Rwanda, Senegal Launch Technology To Verify People’s Clinical Data

Rwanda and Senegal have revolutionized people’s clinical data access by putting information including COVID-19 tests, results and vaccination details in the hands of citizens.

They are the first in the continent to launch a technology dubbed “Smart Health Card” that will help health officials to digitally record, keep, and verify people’s clinical information.

SMART Health Cards contain a secure QR code and may be saved digitally or printed on paper by the holder.

For example, the technology will start with keeping, providing and verifying Covid-19 vaccination  but also showing recent test results. The technology was launched in Kigali city on July 21, 2022.

Using the QR code, the technology displays the holder’s name and date of birth and clinical information related to the vaccine and test.

“Digital health innovation holds great potential to expand access, increase quality and reduce the cost of health services across the continent. Today marks a significant milestone in Africa and public health, as the Mastercard Foundation co-launches the Smart Health Card,” Papa Salif Sow, the Head of Health Initiatives at Mastercard Foundation said.

“This technology will help Africans to access, manage and share their health care data digitally, resulting in a stronger and more efficient health care system in Africa.”

The Smart Health Card’s QR code also displays vaccines including; date of manufacturer, manufacturer, and type of Vaccine, and location of a vaccination centre.

During the verification processes, the QR code is scanned by the SMART Health Card Verification App which will display either red, orange, or green, depending on the validity of a person’s card.

According to the Ministry of Health, SMART Health Card is a digital or printed QR code that provides proof of vaccination or shows recent test results. But has the capacity to keep other health information when they are recorded.

SMART Health Cards will be required at stadiums, concerts and other public events in the near future, but it is also important for a person to keep his/her clinical records digitally.

“Good Health requires good data.  Beginning with the dissemination of Smart Health Cards for the Covid-19 vaccinations, Senegal is working to empower citizens with access to their health records using open standards,” Dr. Daniel Ngamije, Minister of Health said.

Smart Health Cards are used in the United States of America, England, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, among others.