Israeli tech firm develops digital coronavirus 'passport'

Issuing processes would be overseen by the holders' respective health ministry in cooperation with local health providers and hospitals.

Pangea's COVID-19 'passport.' (photo credit: COURTESY OF PANGEA)
Pangea's COVID-19 'passport.'
(photo credit: COURTESY OF PANGEA)
Pangea, an Israeli tech company specializing in solutions aimed at digitally transforming services for businesses and governments, has developed a "COVID-19 immunity passport" using biometric identification in order to assist in the revival of the global airline and tourism industries amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company announced on Wednesday.
The digital solution would allow governments to issue a smart biometric ID to virus-free or immune travelers, allowing them to freely frequent airport terminals and board airplanes without worrying about spreading the coronavirus to others.
“The need to open up the economy is critical and existential, but it requires that each and every country adopt advanced solutions for reducing the danger of mass infection," said Uzy Rozenthal, Pangea executive VP and general manager of its government division. "For example, the 14-day isolation after a flight is not practical, both in the case of mass tourism involving tens of millions of people and in the case of business people whose time is expensive."
He added that "the immunity ‘passport’ we developed would enable the creation of sterile areas where there is no danger of infection and where thousands of people would feel safe to conduct any activity without fear. There is no doubt that our card and platform are one of the keys to the opening up of the skies and mass movement of millions of tourists and business people from country to country, including safety during time spent in airport terminals and on planes.”
The biometric card consists of a photo of the holder, a digital signature, a smart chip and a hologram watermark for authentication. Additionally, the card will be linked to the issuing country's medical database, which will provide up-to-date encrypted information regarding the cardholder's COVID-19 "profile."
The process of issuing the cards would be overseen by the cardholders' respective health ministry in cooperation with local health providers and hospitals.
"Pangea’s solution is flexible and will support the protocol of each country, including that of Israel, which is currently in the process of being developed," the company said in a statement. "The company’s sophisticated search engine will review each case and determine whether the cardholder meets the necessary requirements for entry. The engine is dynamic and would be capable of making real time updates as countries revise their requirements to deal with a changing health environment. "
Pangea is currently discussing the solution with "several governments," including Israel's, to "define the medical tests and processes required [for travelers] to be eligible for the document," which they said will likely include molecular swab (PCR) and serological (IGM) tests, to be conducted at predetermined times leading up to the flight.
"Protocol will also calculate the level of risk associated with the city and region where the card applicant resides, in correlation with the spread of the virus, and note various isolation requirements in the country to which the card bearers are flying, or in their home country on return from abroad," the company added.
Pangea notes that their next step is to turn the "passport" into a full digital medical profile of the cardholder, which will be available for medical providers around the world to access – including ambulances, emergency rooms and hospitals, as well as other "relevant organizations."
"At present, in many countries, hospitals and the national health providers are not connected and hospitalization occurs without most of the patient’s medical history," Pangea concluded. "The medical 'passport' solution Pangea is planning to offer will solve this serious problem and enable more efficient and quality care with maximum security and privacy. In addition, this card can serve as a digital vaccination card that will replace the traditional vaccination card."