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Fluree Chosen To Provide Patient-owned Verifiable, Cryptographically Protected Digital Health Records

  • The solution is the result of a new partnership with Chicago-headquartered Pulse Connect, a decentralized identity management company
  • The Pulse ID Health Hub to serve as a privacy-preserving decentralized Health Information Exchange platform for any and all medical records, first focusing on providing technology to support a safe return to work or school
  • The Health Hub’s first focus is on generating “Good Health Passes,” in which patients will now own and control test results, vaccinations, or any other form of medical information needed to prove current health status. Patients may access their data at the tap of a button, in a digital trustworthy, verifiable form built upon open, interoperable Web3 standards

Fluree, a provider of a Web3 data platform, announced plans for a collaboration in which patients will be able to store, access, possess and share their respective unique, provable and cryptographically protected digital health data. Patients will own their health records in a digital trustworthy, verifiable form built upon open, interoperable Web3 standards.

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Individuals may use these verifiable credentials for medical purposes, for travel or when a requirement exists to demonstrate a person’s current health status to allow a safe return to work or school.

Making the breakthrough possible is Fluree’s verifiable credential-supporting technology in combination with a new partnership with Pulse Connect, a Chicago-headquartered Fluree customer and decentralized identity management company. The company first began working with Fluree last year using its open-source technology. Pulse Connect selected Fluree for its unique combination of distributed ledger technology for digital trust and semantic standards for data interoperability. This unique combination forms the infrastructure on which Pulse Connect launched HealthHub, a privacy-preserving decentralized HIE (Health Information Exchange) platform  and patient access tool through which they will issue Good Health Passes for proving status of immunity, including test results, recovery and vaccination.

“Verifiable credentials offer a path to compliance for enterprises, a path to sovereignty and ownership for consumers, and a path to collaboration and interoperability for industries. Everyone wins,”  said Fluree co-founder and CEO Brian Platz. “Pulse Connect is delivering this technology and vision to the health care industry, starting with a very real, very tangible need: provable vaccine data that can be verified across an industry network.”

The partnership with Pulse Connect represents Fluree’s foray into the health care sector, specifically the more than $2 billion addressable interoperability market.

“This is the first step in cutting the Gordian knot in health care,” said Pulse Connect co-founder and co-CEO Randolph Rodriguez. “Fluree’s blockchain graph database platform, which combines support for W3C linked data standards with digital signatures and cryptography, provides the perfect platform of verifiable credentials that are secure and interoperable. Early adopters in this space will reap the unique benefits of this emerging identity management technology through integration with Pulse Connect’s HealthHub.”

Deployment of the pilot PulseID Health Hub application by Pulse Connect customers will provide their patients with verifiable health passes for any COVID-19 testing or vaccinations they might receive. This includes serologically backed “recovery records” that indicate immunity to COVID-19.

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“Despite greater adoption of the latest health IT solutions, too many health delivery organizations still rely on manual identification processes and error-prone exchanges of information between people that often result in patient misidentification, which can lead to patient safety errors and financial issues for a health care organization,” said Pulse Connect co-founder and co-CEO Michael Terrell.

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“It’s time we put privacy first, and let the patients be at the center of their information, while also enabling health care facilities with a more effective patient identification strategy,” Terrell said.

The Health Hub is a patient portal that allows patients to view their COVID-19 vaccination, recovery and/or testing records. Patients using the hub may share such data without revealing other personal information. The hub also supplies patients with a QR code that they present to businesses and event organizers. People use a PulseID Verifier module developed on standards from the Global Covid Certificate Network to scan the QR code.

That network is a global directory of trust registries to enable cross-border certificate verification. It acts as a system that verifiers in one jurisdiction can use to make a decision regarding whether to accept a certificate signed by another jurisdiction.

Cryptographically protected vaccine or testing verifiable credentials also are part of what the Good Health Pass Collaborative is working toward: the ability for individuals to own and control their health and identity credentials. A Good Health Pass makes transparent how user data is collected, used and shared. Individuals determine where, when, with whom and for what purposes their data is shared.

“Web3 represents a new era of trusted data sharing and self-sovereign identity,” said Fluree Vice President of Global Partners Buck Flannigan. “We look forward to delivering critical Web3 enabling technology such as W3C standard verifiable credentials to the world alongside independent software vendors like Pulse Connect and other partners in our ecosystem.”

Flannigan also said the partnership between Fluree and Pulse Connect will grow on two coordinated fronts: technical and commercial.

“Our technical partnership will bring a native linked-data reference architecture for decentralized identity into real-world health data management,” Flannigan said. “Our commercial partnership is accelerating as the market continues to shift away from legacy, proprietary electronic health records vendors with ‘spaghetti on top,’ not achieving much needed interoperability and self-sovereign data ownership.
 
“We expect digital identity across all vertical industries and public-sector agencies to migrate toward the issuer-holder-verifier triad of actors in the technical use cases for verifiable credentials, so this is a large market,” Flannigan continued. “Our initial focus was on health data and credentials to deliver a trusted and privacy-enhanced platform during the course of the pandemic, allowing for optimal health management as we move into COVID-19’s endemic phase.”

The W3C VC stack is an example of native-linked data reference architecture for decentralized identity. The HL7/FHIR health care data exchange standard is an example of real-world health data management. The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program lays out how to obtain federal government cloud-services authorizations.

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