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Our Perspectives

Feb 4, 2021

The Road Ahead

If you have an appointment this week to be vaccinated for COVID-19, afterwards you’ll be handed a paper vaccine card. It will have your name on it, a sticker with the vaccine dose info, and the name of the clinician who administered the shot. And that’s it. It’s not terribly secure, and it’s easy to lose or to counterfeit.

As more people receive vaccinations and the science continues to evolve, we’ll learn whether proof of vaccination status will help society return to normal sooner. That could mean eating out at restaurants, attending sporting events, and even business travel. There is a lot of important discussion going on about how to do this—questions about privacy, authenticity, and digital infrastructure abound.

This week, Lumedic reached a milestone—we began to roll out Lumedic Connect, a first-of-its-kind commercial technology to offer digital vaccination cards to patients receiving COVID-19 vaccinations at sites affiliated with Providence, one of the nation’s largest health systems. The technology, which is free of charge for patients and providers, answers a lot of the big questions: it integrates with a health system’s electronic health records (EHR) system, offers authenticated vaccine credentials, preserves user privacy and autonomy, and complies with global open standards and governance models.

Lumedic Connect includes a mobile app that offers patients the option to share vaccination verification status quickly and securely, when and how they want. Initial roll-out is taking place over the next several weeks for vaccinated Providence patients across WA, MT, AK, CA, and OR, and then will be available to all Providence patients across the entire seven-state system. From there, we'll make it available to other health systems for their patients, free of charge.

Through the app, patients can request their digital vaccine record be delivered securely to their mobile device and then choose to authorize sharing it with organizations of their choice. Only the patient and the EHR have access to this data. If a patient chooses to share his or her vaccination status with an organization, a simple green check mark alerts the organization that the individual has been vaccinated, with no transfer of any other personal health information.

I’m excited about Lumedic’s role today to give patients control of their COVID-19 vaccination information and help get society and business moving again. But we haven’t suddenly decided to become a vaccine information company. This technology is part of our longtime goal to empower patients in their healthcare journeys – and this empowerment starts with getting information in the hands of patients that hasn’t been there before.

Because of that, what we’re doing goes far beyond vaccines. A patient who owns their own information is a patient with power. In health care that means a patient who can make informed care selection decisions, who can actively participate with their caregivers in their own care journey, and who can plan for their financial future with complete confidence. This not only helps individuals today, it sets the conditions to fundamentally change the US healthcare system far beyond just technology.

So today, we are working on a problem that has not been solved before, in the midst of a global health crisis. We’re having conversations with organizations of the likes of the ID2020, IATA, Mastercard, and others specifically because we’ve chosen to build our technology the right way - with an orientation towards the needs of patients and their privacy.

I am proud of the work our team has done to address the COVID-19 pandemic with technology that we’ve spent years perfecting, and I’m excited that Lumedic Connect will serve as a model that will influence how future patient enablement solutions evolve moving forward. We’re doing this because we believe this is the right thing to do, and we believe we’re the right ones to do it.

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