London, 15 July 2021 – A British tech company, Verafide, has launched a free app enabling healthcare staff and patients to securely verify medical qualifications, vaccination status, test results, proof of identity, and other personal data via a digital wallet – transforming the way data is verified and stored from paper-based to digital.
The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated the need for and development of verifiable credentials. As governments across the world debate vaccination passports, the NHS has created a digital credential to prove an individual’s vaccination status. Currently only available in the NHS app, Verafide expects this to be one of many digital certificates people will want to hold in their wallets.
Verafide is already working with Pyser Testing to verify that British holiday makers are Covid vaccinated and fit to fly. Pyser is a UKAS and CQC accredited testing provider that carries out PCR and lateral flow tests. The company is an approved UK provider of Fit to Fly, Day2, Day 5 and Day 8 testing services.
Verafide's system includes a secure issuer's portal available to organisations that want to issue credentials digitally to their members or users. The issuer portal is open to both private and public sector organisations.The documents are encoded and digitally signed by the organisations that issue them as an alternative, or in addition, to giving users the normal paper version. All of the verified information is stored in a secure digital wallet which can be used online to access services and information as well as face-to-face with a QR-code.
The Chief Engineer at Verafide, said: "Last summer we won a competition launched by Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency, and were awarded funding to realise our ambition to solve the issues around existing verifiable credentials data in many sectors including healthcare, where there is a pressing need since covid-19 to prove test and vaccination status.
“We wanted to use our funding and technology not only commercially but also to give something back, to help the UK return to some sort of normality after the pandemic.”
Anthony Culligan, Verafide Advisor and Chief Engineer at SETL, said: “We have received a lot of interest from business and government organisations. Secure, digital credentials are not just a novelty making the administrative parts of our lives easier. They are now absolutely vital to getting people back to work, back to travelling – be that for work or family reasons, all whilst protecting their privacy.
As with the evolution of money from paper to digital, identity and credentials will follow. We are proud to be at the forefront of innovation for verifiable credentials and actively involved in developing common industry standards. With a multitude of digital wallets and credentials offerings expected to come to market, ensuring interoperability across systems and the ability to integrate into existing infrastructures is more important than ever.”
Verafide brings together digital identity, credentials and payment into one digital wallet, putting the owner in full control of what happens with their personal information. An issuer of a credential does not see when and how that credential is used and any presentation of a credential is strictly controlled by the owner.
The enterprise version of Verafide's system benefits from a built-in payments functionality that allows organisations to commercialise and scale the issuance of certifications.
On the user side, the system could significantly reduce the burden of administration in many scenarios, for example where medical staff need to prove they have the necessary qualifications to carry out certain duties, or for patients who require proof of test results or vaccinations.
Verafide is at the forefront of transforming ID from paper to digital, just as we have seen money evolve the same way.
In February the UK Government announced its digital identity and attributes trust framework to further the development of a national digital ID. The next version is due by the end of the summer, with legislation being considered later in the year.
Elsewhere, in June the European Union announced proposals for its own trusted and secure digital ID, inviting Member States to establish a “common toolbox” by September 2022.
In addition to Pyser Testing, Verafide is already experiencing early interest, working with:
● The Linux Foundation Public Health and the Covid 19 Credentials Initiative - both developed to help public health authorities combat COVID-19 and future epidemics.
● The Modular Open Source Identity Platform (MOSIP), an open source platform for Foundational ID systems developed in India , with deployments in countries such as the Philippines and Morocco, and backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The computer code Verafide developed to issue, present and verify the digital credentials has been open-sourced in compliance with Government best-practice policy for public sector use.
Verafide's is open-source software, and the company offers an open-source SDK for the developer community. Its enterprise solution is delivered as SaaS and includes a ‘payment-for-credential’ functionality and additional functions for issuers including issuer hierarchies that allow controlled delegation of issuing. The Verafide App can be downloaded from the iTunes and Google app stores.