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Technology to help businesses fight Covid-19

Cassava Fintech International (CFI), a subsidiary of the Econet Group, has unveiled a secure blockchain technology-supported solution aimed at helping businesses to safely get their employees back to work.

Darlington Mandivenga, CFI chief executive, said the healthtech solution — known as the Sasai Health Status Report (SHSR) — will help individuals and communities get back control of their lives and kick-start productivity, while still observing the recommended public health and safety protocols.

“We (are) offering a solution that we believe will significantly move the needle in safely getting people to securely get tested, know their status and do the needful so that they get back to work and reclaim their normal lives,” he said in an online press conference yesterday.

“The Sasai  Health Status Report will, at the point of testing, capture a person’s Covid-19 health status which they can confidentially share, at the users’ discretion  with those who need to know — such as one’s family members and their employers — in a manner that respects personal data privacy and using secure blockchain technology,” Mr Mandivenga said.

Blockchain technology uses a digital ledger that, among other things, stores information in a secure way that makes it impossible to hack or to alter the record. The use of the technology in the design of the Health Status Report, will be seen as a crucial firewall embedded in the platform against counterfeit tests and fake test kits.

“We are offering a solution at a time many nations have embarked on large-scale screening and testing for Covid-19 in order to reopen their economies,” Mr Mandivenga said. While CFI was rolling out the SHSR in Zimbabwe first, plans were at an advanced stage to take it to other markets.

“We have already received strong expressions of interest from a number of African countries where we will be soon taking the platform.”

Speaking at the same press conference, Sasai chief operating officer Tapera Mushoriwa, said the SHRS was already available on the Google Play and Apple App stores.

“The Health Status Report feature is already available on Sasai  under the Sasai  ‘Explore’ menu. Users simply need to do a once-off registration to activate the service,” Mr Mushoriwa said.

He added that the SHSR feature carried a wide range of functionalities, including test reports and the capability to share one’s test reports with others or with one’s organisation.

“A test report can be securely shared through three ways, with another user within the application, by SMS or by QR code,” Mr Mushoriwa said. A user can also verify a report received, through inputting the verification code which will be authenticated by the blockchain technology.

He said because of the use of blockchain technology in the SHSR architecture, the platform will be able to validate whether or not test kits used across the report’s supply chain are counterfeit or fake.

“We are working with reputable manufacturers and suppliers whose test kits we pre-load onto the platform ahead of any testing programme. Using the SHSR, we are betting on reducing the spread of Covid-19 by ensuring that only authentic test kits sourced from genuine medical suppliers are used, especially given the scourge of counterfeit or substandard health and medical products in some parts of Africa,” Mr Mushoriwa said.

In a separate but related development last week, the African Union (AU) commissioned a secure African Medical Supplies Platform (AMSP) intended, among other things, to secure competitive prices and to protect African governments and organisations from procuring counterfeit Covid-19 medical supplies.

Mr Mushoriwa said the SHSR, which is integrated to a secure web application for use by registered medical professionals, would automatically reject counterfeit test kits and fake test results.

“The Health Services Report has an extra security layer that ensures all personal and medical information is in a secure environment and is temper-proof, such that bogus or unrecognised tests cannot be authenticated on the platform,” Mr Mushoriwa said.

He added that CFI was in the process of engaging the AU, through the AMSP programme, to ensure that all registered manufacturers upload their test kits onto the SHRS platform for validation.

This article was originally published on The Herald from Zimbabwe


  • Executive Economic Development Advisor (Emerging Markets) | Contributor

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