Just over a year ago, health passes were not widely understood, and digi.me and Dutch data analytics specialists DTACT had only just begun working together.
Fast forward to today, and a partnership forged amid the chaos of Covid is blooming brightly. Consentry, the health pass the two companies have jointly developed, is based on digi.me’s secure data sharing technology with DTACT’s equally secure data processing and streaming engine.
Already going from strength to strength as regular Covid testing becomes one of the key routes to opening up society, travel and the economy once more, it is only likely to become more important as even vaccinated people want to understand if they are still safe as new variants circulate.
Sander Swinkels, DTACT CEO, explains that a common vision of securely enabling – and safeguarding – the sharing of personal data with consent is what drew the two companies together. And they have been working to build something unique, frictionless and fast with users firmly at the centre, based on an open framework which is easily scalable.
A key focus of the partnership has been on connecting the personal health data wallet capability with laboratory testing, in a way which means connected labs can process each test – and return a result in-app – without seeing any personal data.
As major sporting events and concerts, for example, begin to admit bigger crowds if people in them have evidence of a recent negative test, the ability to access speedy, safe and reliable testing will become a key element to living a fuller life.
He said: “We believe testing will still be a huge part of safeguarding life, health and the economy, so are making it as easy and as cost efficient as possible to help open up society again.”
Digi.me and DTACT have deliberately made Consentry as unintrusive as possible – testing at home means faster results, and no need to take time off work or travel to a test. This, in turn, reduces costs for providers or employers requiring tests.
In addition, data insights mean hospitality, travel or education providers using testing as part of a strategy to reopen can understand, for example, how many are being processed against expected use, without any personal information being shared.
Digi.me and DTACT have also been working with life science company Hellob.io, to incorporate more types of PCR and antigen tests, as well as technology advances, within Consentry.
A recent development, for example, is the introduction of image recognition technology, known as AI computer vision, which can read a test result with greater accuracy than a human eye. It uses a colour calibration kit, which users place under their test. This provides a baseline of how the test can be read, ruling out dependency on light or quality of camera.
One key element of this technology, developed by Hellob.io, was tweaking the algorithm which worked with specific tests to make a more generic one that is test-agnostic, making it easier to onboard and train new tests from providers anywhere in the world.
Initially, PCR tests were the first to be rolled out with Consentry, but rapid antigen testing has now been added, with vaccine data and antibody testing both in the roadmap.
Ultimately, the partnership wants to inspire society at large about the potential of secure personal data wallets, by demonstrating some of their benefits, and inspiring other uses which put users in control of their personal data, without relying on centralised databases.