Care homes trial biometric ID for Covid tests
A biometric identity system developed by FinGo is being trialled by a UK care home as a secure way to verify staff members' COVID-19 test results.
Using vein ID technology, the system doesn't require the use of a smartphone - instead it captures a user’s unique vein pattern to enable secure, identity-enabled transactions.
Combined with Self Sovereign Identification (SSI) from blockchain developers Blockpool, the digital passport application confirms users' identity as well as recording their COVID-19 test status.
Staff at the care home registered their vein pattern once through a FinGo scanner, enabling the EN-Covid passport to capture and store their contact details and test results. They could then move between registered facilities and scan their finger to pull up their test results and enter the premises.
FinGo say the system is fraud-proof, privacy-centric and scalable. They are currently in talks with Blockpool, policy makers and industry to roll out the system more widely and create further applications.
Its use is also being explored in other settings, such as on public transport and in educational establishments, and FinGo believe it could play an important role to verify test and vaccine status at live music events.
Funded by the Government-backed Innovate UK grant, in July 2020 FinGo was given the go ahead to be used for age verification by Manchester City Council, making it the first city in the world to introduce the technology for this purpose. It was also successfully installed at a bar in the city to assist with their test and trace efforts last summer.
FinGo, and its parent company Sthaler Ltd were originally focused on payments, until last year when a range of new identity-based products including FinGo ID were launched in response to the pandemic.
Simon Binns, Chief Commercial Officer at FinGo, said: “It’s clear that our technology could be a really valuable tool for care settings having to manage vaccine and test verification. It’s far more efficient than physical records, completely secure, accessible to any user and can be readily rolled out to other care homes across the UK.
"SSI is an incredibly secure way to store personal data and combined with vein ID biometrics, it could form the basis of a new approach to health passporting. FinGo’s technology could also be vital for other sectors, especially those looking to verify test or vaccine status as they begin to reopen this summer. "
Dexcom: changing the lives of people with type 1 diabetes
It is estimated that 9.3% of adults around the world are living with type 1 diabetes, which amounts to a total of 463 million people. A further 1.1 million children and adolescents under the age of 20 are living with the condition.
Unlike the more prevalent type 2 diabetes, where the body still produces insulin and symptoms develop slowly, people with type 1 diabetes need regular insulin injections or pumps, and must monitor their sugar levels frequently.
In recent years a number of remote glucose monitoring systems have become available that patients can use at home. These work with a sensor, usually placed under the skin, that measures glucose levels every few minutes. This information is then transmitted wirelessly to a device like a smartphone or tablet, which can then be shared with their clinician.
British actress Nina Wadia's son Aidan, 14, has type 1 diabetes, and has been managing his condition using Dexcom, a glucose monitoring system used by patients all over the world. Here Wadia explains how Dexcom has improved their lives.
As a parent of someone with type 1 diabetes, what is your day-to-day life like?
Being able to take a breath, think and pivot constantly without getting frustrated becomes an essential mindset because sometimes it feels like each day is determined to be different from the day before. Whatever worked yesterday is going to misfire today.
Which areas of yours and Aidan’s life are most impacted by diabetes?
The one thing that you have to fight hard to reclaim is spontaneity, especially when it comes to food and exercise. It’s only when this is taken do you realise how essential each one is. You can be flexible and there are no real limits, but only in the sense that a great athlete can be flexible without limits because they’ve trained super hard to be that way. So we’ve all had to become athletes when it comes to being spontaneous.
How has Dexcom helped you and Aidan?
Dexcom has brought future science fiction to real life today. The continuous glucose monitoring system is tiny, sits discreetly on his body and gives him a ten-day breather between sensor changes, so it's goodbye finger-pricking seven times daily.
Dexcom is totally active at a grass roots level and for Diabetes Awareness has pledged to donate £2,000 if #DexcomDiabetesStories and/or #DexcomWarriorStories is shared 200 times! I’ll be sharing more on social media and would love to hear how other families are winning their fights.
Maybe most importantly Dexcom is trying to introduce a reimbursement programme for type 1 diabetes patients which will give greater access to modern, life changing hi-tech. I want to spread the word on the importance of accessing it through this campaign.
If you compared your life today with how it was before Aidan was using Dexcom, what has changed?
It's always working, which lets him take his mind off diabetes for longer stretches. It also lets me get off his back. We both receive alerts so I no longer have to pester him by asking him what his number is, and especially importantly, I don’t have to wake him at night to prick his finger if I’m worried. Dexcom gave us back our sleep!