Roundup: Australia searches for COVID-19 vaccine certification app developer; South Korean blockchain firm releases source code for COVID-19 digital pass and more briefs

Australia seeks developer of digital health app with COVID-19 vaccination pass

The Australian government has started looking for a developer for its smartphone app project that will store COVID-19 vaccination certificates and test results.

Based on a recently issued tender request by the Australian Digital Health Agency, the digital health app must connect to the government’s My Health Record system to render real-time updates on users’ vaccination and test results for COVID-19 and other diseases, as well as alerts on allergies and organ donation statuses. It must display a user’s vaccination status via coloured tickers.

A news report noted that a critical requirement for the mobile app is its ability to “tap into external systems”, enabling the path for interaction with other countries’ national databases. Such a requirement would facilitate the recognition of vaccination certificates issued overseas and ensure that travellers are complying with other nations’ travel conditions, such as a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test. 

Additionally, the app must be backed by “multiple authenticity and anti-fraud measures”.

The digital health app is expected to launch on both iOS and Android devices by December 2021.

South Korean blockchain firm puts up source code of its COVID-19 digital pass

GG56, a blockchain company based in South Korea, has announced that it will publicly release the technology and source code of its COVID-19 digital pass and grant permission to use its patents for free.

Built on blockchain technology, the company’s Pass&Go app verifies COVID-19 vaccination and test results. It also authenticates the test results of those who have recovered from the disease and developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

Based on a press statement, the app automatically recognises test results sent by certified medical institutions via SMS and creates a certificate from it.

Unlike most digital health passes, Pass&Go is a decentralised authentication system that only requires three types of data: a universally unique identifier, test date and test result – all of which are hash code-encrypted on a blockchain, making forgery “virtually impossible”.

GG56 said it is working to expand its digital health pass to issue vaccination certificates for other infectious diseases, such as HIV, malaria and yellow fever.

Meanwhile, GG56 recently made business deals with several major Korean testing kit makers, such as Seegene and PCL.

New telemedicine service launched in Singapore

Good Care Group Asia has unveiled its latest mobile app and web-based telemedicine platform in Singapore.

According to a press statement, the platform runs on AI to assist patients with booking appointments, fulfil personalised medication needs and file their health records for consultations.

It was also made secure and encrypted to enable users to fill pre-admission forms and insurance coverage details, share medical records, consent forms, evaluations, and others.

“Through a powerful combination of consumer-friendly technology and high-quality Singaporean physicians available 24/7, we at GCG Asia want to help Singaporeans get the right consultation and healthcare when and where they need [it],” GCG CEO Darren Yaw said.

The company said it strives to deliver diagnosis instantly or within 12 hours via video conferencing with its network of vetted medical professionals. Additionally, it aims to augment the quality of follow-up healthcare and online consultations among Singaporean patients.

According to Yaw, the company is eyeing the expansion of the telemedicine platform and service to Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia.

India launches web portals on indigenous medicine

India’s Ministry of Ayush (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy) has unveiled five new websites on Indian alternative medicine.

The Ayurveda Dataset on Clinical Trial Registry of India or CTRI portal features data sets on Ayurveda, providing global visibility to Ayurveda Clinical Trials and strengthening Ayurvedic Research.

The Showcase of Ayurveda Historical Imprints website displays authentic resources, including inscriptions, archeo-botanical Information, sculptures, philological sources and advanced archeo-genetic studies.

The e-Medha (Medical Heritage Accession) site was also launched to provide access to more than 12,000 books on Indian Medical Heritage via the e-granthalaya platform of the National Informatics Centre.

Another website, Ayush Manuscripts Advanced Repository, showcases digitised information on rare manuscripts and catalogues of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and Sowa-Rigpa from libraries or individual collections found across India and other parts of the world.

Lastly, the CCRAS-Research Management Information System or RMIS recently went online to serve as a one-stop platform for research and development in Ayurveda-based studies. It also delivers research guidance from scientists and clinicians of Ayurveda, as well as research tools and reference materials.

Chinese insuretech firm QingSong Health, AXA Insurance enter strategic cooperation

QingSong Health Group, a Chinese insurance technology platform, and AXA Insurance Group have recently entered into a strategic cooperation to undertake an in-depth exploration of insurance education, innovation, health services, among others.

In a press statement, the companies said their joint exploration will focus on family health insurance and the promotion of diversified commercial health insurance.

Under their partnership, QingSong will assist AXA in developing China’s health insurance market. AXA then will help QingSong establish a “more complete” health assurance system and raise its market share in the Chinese health insurance market.