Vaccine passports, technology, trust: Is the NHS heading in the right direction?

In this week’s news Health leaders plea Raja Sharif, founder and CEO of FarmaTrust, weighs the positives of vaccine passports and private-sector technology providers as the government unleashes Plan B or faces a crisis during the winter.

Most people agree that vaccine passports are a good idea in principle, and that proper settings such as Denmark can have a very positive effect on controlling the spread of COVID-19. It is shown. There is nothing wrong with the vaccine passport idea, but I believe its delivery may come at the expense of the belief that national medical services and governments need in-house technology for safety. increase. For me, it’s far better for the world’s largest clinical organization to do so well for decades: focus on clinical services and let tech companies bring the latest technology. Would be good for.

That doesn’t mean that the introduction of new technology to the NHS has not been very successful. It is certainly so. For example, the NHS Digital (a clinical service provided in digital form) has been a huge success, significantly improving workload and patient health.

However, innovations such as tracking and NHS IT have not been very successful, and trying to build from scratch will often pose the biggest challenge. A much more likely approach is to implement or even improve existing technology from external partners. The reason is that in many cases they are already in development and have solved many of the technical and practical floors for introducing new technologies. Therefore, to get back to the present, you have to look at recent NHS apps to see some areas where you can improve what is offered. In particular, the application, and admitting that it was created quickly, currently has no control over who can view and / or store data after use. Aside from the issue of data protection, I think strengthening patient management will lead to increased recruitment. Of course, it benefits everyone.


There is also the issue of downloading and displaying the PDF Vaccine Passport. This is due to the risk of counterfeiting. PDFs are very easy to edit for anyone who wants to get around the system. Second, there is the usability of the system, where you can really see the difference. Companies usually spend years developing ways to improve usability. For example, the current approach requires a check system in entertainment venues such as cinemas and nightclubs. And the manual aspect of this can cause logistical problems with what may be a high pressure environment with long cues. Therefore, the suitability of a system that relies on people in football games, nightclubs, event venues, or cinemas is clearly not ideal.

However, the solution is that there is already an immutable system in the form of a blockchain, which is virtually impossible for individuals to avoid, but it also has the added benefit of allowing users to control access to data. In addition, each venue no longer has the ability to store information about customers after admission, and systems like ours can be used in an autonomous way. Near field communication technology automatically registers data, simple green or red light on entry.

Of course, there is an additional risk of Covid when moving to winter. In the current situation, the vaccine passport is Plan B (in the case of a surge).

And perhaps this Plan B philosophy is one of the reasons we have hesitated to solve all the challenges so far. But I believe that passports are at the forefront of any sensory management system and should probably be. In particular, it can be unobtrusive so that there are no major data management issues related to cutin passports. In fact, this is my confidence in the controls we can provide. We believe that we can even overcome the more liberal element of political establishment, which usually resists such direct government intervention.

For example, FarmaTrust’s solution does not require a login, just opens the user’s app and flashes a personal image with a green or red screen, so it can be automated anywhere. This makes it much more difficult for people to use the records of other individuals. Upon passing through the gate, no information will be retained by the venue unless the patient gives the individual explicit consent, which returns full data control to the individual.

My final idea, aside from the short-term need, is that COVID-19 and its future variants will stay here and there will never be a vaccine that can eliminate them. In fact, the duration of the mini-outbreak over the next few years is a very realistic outlook. And I’m afraid that if some of these challenges cannot be overcome in the short term, especially if the system is very perishable and used only during peak outbreaks, the general public will go to the system. To lose trust. As a sustainable and systematic approach to keeping infection levels low.

Technology and NHS

Ultimately, I think the bigger problem with the NHS is the need to think strategically about the role of the NHS and maximize its greatest strengths (especially when funding ever-increasing concerns). The NHS needs to rely on technology companies to focus its resources on clinical settings and clinical outcomes and bring about existing viable innovations. I’m a big fan of the NHS and want to keep the NHS from being overstretched and focus on the incredible clinical work I do for my patients. The NHS is properly admired around the world and we need to take every opportunity to support the NHS.

Often, the biggest concern for private sector technology providers is that they cost more to the organization. However, the reality is exactly the opposite, freeing resources internally. This can be implemented at a much lower cost than an organization that is simply not configured to do it. In an environment where the public sector budget is growing and tax increases are likely, it is wise to consider whether risk capital and R & D should be transferred to non-public funds. This puts pressure on the NHS’s non-core activities and provides an opportunity to reduce backlogs and waiting lists, which are of serious concern.

The country has a very good ecosystem of digital technology providers, which makes me feel particularly strong as a technology innovator focused on the UK. Therefore, I think the roots and branches need to discuss how to bring more technology innovators into the system rather than the NHS doing it in-house. It’s a more comprehensive and collaborative approach that not only provides better innovation, but also helps boost the UK healthcare technology sector.

Vaccine passports, technology, trust: Is the NHS heading in the right direction?

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