Telos Launches The Epios Project to Facilitate Anonymous COVID-19 Testing
Telos, one of the world’s most active blockchain platforms according to Blocktivity and CryptoDiffer, announced the launch of The Epios Project, designed to facilitate anonymous testing for COVID-19 and other epidemics.
Epios’ flagship product is a mobile app that connects individuals seeking anonymous testing with providers who can supply and process test kits in compliance with local requirements. By processing tests through Epios on the Telos chain, potential linkage between individuals’ identities and their results is eliminated. The Epios mobile app is expected to be available on the App Store and Google Play on July 18.
Epios uses a new, patent-pending method for recording anonymous information within a system requiring disclosure of personally identifiable information. Epios ensures that no payment is made directly by the testing subject to the processing lab, instead using a cryptographically protected coupon provided along with each test kit. Because every coupon uses cryptographic hash values as untraceable codes, labs can verify that a payment is valid without tracing it to a specific purchaser.
“The Epios Project and mobile app are prime examples of how blockchain technology can be used to securely collect, anonymize and manage public health data,” said Suvi Rinkinen, CEO at The Telos Foundation. “At the same time, this is an example of how Telos empowers people of different talents and experiences to collaborate to achieve a common purpose. We look forward to working with additional partners to grow Epios and improve disease testing and outcomes worldwide.”
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There are several reasons why anonymous COVID-19 testing can provide better data and health outcomes. For instance, many individuals prefer to receive health information anonymously. Some may also fear mistreatment by governments, employers or insurers due to a positive test result, so they forego testing and risk spreading the virus.
“By providing an option for structurally anonymous testing, people may be more likely to get tested and take better precautions if their results are positive,” said Douglas Horn, Chief Architect of the Telos Blockchain and Epios Project Lead. “Providing aggregate, anonymous results to researchers with some geographic granularity also helps the medical community and policymakers make more informed decisions for the COVID-19 pandemic and future epidemics.”
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