized the app’s info is not witnessed by users, the state or even HOIA’s developer. It does not track the position of user but only uses the data that clarifies whether a user who has confirmed infection is still undergoing treatment or has recovered from the disease.
While scouting for a suitable Covid-19 app, Estonia looked for privacy. The government also looked whether the apps in other countries save relevant info in centralized networks that can be accessed by governments.
The government of Estonia opted for decentralized model that utilizes a Swiss company developed privacy retaining proximity tracking covenant, named DP-3T. This implies Estonia will also give precedence to privacy while collaborating with WHO.
Throughout the world, Guardtime has been working with private firms and governments on various projects, but partnering with the WHO could be regarded as the greatest challenge it has faced so far.
Ain Aaviksoo, chief of Guardtime at Tallinn, expects the real challenge in the venture’s scale as it needs to be available for billions. He said “What we’re offering to the WHO is speed. The solution has been tested by the U.S. Government, telecoms companies, and others in terms of onboarding a massive number of parties and the stability of the system.”
As far as processing speed is concerned, Aavikso boasts that Guardtime is almost a year ahead of its competitors.
In 2019, Guardtime collaborated with DMI, the US government’s IT Consultancy, to offer its enterprise level blockchain’s ability on a AI related venture. Again last year, the company received a contract from EY to assist in AI/blockchain venture for health care payments based on results.
Most importantly, of late, Guardtime has setup an association with OpenHealth, a French health info platform, and SICPA, Swiss security firm, to build a blockchain powered Covid-19 health passport.
The tool will disburse and administer health passports with live tracking of immunity levels among the population. With their huge experience in managing huge ventures in partnership with governments and other private sector organizations, Guardtime seems to be well positioned to head the WHO efforts.