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HK government tech lab launches new app

Hong Kong’s Smart Government Innovation Lab recently announced the launch of a new solution. The innovation is now ready to be acquired by companies and institutions.

Solution description

The solution is called the BLOK Pass app. It is a platform that was designed to enable business and societal continuity in the current and future health crises. At its core is a self-sovereign identity and health status attestation solution – people can store all information needed to access offices, transport, public spaces using a BLOK Pass app that is owned and controlled only by the user.

With appropriate testing protocols in place and with information on an individual’s COVID-19 status stored on the BLOK App, the establishment of travel bubbles is made possible. The platform is easily configurable and can be adapted to monitor a wide variety of evidence types – including anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody status or T cell immunity – to reflect the latest scientific evidence and diagnostic technologies.

Symptoms can be tracked, and test results of all kinds (laboratory or rapid point-of-care PCR, antigen, antibody, etc.) can be validated, attested and stored for use in access protocols. These can be defined and configured according to rules established by the government, border controls, transport providers, entertainment and event venue providers, companies, etc.

Application Areas

The solution can be applied across the areas of Commerce and Industry, Health, Population, Recreation and Culture as well as Transport.

Technologies Used

The solution employs Blockchain and Mobile Technologies.

Use case

As mentioned above, the BLOK Pass app can form the core of a travel bubble solution: It provides a means by which travellers can log COVID-19 test results and declare any symptoms they may be displaying while having all this information stored securely on their devices; it communicates to relevant personnel or authorities what appropriate actions should be taken according to the travellers’ health statuses and their company’s or country’s protocols, without revealing any further information about the travellers.

The BLOK Pass app has also been designed to be easily integrated with existing APIs and contact-tracing solutions, meaning that cross-border compatibility is unlikely to be an issue.

The cost of the BLOK Pass app (HK$50) is far exceeded by its potential benefits. The average overnight visitor per capita spending in 2018 was HK$6,614, and recent figures indicate that tourist arrivals in the January-August period declined by 91.9 percent YoY; the successful implementation of travel bubbles is imperative to the revival of the battered tourism sector.

Developing CEM technologies

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the urgent need for better crisis management technologies. Everbridge notes that an effective Critical Event Management program and strategy is an integrated, end-to-end process that enables organisations to significantly speed up responses to critical events and improve outcomes by mitigating or eliminating the impact of a threat.

This CEM system would mean that business continuity, disaster recovery, active assailant, emergency response, natural disaster, IT incident risk management, and mass notification would all be rolled up into an easy-to-execute, strategic plan with long-term benefits.

Critical event management has come to the fore with the pandemic. Forecasting, planning and management of such events help organisations prevent disruption of life and damage to property.

Much like the BLOK Pass app, Everbridge’s Critical Event Management solutions can make a significant difference in mitigating harm caused by such critical events. They provide richer intelligence and correlating threats with locations of assets and people ensuring more rapid and comprehensive incident assessment and remediation.

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