Ten minute Covid test could help reopen UK sports stadiums
A cyber technology company based in Manchester, UK is developing a rapid Covid-19 testing kit with the aim of safely reopening stadiums to restart sporting events.
The kits will produce test results in 10 minutes that will be saved in a data protection-compliant digital health passport to authenticate the results. Unlike the contact tracing apps currently in use by the Government, the V-Health Passport® will not track or trace a person's live location, ensuring personal data is ultra secure, using advanced security protocols and encryption.
The technology is being developed by VST Enterprises Ltd (VSTE) a leading British technology company, supported by sports marketing consultancy Redstrike, public safety and event management partners Halo Solutions, and occupational health care company Latus Health.
Plans for the testing kit and V-Health Passport® are part of a pilot programme called 'Fans are back' which have been submitted to the UK Government’s Department Of Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) and the Prime Minister’s office. The plans have won praise for being a potential game changer to reopen stadiums, from supporters such as former sports minister Richard Caborn and former England Rugby Captain Mike Tindall MBE.
The pilot programs will initially cover football, rugby and snooker, working with various Government bodies and sporting associations including the Premier League and World Snooker Union.
The pilot will involve randomly selecting a sample group of between 500-5000 home fans to be tested the day before a specially designated football or rugby match using the Covid-19 rapid test kit. Each person will also be provided with a V-Health Passport®, the ultra secure digital health passport to be used on their mobile phone to validate the test results. They will be instructed to download the passport onto their phone prior to the testing day.
The users enter their name, address, date of birth, phone number, and doctor details along with an official identity document such as a passport or drivers’ licence to verify their ID. The uploaded documents are then verified against the smartphone's facial recognition to match the person’s details in a “likeness test”.
The fans will then be invited to take a Covid-19 rapid test at a pre-defined location, by appointment the day before the event. Upon arrival at the test site they will be asked to present their V-Health Passport® for scanning, and a temperature check will be taken before they are directed to a test station.
The test takes 1 minute to administer with the results available in 10 minutes. The results are uploaded to their digital passport, which is then presented to officials for scanning, displaying the person's photo, a traffic light symbol to confirm the result, and the date of the test.
The digital passport is powered by ultra secure technology called VCode® which works alongside the testing kit to provide an intelligent traffic light system on a smartphone, identifying the person's test result as positive or negative. “Red” indicates a positive, “Green” indicates a negative test result and “Amber” indicates a countdown trigger date to the next test date required.
A more in depth screen can only be viewed by authorised medical staff.
The fan is then advised to return home and self isolate until the match the next day, when they can return to the stadium and present their V-Health Passport® for scanning before attending the event. To ensure social distancing remains and prevent large queues and bottle necks, the passport can be scanned by officials up to 100 metres away.
If a person tests positive the details uploaded to the digital passport can be used for contract tracing purposes through the national NHS Test and Trace programme.
If the trials prove successful, the aim is to roll out the programme across other venues for events like music concerts and theatre.
VSTE and their partners say this testing system is extremely secure because it doesn't use unsecured bluetooth technology or compromise private data. Instead it uses ultra secure end-to-end encryption with closed loop technology, making the passport unhackable.
Zoom enters the healthcare market - a timeline
Since the pandemic began Zoom has become an integral part of daily life for people working from home, as well as a vital tool for families and friends to communicate. However it's also been eyeing up the healthcare space since 2017, and following the boom in telehealth the company has been rolling out additional services. Here we chart Zoom's move into healthcare.
2011 - 2013
Zoom is founded in San Jose, California, by Eric Yuan, formerly of Cisco. He got the idea to create a video calling platform from his visits to his girlfriend while he was a student, which would take 10 hours by train.
A beta version is released in 2012, which can host up to 15 participants. In 2013 this rises to 25. By mid-2013, Zoom has 1 million users.
2014 - 2017
Zoom attracts investors, including Sequoia Capital, Emergence and Horizon Ventures. By January 2017, Zoom has a series D funding worth $100 million.
2017 - 2019
Zoom for Telehealth launches, including an integration with EHR system Epic. It has cloud-based video, audio, and content sharing features, a "waiting room" for patients, and can easily be integrated into healthcare provider's workflows.
In 2019 Zoom goes public, with its IPO rising 72% in one day.
As a result of the pandemic, Zoom gains 2.2 million new users, more than in the whole of 2019. On the 23rd of March alone - the day the UK lockdown was announced - the platform was downloaded 2.13 million times around the world.
Share prices rise to around $150, and founder and chief executive Eric Yuan becomes one of the world's richest people, with an estimated net worth of $7.9 billion.
Early security issues are addressed by encrypting data with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). By now the the platform allows 99 people to be on a call simultaneously
New features launch, including Zoom Home and Zoom for Chats. Throughout the year the platform is used to replace most kinds of real life events: work meetings, online classrooms, church services and social events.
Renamed Zoom for Healthcare, users can share secured video, audio, and content through desktops, mobile phones, and conference devices. As well as Epic, it can be integrated with Strmr, IntakeQ, and Practice Better.
It can also be used with diagnostic cameras and other point-of-care devices, including digital stethoscopes.
In an interview with Korea Biomedical Review, Zoom Global Healthcare Lead Ron Emerson said: "Our service is not simply a virtual care and telemedicine platform but a multi-purpose platform that can satisfy the needs of healthcare institutions."
"It can be used for administrative tasks, including telemedicine, medical team meetings, recruitment, medical education, employee training, and disease prevention. Analysing electronic records managed by Zoom could provide meaningful insights into patient care."
Phoenix Children's Hospital, Belfast's Hospital Services Limited, Butler Health Services and the global Project ECHO are among Zoom for Healthcare's current customers.