What is going to be one of the necessary innovations regarding testing that we will be seeing in a post COVID-19 society?
Clearly this pandemic has been plagued by dismal levels of testing, but this is about to change. However, what will not change is the pressure to avoid physical contact. The best way to do this is using at home testing. Yet beyond just providing accurate and easy to use home tests, healthcare for the first time ever is using technology to medically certify the results of your home test.
That’s really interesting, and how would this work?
Well, an individual, say yourself Nick, would pick up a test kit from a drug store, have it mailed, or use some other on demand delivery system. Then connect via video to your medical provider who will also be able to verify your identity. You prick your finger, add a drop of blood to a cassette similar to a pregnancy test and after a few minutes, use your phone to record a photo of the bar code and result panel. Your provider would read and certify this event. The details along with time, date, test batch, and serial number will be recorded into your digital health record.
But of course, being able to prove non-infected or immune health status is more complex than just the single test. Multiple confirmations, other personal, and community data will be fed into algorithms, all of which will output a health risk to others score. Presumably, a low-risk status would then provide access to certain travel, employment, and other businesses. Companies are working together to make this immunity passport service a reality now.
Can you share some of the companies you are talking about?
More than 60 firms have united to work on a pandemic immunity passport, using blockchain-based self-sovereign identity tools to limit compromising our privacy. Of note, a London-based startup, Onfido, just raised $100M for a similar approach. Importantly, our own Nex Cubed alumni startup, Tribe Health, is providing medical, video, plus personal image management using a blockchain-based platform as well.
Brigitte Piniewski MD is a Strategic Advisor at Nex Cubed and spent years as a medical executive, author, researcher, and laboratory specialist. Nick Phillips is the Program Manager for Nex Cubed Digital Health.