WISeKey International Holding Ltd, a Swiss-based cybersecurity, AI and IoT company said this week it has developed a digital certificate for vaccines that secures existing international certification of vaccination.

Recently WISeKey announced an agreement with the German health tech company Digital Diagnostics AG to digitally certify and encrypt the data originated by a new type of sensor device that can be used for immediate tests for the new SARS coronavirus. 

The digid cantisense SARS-CoV-2 test, it said, becomes a “pocket-sized laboratory and can be used in four steps anywhere on site by general practitioners, paramedics, and nursing staff without much prior knowledge.

“The new digital diagnostic platform enables the rapid testing of millions of people and thus enables real-time monitoring of the spread of the disease within the population. By connecting the digital sensor to a secure database, new regional hotspots of the virus spread can be recognized in real time and immediately contained.

“With the imminent deployment of COVID-19 vaccines the development and wide use of technologies able to protect these vaccines against counterfeiting becomes essential in the fight against the virus.”

In April of this year, Europol warned the public about the potential harm of offline and online scams offering counterfeited versions of the COVID-19 vaccine and the huge health, social and economic risks associated with disinformation shared by criminals to defraud individuals and companies.

“Europol’s November report emphasized that the distribution of substandard and counterfeit pharmaceutical products, including preventative COVID-19 vaccines remains a consistent pandemic-related criminal activity,” WISeKey said in a release

“These counterfeit vaccines may pose a significant risk to public health if they are ineffective or toxic, given their production in labs without the required hygiene standards. These fake vaccines may circulate on illicit markets and might be introduced to legal markets for distribution. 

“The World Health Organization already issues paper "yellow cards" that act as an international certification of vaccination, primarily to be used when entering a country that has enhanced health risks to travelers.

“But a paper certificate, as experts warned in a white paper released earlier this year, would be too difficult to quickly scale up for hundreds of millions of people but most importantly, could be subject to fraudulent activities.”

Carlos Moreira, CEO and founder of WISeKey discussed this further at the World Policy Conference – Health event held last week.

“We must rethink the way the Internet is built in order to unleash the potential of technology for healthcare, as this sector is still mainly an analogue sector waiting to be digitally transformed,” he said. “By bringing human at the center of gravity and allowing it to freely consent to the use of its personal data, we can provide three immediate benefits: consent, traceability and protection.”

The Health sector transformation, he added, is going to be revolutionized by Artificial Intelligence of Things “AIoT” acting as the brain that will power the nervous system of the network of IoT health related identities and objects.

“With the introduction of 5G, the ecosystem will continue to grow at a much faster rate as 5G will enable the connection of every object, person, and machine. AIoT will embed AI into the core health system infrastructure components including Root of Trust, semiconductors, and edge computing.

“Specialized APIs are then used to provide interoperability between health applications at the device, software and platform level to optimize system and network operations.”

Paul Barker