Sporting And Entertainment Events As Well As Int. Travellers Could Return To South Africa In Near Future Thanks To Revolutionary Technology.

By Karishma Dipa

Global Sporting And Entertainment Events As Well As International Travellers Could Return To South Africa In The Near Future Thanks To Revolutionary New Technology Which Delivers Rapid Covid-19 Tests And Vaccinations. Health Passport Worldwide, the digital health system recently launched in South Africa, aims to support the struggling health-care sector and enable job creation at a time when the economy is reeling from the effects of Covid-19.

Founder Robert Quirke said that the mobile app, which is able to test 550 people an hour for Covid-19, aims to resurrect those industries which were devastated by the global health crisis, including the ailing tourism sector. “Overnight a global tourism industry closed down, airports – like Cape Town International, that sees 11 million passengers a year – shut down, with a 90% drop in international traffic.

“This, coupled with jobs losses that left families with no hope on the horizon for over a year, spurred the need to get life back on track again. “The system then becomes a bridge to the wider world, helping to open up travel, sports, events and businesses.” Health Passport Worldwide, an app which can be downloaded for free from app stores on any smartphone, enables people to quickly and easily receive their test results, and automatically delivers the certified documents directly to their mobile.

“The advanced set-up means that 275 people can easily be tested every hour, and as demand increases, this can scale up overnight to 550 people an hour,” said Quirke. Health Passport Worldwide was engineered in Europe last year by the ROQU Group which has previously collaborated with international state agencies’ economic development and strategic problem-solving projects. This month it was officially launched in South Africa with the introduction of its flagship testing centre at The Lookout Waterfront in Cape Town.

“The system has already been proven in South Africa, when in December last year, a live music event called Recharge 2020 was staged using the Health Passport tech,” Quirke said. “Ahead of the concert, all attendees, including staff and performers, downloaded the app and on the day of the event, everyone was tested for Covid-19 using the latest rapid antigen tests that are already validated for use in South Africa. “They were then safely scanned into the event to provide the lowest levels of risk possible.”

Quirke is aware of privacy concerns regarding mobile technology and for this reason, Health Passport Worldwide does not track the user’s location through Bluetooth or GPS, does not share any data with third parties and does not monitor people’s usage of the system. Health Passport mobile technology also eliminates the potential for fraud and fake paper documents, which often causes havoc at international borders and airports.

“By using the secure mobile system, the airport and airlines can scan people’s QR code, similar to a boarding pass, making the entire process streamlined and helping to quickly get planes flying again,” said Quirke. As the overall platform only works with tests and vaccinations which are administered by medical professionals, it also provides efficiencies for both the health-care sector and the public. Qurike is optimistic that the digital health system could result in the return of sporting and other entertainment events in South Africa.

“With major sporting events planned, such as the British and Irish Lions Rugby Tour and the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the technology, experience and testing process enables these major projects to be safely hosted in South Africa.” Health Passport Worldwide might not yet have entered the mainstream health industry yet, but Quirke said they were working with the government to introduce their technology at various levels and for various industries.

“We are working with the highest levels of authorities and government bodies to try to make it happen for the country.” While the system is acclaimed for the manner in which it delivers swift coronavirus test results, it has also proved useful for Covid-19 vaccinations. “Along with testing, the system can also house a digital record of people’s vaccination, making everything easily accessible whenever it is required,” Quirke said.

Health Passport Worldwide is also currently enrolling Covid-19 testing centres across South Africa and wants to support the efficient deployment of vaccinations. “The technology is available to the health-care sector and to the public for free in an effort to help reopen the economy and society,” Quirke said.

This news was originally published at IOL.