Safer sharing of well being information with SMART Well being Playing cards

Two medical professionals talking about something on a laptop screen in front of them.

To assist reduce the unfold of COVID-19 whereas additionally supporting the speedy reopening of companies and faculties, Washington State Division of Well being (DOH) launched WA Confirm, a web-based portal that gives free digital copies of state vaccine information to people.

WA Confirm gives residents with a quick, handy, and reliable strategy to entry and share their vaccination information. It’s rapidly changing into a invaluable software as Washington companies and establishments started adopting new security protocols, together with asking people to confirm proof of their vaccination standing.

Constructed on Microsoft Azure, WA Confirm makes use of SMART Well being Playing cards to show vaccination information as a verifiable QR code that may be printed or saved on a cellular system. SMART Well being Playing cards are a safe various to inconvenient and simply manipulated paper well being information. They’re constructed on an open-code, interoperable framework developed by the Verifiable Scientific Info (VCI) coalition. Microsoft and MITRE are founding members of VCI and serve on its steering committee.

Washington State was not alone in its determination to digitize well being information. The adoption of SMART Well being Playing cards is rising each in the US and overseas. Within the first 12 months of their launch, over two dozen states adopted SMART Well being Playing cards, giving 225 million individuals in the US free, safe, privacy-preserving entry to immunization information electronically.

Historic boundaries to medical information entry

Paper information, like conventional vaccine playing cards, are simply misplaced, broken, and could be troublesome to move. As a result of organizations retailer immunization information in disconnected data programs, bodily playing cards could be laborious to entry or change. Paper information will also be troublesome and dear to authenticate, creating extra concern about forgeries throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, paper information have posed challenges throughout pure disasters, with survivors typically struggling to entry their information below excessive circumstances. Quan Le, Immunization Program Information Unit Supervisor on the Louisiana Division of Well being, witnessed these challenges as residents evacuated the state throughout Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“Folks whose lives had already been turned the wrong way up by Katrina had been unable to entry their immunization information in order that they might enroll their youngsters at school in one other state,” says Le. “The State Division was inundated with requests for immunization information. The problem was making an attempt to get these information into the fingers of oldsters as rapidly as attainable in order that their youngsters may get again to studying and have some semblance of normalcy. These efforts would have been a lot simpler if we had SMART Well being Playing cards then. Fortunately, LA Pockets provides Louisiana residents a SMART Well being Card–enabled resolution immediately.”

The following era of vaccination information

Utilizing SMART Well being Playing cards, people are given management of their private well being data. With digital information like these from Washington, Louisiana, and lots of different states and nations, individuals can entry and obtain their immunization information anytime, wherever, and retailer their well being information as a verifiable QR code. People can share their SMART Well being Playing cards with employers, faculties, occasions, and at border crossings to authenticate their vaccination standing.

The Washington State DOH performed a basic position in making certain this expertise is equitable and accessible. “We had been actually motivated to make it possible for nobody can be denied entry to their vaccination information,” says Dr. Bryant Thomas Karras, Chief Medical Informatics Officer on the Washington State DOH and VCI steering committee member. “Once we launched WA Confirm, we made SMART Well being Playing cards accessible in 42 languages.”

By utilizing Azure for infrastructure, the VCI was in a position to give adopters the instruments they wanted to rapidly launch SMART Well being Playing cards. “In Washington State, we accomplished a two-year challenge in solely two to 3 months,” says Karras. “I’m so appreciative of the collaboration with Microsoft and different state businesses. We couldn’t have carried out it alone.”

SMART Well being Playing cards unify and modernize information, main to raised affected person outcomes for healthcare suppliers

Now, almost half a billion individuals worldwide can entry their medical information utilizing SMART Well being Playing cards. This expertise holds large untapped potential to attach disparate programs, making entry to healthcare extra equitable. People can provide their healthcare suppliers their well being information in actual time in order that they will drive higher well being outcomes.

“SMART Well being Playing cards are reworking outdated paper-based information into fashionable, streamlined information,” says Rebecca Coyle, Government Director on the American Immunization Registry Affiliation. “They’re a normal that we are able to all embrace to maneuver us into the following era of immunization information and rework healthcare file holding for the higher.”

Be taught extra about methods to ship higher affected person insights, well being, and care at Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. And go to SMART Well being Playing cards and the VCI web site to learn extra about this expertise.