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Editor’s brief: Singapore’s leading independent medical diagnostics laboratories, Innovative Diagnostics and Quest Laboratories, launch the IQcert platform to generate Digital Health Certificates (DHCs) to authenticate COVID-19 test results for SafeTravel. Innovative Diagnostics and Quest Laboratories will be merged to form Innoquest Diagnostics Pte Ltd in March 2021. The IQcert platform leverages the blockchain-powered Trybe.id technologies, and the DHCs issued by IQcert is supported by Notarise.gov.sg (a Singapore government agency website). The vendor’s release is below.

Innovative Diagnostics And Quest Laboratories Launch A Platform To Generate Digital Health Certificate (DHC) To Authenticate COVID-19 Test Results for SafeTravel

Singapore, @mcgallen #microwireinfo, March 2, 2021 – Established and College of American Pathologists (CAP) accredited medical diagnostic laboratory providers, Innovative Diagnostics Pte Ltd and Quest Laboratories Pte Ltd, (the merged entity will be renamed as Innoquest Diagnostics Pte Ltd in March 2021)  have launched their own platform, IQcert, for the issuance of HealthCerts. This is in accordance with the Singapore HealthCerts program, part of the new Digital Health Certificate (DHC) Trusted Credential Initiative for authenticated COVID-19 test results. Innovative and Quest have done this in collaboration with a blockchain-powered digital identity and credentialing company Trybe.ID, in support for Singapore’s SafeTravel program.

The safe re-opening of travel is essential to reopen and rebuild the tourism and hospitality sector which has borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. With international borders largely still closed to air and sea travel, and incidents of black market sales of forged and fake COVID-19 test results, digital credentialling and authentication of COVID tests will form an indispensable element in forging trust between governments for safe border movement.

With an authenticated and trusted platform, and a well thought through workflow, Singapore’s HealthCerts, developed by the Government Technology Agency and Ministry of Health Singapore, is a set of digital schema for issuing digital COVID-19 test results / vaccination certificates that are in line with international standards and the Singapore Government’s requirements. The authentication of COVID-19 test results will allow safe and seamless travel under the nation’s SafeTravel program to other domiciles that accept these credentials, and pass through for essential and business travel. Effective 10th March, it is mandatory for all clinics in Singapore providing or intending to provide pre-departure testing (PDT) certificates to outbound travellers to issue all PDT certificates in the digital format, following Singapore’s HealthCerts standards.

Beyond travel, IQcert can become a seamless access credential for large-scale trade events such as conferences, seminars, trade shows, and even large malls and other spaces.

Authentication of test results and how it works

When an individual (hereafter called a “patient”) requests for a COVID-19 test at a Swab and Send Home (SASH) clinic in Singapore, the swab will be taken and the sample is sent to a laboratory such as Innovative Diagnostics or Quest Laboratories, which will process the sample using the RT-PCR methodology on the various fully-automated platforms utilised by the laboratories. For samples sent to Innovative Diagnostics and Quest Laboratories, a validated result report is issued upon test completion and automatically sent to the Singapore Government E-portal and IQcert. The clinic can login to the government E-portal to view and verify the test result submitted by Innovative Diagnostics and Quest Laboratories. The staff at the clinic will then send an email to the patient with a link to the DHC in the form of a QR Code or provide the patient with a physical printout of the DHC memo containing the QR code. The patient can then present the DHC to Singapore immigration officers at the airports or seaports prior to departure from Singapore.

IQcert leverages the Trybe.ID self-sovereign identity (SSI) and blockchain-powered digital credential solution that supports the globally accepted HealthCerts schema, the W3C ID and Verifiable Credential standards, and the evolving DIDComms protocols. It is currently being used by over four hundred clinics in Singapore and has so far issued more than a thousand HealthCerts since it was made available in February this year.

“We built Trybe.ID with the user at the centre of the equation and have focused deeply on effective human integration. We are proud of what we have in production today and believe it offers a unique experience for end users putting them in the driver’s seat. Additionally, our focus on alignment with global standards such as the W3C’s VC Data Model and OpenID Connect have positioned us very well for rapid adoption, integration and scale.” Said Chami Akmeemana, CEO, Trybe.ID.

“We are living in very unprecedented times where laboratory testing is crucial to determine our COVID-19 status. Enabling trusted authentication of our reports ensures our reputable brand cannot be soiled by forgery and signals to governments outside of Singapore that once again Singapore and Singapore companies lead the way in collaborative innovative solutions. We certainly hope that with the launch of HealthCerts, Singaporeans may soon take to the skies again,” said Ginny Foo, CEO of Innovative Diagnostics and Quest Laboratories.

One signature to the world

HealthCerts issued by IQcert is supported by Notarise.gov.sg, a Singapore Government Agency website that leverages on the backend database of the Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) and SingPass, the national credential system in Singapore. The Notarise platform allows a single signature to be validated by any border control official around the world, rather than many non-compatible signatures.

Steven Koh, Director, Government Digital Services, GovTech, is heartened to be part of ongoing efforts to safely reopen the global economy and enable cross-border travel. He said, “Together with HealthCerts, GovTech developed the technology platform behind Notarise, to digitally authenticate certificates so that they can be recognised by authorities overseas, while providing travellers a peace of mind knowing that the documents will always be available digitally. We look forward to collaborating with Innovative Diagnostics and other industry partners to develop and support global solutions, based on open standards and open-source software made available for others to use.”

For more information on IQcert and the Digital Health Certificate (DHC) participation by Innovative Diagnostics, please contact pdt@questlabs.com.

About Innovative Diagnostics and the merger with Quest laboratories

Pathology Asia Holdings (PAH), as part of TPG Capital ­– a leading global private investment firm founded in the United States in 1992 – acquired both Innovative Diagnostics Pte Ltd (IDPL) and Quest Laboratories in September 2018. The merger of these two established medical diagnostics laboratories forms one of the largest independent, private medical laboratory in Singapore.  The combined laboratories serve specialist doctors, general practitioners, as well as integrated healthcare providers with a full suite of laboratory tests including COVID19 PCR testing. IDPL & Quest laboratories, in combination, have one core laboratory, 2 stat laboratories, 1 collection centre, 1 COVID testing laboratory and 2 hospital laboratories, with over 600 employees in Singapore. The company has completed over 1 million COVID-19 PCR tests with 3.5 million patient results issued to date from April 2020. In March, 2021, IDPL & Quest Laboratories will be rebranded under the unified name of Innoquest Diagnostics Pte Ltd.

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