Singapore Develops Blockchain and Smart Scanners in Fight Against COVID-19

October 2020

Government-owned SGInnovate, in partnership with local startup Accredify, has developed a blockchain-based solution Digital Health Passport to facilitate more efficient management of personal COVID-19 medical records. The platform allows for medical documents of individuals to be stored in a secure digital wallet, protected from tampering with blockchain technology, while facilitating quick access and easy verification of the documents.

The Digital Health Passport also streamlines the workflow for healthcare practitioners, medical facilities, and the relevant government agencies, enabling them to digitalize the issuance of medical documents such as COVID-19 discharge memos and swab results. This removes the need for paper-based documents that are difficult to manage and can be easily replicated, lost, or misplaced. The Digital Health Passport leverages blockchain technology to generate tamper-proof cryptographic protections for each medical document. Users can automatically verify the digital records via a mobile app and present it to officials via QR code, for a quick and seamless verification process.

The Digital Health Passport project was initiated in May 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. SGInnovate, which creates venture-fundable Deep Tech businesses, approached Accredify to co-develop a solution to complement the work by Singapore’s healthcare sector in the fight against COVID-19.

In line with Singapore’s strategy to use technologies to respond to COVID-19 challenges, the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) has also licensed the software for the SPOTON smart thermal scanner to four distributors comprising of three SMEs and one non-profit organization. Under the licensing agreement, GovTech will provide the SPOTON version 1.0 software for free and provide training and technical support to the four distributors. The distributors will, in turn, purchase the necessary hardware, hire their own staff to assemble the thermal scanners, and provide after-sales support to their customers.

SPOTON is a smart thermal scanner used for mass temperature screening, developed by GovTech’s Smart Nation Platform Solutions (SNPS) team. This scanner is able to screen up to 10 people at a time with an accuracy of ±0.3-0.5°C in both indoor and outdoor environments. When an individual’s temperature exceeds a pre-defined threshold of 37.5°C, SPOTON will trigger an alarm and send an e-mail alert to the venue operator. Another feature of the SPOTON software is that it can detect and indicate when an individual is not wearing a face mask. SPOTON’s accuracy range in temperature sensing was verified in calibration tests conducted with the National Metrology Centre (NMC).

GovTech is currently working on a second version of the SPOTON software that will include more advanced features such as pose recognition, heart rate, and oxygen saturation measurements. This version is expected to be ready in Q1 2021.

(Sources: Business Blockchain HQ; Healthcare Asia, SGInnovate; Govtech Singapore)

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