TSA-style COVID PreCheck app aims to speed up America’s return to work
A new app named COVID PreCheck will launch later this month enabling people who test positive for COVID-19 antibodies to get a TSA PreCheck™ style clearance, helping them to more quickly and safely return to work and resume their normal lives.
The app, which uses secure blockchain technology to ensure the privacy and anonymity of data, connects the verified identities of users with their test results. Participants will be directed to blood test collection centers in their areas for an antibody test, and the lab results will then be reported straight to the app. The level of antibodies in a person’s system will determine their “pre-clearance” status, which will be sent to the user’s mobile device. COVID PreCheck will display a QR code, which can then be shown to employers in order to help speed their return to work.
The PreCheck app enables employers to identify employees at lower COVID-19 risk, who might therefore be able to safely interact with other staff members or the general public. This breakthrough promises to be particularly useful to both large corporations, freelance workers, and others struggling to carry out their jobs at a time when the public is concerned about letting them into their homes and offices.
Airports, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, shopping malls, cruises, and sporting venues will also be able to scan the QR code in order to determine the entrance eligibility of a person who wants to attend crowded or confined public spaces.
The new technology could prove to be a lifesaver for concerned families who are unaware of their antibody status and would still like to visit elderly parents and grandparents at greater risk.
COVID PreCheck is being developed by a team from Southern California-based digital twin technology company NetObjex, led by blockchain business specialist James Lang and NetObjex founder, Raghu Bala.
“In much the same way that Facebook or Google IDs are digital identities, these “passports” will provide digital records of COVID-related exposure, which will be securely maintained using blockchain technology. This technology is tamper-resistant and also prevents fraud and forgery. Our team has vast experience in developing systems that meet strict HIPAA standards and guidelines for large health insurance companies. We will apply these same rigorous privacy standards to the PreCheck app,” says Bala.
One of COVID PreCheck’s medical advisors, Dr. Saquib Rahim — who has been working on the front lines of the pandemic in New York — says this new platform is urgently needed: “The biggest challenge facing employers, retailers, and service providers, is how to resume operations safely. Any tool that helps create some level of clinical transparency for those entities lessens that burden.”
His fellow medical advisor Dr. Patrick Fratellone agrees adding that if COVID 19 follows the same historic pattern of immunity, those who test positive for antibodies will do so for a substantial period of time: “There are more than a handful of other Coronaviruses already where immunity has been shown for one to two years. I believe in the coming weeks, the medical and scientific community will reach a similar conclusion, and identify proper testing methods. It is only then that we can confidently begin reopening business and schools.”
The idea of digital COVID “passports” has been proposed by a number of governments, including the United States and the United Kingdom, as a way to help identify people who have recovered from the Coronavirus and now possess antibodies that can potentially make them more resistant to reinfection.
“We knew there had to be a logical and secure way to help society make a responsible and safe return to pre-pandemic life,” explains Lang: “Creating this pre-clearance COVID check will give people up-to-date information in order to help them make informed decisions. We are in no way advising people regarding medical standards: rather we are supplying them with the necessary data in order to help them in their decision-making process. As antibody testing becomes more refined and reliable or when government-approved vaccines emerge, we believe that our new app will be a game-changer in the so-called “new normal.”
Lang understands that some people may feel uncomfortable with the idea of COVID “clearance,” but says the app is not a mandate or a legal requirement. Rather it will simply help ensure that businesses, employers, and the public interact in a safer way.
“In the same way that people enroll for TSA PreCheck, they can sign up for COVID PreCheck. As with the airport TSA model, it is a way for someone to get to the front of the queue,” says Lang, who adds that his company is offering this platform free of charge to both Federal and State Governments in order to aid them with their overall COVID-19 response strategy. “We welcome and look forward to their input as we develop a comprehensive means to help protect the future,” says Lang.