Health app myGP adds Covid-19 vaccine passport function

The new feature is described as the UK’s first NHS-assured Covid-19 certification feature

The developers of the NHS-linked myGP mobile healthcare management app are to introduce a vaccination certification feature – cooked up alongside V-Health Passports – designed to enable Apple iPhone users to prove their Covid-19 vaccination status, with an Android version to follow imminently.

Dubbed myGP TICKet, the feature has already been piloted by two care home operators, Barchester Healthcare and Lillian Faithful Care Homes, to enable their staff to safely and easily demonstrate their vaccination status when working alongside vulnerable elderly people.

The feature can be accessed from within the app and will display whether a user is considered sufficiently protected from Covid-19 by displaying a green tick around a user photo from 12 days after the second dose of a vaccine. MyGP developer iPlato said this would act as a “clinically assured” means of proving vaccination status, in real-time, generated directly from a patient’s NHS records.

A more comprehensive version of the feature, which will include recent Covid-19 test results, antibody test results, or proof of vaccine exemption for individuals who may be medically unable to receive a vaccine will be released in the next few weeks. The feature will only be available to those who have specifically requested and enabled it.

“Recognising the likelihood that a user may need, or indeed want, to demonstrate their vaccination status, we developed this feature to isolate just vaccination information, whilst keeping confidential the rest of the information contained within the medical record,” said Hillary Cannon, director of the myGP TICKet innovation.

“All access is controlled by the patient, and nothing is stored or displayed without a user’s explicit consent.”

“We all know that lockdowns and social distancing have brought live events, restaurants and the hospitality sector to their knees. It has been a passion project of mine to reopen these businesses at capacity, or as close as possible to it, as soon as possible. The real beauty of this technology is that it is universal and available to everyone registered at a GP surgery in England.”

The wider myGP app is already available to patients of approximately 97% of GP practices and is thought to have more than 200,000 users every month who use it to access their medical records, order repeat prescriptions, book appointments, track their own health and access complementary healthcare services.

IPlato and V-Health are also in discussion with organisations outside the healthcare sector ahead of the wider planned reopenings scheduled across the UK in the coming weeks and months. Among them are sports teams such as Harlequins Rugby, which has expressed an interest in piloting the solution in the hope of staging full-capacity live matches sooner rather than later.

Harlequins CEO Laurie Dalrymple said that current social distancing measures meant that The Stoop, the club’s West London ground, could only operate at 50% capacity, but that that was not a financially viable business model.

“We are therefore very keen to look at all types of innovative solutions which could help safely support the return of greater number of fans to stadiums,” said Dalrymple.

“The myGP app looks like an interesting technological solution and we are interested in collaborating to promote this new tool to our supporters in the future. This would be entirely optional for our supporters – those that would like to download the app and show their vaccination status on entry, for example, can do so to help test the technology in a live environment. Any supporter attending who would prefer not to, will not be obliged to.”

Meanwhile, the government appears to be forging ahead with its own vaccine passport schemes. According to a job posting first surfaced by Guido Fawkes’ Order Order, NHSX is recruiting for a number of roles in Leeds working on the development of “both digital and non-digital options to enable UK residents to assert their Covid status”. Applications for the roles close on 23 April, with start dates of 4 May.

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