We have to get back to our lives!
We need a way to get people 1) feeling safe, 2) able to work, 3) able to participate in life, and 4) able to participate in society again.
To do so, we each need a digital equivalent of an immunization card--you know, the little yellow card(s) you have to show your children's school, or your university, or a border agent at customs in some countries. We need to do it SAFELY, but the virus is also showing us the need to do it FAST and in an AGILE way.
There are 3 simple parts to this:
- You need a way to CONSENT to SHARE that particular piece of information.
- An interested 3rd party (ITP), e.g., employer, school, needs a way to VERIFY that status.
- A healthcare provider (HCP) needs a way to CERTIFY that status.
And, in addition to solving this for the rich, Internet-connected first world, we need to find a modality that will serve developing countries, as well. Our experience on the ground in developing countries, particularly sub-saharan Africa, tells us that we need a solution that's robust, scalable, and easy that can work in the field.
What it does
One component of Reentry is an app that will allow you to prove your immunity status to interested parties (e.g., employers, schools, etc) with a QR Code (or NFC tag). The interested party only has to use the "Requester" mode of Reentry to scan the QR Code on your phone (or bump it for an NFC tag) to get your status, verified by a HCP.
There is an app--that together with a blockchain in the backend--that will connect you, your HCP, and interested 3rd-parties with whom you consent to share a particular piece of information.
How I built it
The proof-of-concept/MVP is built on Android with an AWS backend.
Challenges I ran into
There are multiple challenges ahead:
- Waiting for the global scientific and medical communities to arrive at consensus regarding SARS-CoV-2 immunity.
- Helping everyone understand how blockchain and cryptography (complex technical subjects) benefit them by keeping the data safe, secure, yet also reliable.
- Incorporating Reentry into the workflow of testing labs and hospitals.
- Helping HCPs understand the importance of moving fast.
- Helping individuals to see why it's just as useful and safe as offering a immunization card--and no more intrusive.
- Helping 3rd-Parties--like employers and schools--see the positive impacts.
There are technical challenges ahead, as well, though those are more easily solved:
- Incorporating a more robust blockchain network, like the AWS Managed Blockchain.
- Integration with existing healthcare platforms to streamline the workflow of the HCP.
- Adding biometric identification for field use (where patients don't have phones or Internet access).
- Deploying on other platforms (like iOS).
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
- Creating a complete Android app in 6 days.
- Creating an AWS backend in a weekend.
- Developing a blockchain from scratch in the same weekend.
What I learned
Healthcare is a complex and inhospitable landscape for lean and agile solutions. But it's also the sector that requires it the most--while needing to preserve privacy, security, and safety.
What's next for Reentry
Finding a community willing to try this solution that includes local testing labs, hospitals, or other accredited healthcare providers, a group of local individuals willing to use it, local businesses and service providers that want to make use of this information.
A pilot group like this could really validate the concept, and help pave the way to roll out to more communities, so that funding can be applied-for for an at-scale deployment.