Madeleine Hillyer, Public Engagement, World Economic Forum, email@example.com, +1 646 592 5044
New York, USA, 17 December: Today, the government of Aruba and several leading global laboratory, health, and travel partners have joined the CommonTrust Network. The CommonTrust Network is a coalition of private and public partners, which aims to enable people to demonstrate their health status in compliance with country entry requirements while protecting their data privacy. By doing so, it is hoped that international borders can be opened more safely and economic activity resumed.
“Aruba is pleased to take a leadership role as the first government to formally join the CommonTrust Network,” said Evelyn Wever-Croes, Prime Minister of Aruba. “Building out this international trust network for health data will accelerate the safer reopening of international borders and accelerate economic recovery for Aruba and in countries around the world.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has only emphasized the need for like-minded organizations to work together,” said Christoph Wolff, Head of Mobility at the World Economic Forum. “The CommonTrust Network is an ambitious, but necessary collaboration across and beyond the travel and tourism ecosystem, which will harmonize programmes related to digital COVID-19 test results and health record verification.”
The initiative sees participating countries, jurisdictions and other destinations, including airlines, ships, public transport, hotels, venues, events, offices and schools, agree to publish and maintain their health entry requirements using a standard machine-readable format in the CommonTrust Registry.
Currently, people are required to prove their negative COVID-19 test results in places like work or school, as well as when entering certain countries. They are doing so with stamps in booklets, paper receipts or photographs of their paper copies. These paper-based forms are easily falsified and there is no standard format or certification system.
To help address this, the CommonTrust Network is creating a global registry of trusted health data sources, standard formats for lab results, and standard tools to make those results and records digitally accessible.
New diagnostics partners include global healthcare company Roche, and laboratories LabCorp and Quest Diagnostics, who have joined along with the global diagnostics non-profit organization, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND). These health information partners will allow more individuals to readily gain digital access to their health data, including lab test results and potentially future vaccination records.
“Access to data is key to empowering people and an essential element of managing healthcare,” said Catharina Boehme, Chief Executive Officer of FIND. “We are pleased to be working with partners including the CommonTrust Network on digital health initiatives that will enable us to live with COVID-19 in safety until the pandemic is defeated, and help us fight against other major diseases affecting the world’s poorest populations.”
Cigna, the largest provider of health insurance products and services to expatriates and the globally mobile, has also joined the CommonTrust Network.
Global shipping, travel and aviation
Among those most affected by the lack of clarity about testing and certification are the world’s seafarers, according to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).
“Hundreds of thousands of seafarers across the globe are still stranded on ships and unable to return home because of international travel restrictions due to COVID-19”, said Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the ITF. "We believe this humanitarian crisis, which also poses a significant risk to global supply chains, needs to be addressed in part through the introduction of internationally recognised certification of COVID-19 test results and of vaccinations in the future."
An early supporter, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) today formally joined the CommonTrust Network, reinforcing its strategic partnership with the World Economic Forum, which aims to promote secure, sustainable and resilient travel and tourism.
In aviation, Cathay Pacific Airways also joins CommonTrust Network airlines JetBlue, Lufthansa, Swiss International Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, which will begin the roll-out of CommonTrust-enabled routes in December on select flights departing from Boston, Hong Kong, London and New York.
CommonTrust Network trials
The first platform built on the CommonTrust Network, CommonPass, was first successfully trialled in October on Cathay Pacific Airways and United Airlines flights between Hong Kong, Singapore, London and New York. Government observers of the trials included the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and the United Kingdom Border Force and Ministry for Transport.
“Our partnership with CommonPass is an important step in our effort to maintain a seamless travel journey for our customers and crewmembers, while providing the safest experience possible,” says Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue. “As travel evolves, solutions like CommonPass, which protect privacy while quickly satisfy entry criteria, will be pivotal to maintaining open borders and economies. JetBlue will continue to seek out thoughtful partnerships and solutions that maintain our commitment to safety as well as advancing and protecting the health of our customers, crewmembers and communities we serve.”
The CommonTrust Network is enabled by a global network of labs, vaccine distributors and healthcare providers who agree to provide individuals with digital access to their own health information using open, globally-interoperable standards (e.g. HL7 FHIR, W3C verifiable credentials). The network includes hundreds of health systems covering thousands of locations in the United States and a growing network of labs and healthcare providers around the world. CommonTrust Network airport labs include XpresCheck (JFK, EWR, BOS), Collinson (LHR, LGW), and Prenetics (HKG).
The Commons Project Foundation
The Commons Project Foundation is a non-profit public trust established with support from the Rockefeller Foundation. It builds and operates digital platforms and services for the common good. Its mission-driven structure is designed to attract world-class talent to build and sustain digital public services in a way that serves people’s interests. Beginning with health information, it is focused on empowering people to access and control their personal data and put it to use for their own benefit.
Media queries for The Commons Project Foundation should be addressed to Thomas Crampton at +44 782 699 5794 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
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