Group forms with one goal: Make sure digital health passports work together


A cross-section of companies in the travel, technology and health sectors have founded the Good Health Pass Collaborative, with the goal of creating a blueprint for interoperable digital health pass systems.

"Various efforts are currently underway to develop digital health credentials systems -- both vaccination and test certificates -- for international travel. Yet, despite this race to market, it is unlikely that a single solution will be implemented universally, or even across the entire travel industry," the organization said. "Thus, it is critical that solutions are designed from the onset to be interoperable, both with one another and across institutional and geographic borders."

The collaborative has 25 members, including several digital health pass developers. Those include the Commons Project Foundation , developer of CommonPass; Evernym, which is partnering in development of the IATA Travel Pass; IBM; Daon, which developed the Verifly health pass app being used by American and Alaska airlines; Clear; and the International Chamber of Commerce, which is developing the AOKpass.

Other members of the collaborative include Mastercard, Airports Council International and foundations that advocate for the building of platforms related to secure digital identities.

The organization was founded by ID2020, a New York-based nonprofit that advocates for ethical, privacy-protecting approaches to digital IDs.

• Related: Flyers must show Covid tests, but how? Let us count the ways

Widespread use of digital health passes, which enable travelers to securely present records of Covid-19 test results and vaccinations, is viewed by the global travel sector as a key to reopening international travel.

However, there is concern that a fragmented landscape will emerge in which individual airlines, other transport providers and border checkpoints themselves are siloed off, each working with specific technologies that may not communicate with one another. Such a state of affairs could result in a confusing ecosystem in which travelers would have to link testing or vaccination documents to separate apps, depending upon which airline they are flying or which country they are entering.

Travel Weekly is aware of 15 heath passports that have been launched or are in development.

In response to such concerns, a group of healthcare and technology providers established the Vaccination Credential Initiative last month with a goal of "empowering individuals with digital access to their vaccination records based on open, interoperable standards."

Good Health Pass Collaborative has a similar goal, except that it extends beyond vaccination records.

"Fragmentation is a risk we simply cannot ignore," ID2020 executive director Dakota Gruener said. "To be valuable to users, credentials need to be accepted at check-in, upon arrival by border control agencies, and more. We can get there  even with multiple systems  as long as solutions adhere to open standards and participate in a common governance framework."


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