The United Kingdom’s Open University develops a COVID-19 proof-of-immunity app combining blockchain with a privacy-preserving data solution from web inventor Tim Berners-Lee.
This could be a significant step. @OpenUniversity develops digital certificate for Covid-19 immunity https://t.co/39s2fpfWEh — Mark Say (@markssay) April 29, 2020
The blockchain solution could prove to be useful for frontline workers, healthcare professionals, and for the wider public in general with reliable immunity certificates stored on the immutable blockchain registry.
Alongside blockchain technology, the app uses solid “pods” — an acronym for the personal online data stores developed by world wide web inventor Tim Berner-Lee’s web decentralization project Solid.
Each user would be asked to provide proof-of-identity before the antigen testing, which would then be hashed and recorded to the blockchain registry. Once the test results are out, it would be issued as a digitized immunity certificate to a solid pod on the user’s phone.
A verifier would be able to check the authenticity of any certificate by using their own mobile device to send a hashed version of the certificate to the public registry to seek a match.
By combining blockchain, distributed server architecture, and solid pod technology, Open University claims that the public will have a high level of control over the storage and presentation of their healthcare data.
Director of the Knowledge Media Institute, Professor John Domingue adds:
“Our app, building on several years of research into decentralised certification, is readily scalable, applicable generically, and waiting in the wings for immunity testing to be in full effect.”