A care home in Blackpool has become the first in the UK to demonstrate an inclusive biometric certification system, which does not rely on smartphones, to ensure the safety of residents, staff, and visitors.
The unique vein mapping technology, developed by FinGo, allows the robust verification of care workers’ test results as they move between care homes. Such a solution has the potential to verify vaccine credentials and re-open vast swathes of the UK economy in the future.
The EN-Covid passport solution, funded through a Government-backed Innovate UK grant, is a collaboration between FinGo and Enduring Net, a not-for-profit privacy specialist. The technology captures user’s unique vein pattern to enable secure, identity-enabled transactions. Combined with Self Sovereign Identification (SSI) from blockchain developers Blockpool, the digital passport application confirms identity as well as recording COVID-19 test status, giving a robust, secure, and fraud-proof system to ensure the safety of residents and staff.
Onsite in the Warren Manor Day Care facility, part of the Independent Living group, staff registered their vein pattern once through a FinGo scanner, enabling the EN-Covid passport to capture and store user’s contact details and test results securely. Staff would then be able to move between registered facilities and scan their finger to pull up their test results, enabling quick identity and infection status verification for registered staff.
Spencer Gibbons, the owner of Independent Living, oversaw the trial: “The ability to identify people and present their authorised COVID-19 status instantly, at the door, without breaking any privacy laws, has been invaluable for us. After the difficulties we’ve seen with Track and Trace, and following our trial, both myself and my team feel this system could be pivotal for the care sector.”
Ser-Huang Poon, Enduring Net founder, and professor at the University of Manchester, added: “The toll on the care sector has been devastating. Working with FinGo and Blockpool, Enduring Net wanted to create a digital passport that could help ease some of the pressures on the care sector and protect the most vulnerable. We’ve created a digital passport that provided certainty of results and, vitally, lets individuals have control over their personal data.”
The solution is privacy-centric and scalable, with FinGo and Blockpool now in talks with policy makers and industry with regards to further applications and a wider roll out. In addition, FinGo is also being explored for use in a variety of settings, with a working group initiated by Andy Burnham currently assessing use of its vein ID tech across Manchester’s transport, education, and healthcare networks. The company also believes it could play an important role in test and vaccine verification in live event settings.
Simon Binns, Chief Commercial Officer at FinGo, commented: “Working with Independent Living, it’s clear that our technology could be a really valuable tool for care settings having to manage vaccine and test verification. It’s far more efficient than physical records, completely secure, accessible to any user and can be readily rolled out to other care homes across the UK. SSI is an incredibly secure way to store personal data and combined with vein ID biometrics, it could form the basis of a new approach to health passporting.”
“FinGo’s technology could also be vital for other sectors, especially those looking to verify test or vaccine status as they begin to reopen this summer. We’ve spent many years developing this technology, and our focus recently has been it to support the UK as we safely get back to enjoying life post-lockdown. Imagine at sports events or festivals, needing a quick scan of your finger to confirm your up-to-date test or vaccine status, and then being able to use the same system to pay for drinks or food, and prove your age.”
In July 2020, FinGo was given the go ahead to be used for age verification by Manchester City Council, making it the first city in the world to introduce the technology for this purpose. It was also successfully installed at cocktail bar and restaurant The Alchemist, to assist with the bar’s test and trace efforts last summer.