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Blockchain-Backed COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates by MSD

By Alfonso Núñez | Thu, 10/21/2021 - 15:54

Healthcare firm MDS Mexico has announced its COVID-19 testing verification technology will be backed-up by blockchain to combat the forging of vaccination and test certificates spotted across the country.

 

Weeks after the Secretary of Health (SSA) announced that people vaccinated in the country would be able to access a certificate showing proof of vaccination, falsified certificates began to be sold from the dark web to downtown Mexico City with prices reaching MX$2,500.

The Mexican government soon after alerted the public that those found guilty of utilizing a falsified vaccination certificate in order to access areas and activities could face up to 6 years in prison. Months later, MDS Mexico has taken matters into their own hands.

 

“To avoid the falsification of negative results, we began to certify the SARS-CoV-2 detection-tests, with blockchain technology and cryptographic signatures that safeguards the information in an immutable and unalterable unique QR code which can be verified at a global level,” the company announced through a press release. MDS Mexico currently offers 4 different COVID-19 detection tests (PCR test, rapid antibody test, antigen test, and test through influenza). Since May, MDS Mexico has administered more than 20,000 detection-tests across the country, largely through its at-home testing services. Results are given to patients within 24 hours through a QR code showing the patient’s name, results obtained, physician, date of test and vaccination history.

 

Blockchain technology, or Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), is particularly equipped to safeguard the authenticity of digital vaccination certificates as IT cannot be altered or interfered with by design of decentralization and cryptographic hashing. Experts in the technological industry have long predicted the widespread impact blockchain tech will have, with Morpheus.Network head of business development Karl McDermott telling MBP in 2019 its transformative power is comparable to that of the internet during the early 1990s.

 

Mexico’s Association of Logistics Operators President Mario Alberto Aguilar told MBN  that the pandemic would cause the traditional supply chains in the health industry to change. He explained that sophisticated technologies such blockchain are being used to create a global platform that allows for “a more distributed, coordinated and traceable supply of components across multiple geographies and suppliers.”

 

The pandemic may only expand the ever-growing impact blockchain has on the health industry, evidenced by MDS Mexico’s utilization of blockchain tech in order to block falsified certificates.

Photo by:   Unsplash, Markus Winkler
Alfonso Núñez Alfonso Núñez Journalist & Industry Analyst