GovCIO: The Call for a National Approach to COVID-Tracking Apps

“Digital vaccine credentialing and exposure notification apps for COVID-19 can be crucial pieces of technology that many organizations are utilizing in return-to-work strategies. But according to a recent Government Accountability Office report, there are still many barriers in their reliability that could benefit from a more centralized approach…”

“NASA is one agency that developed its own internal system to manage and document these efforts for its workforce. But elsewhere, approaches vary due to associated challenges with privacy, effectiveness, interoperability and equity that may limit their use and potential benefits, according to Hayden Huang, GAO’s assistant director for science, technology assessment, and analytics, during FCW’s Health IT Workshop last month…”

“The second challenge GAO identified was interoperability. Because different digital credentials require different formats, permissions or outputs, it could be difficult to implement a nationwide standard without interoperable systems and tools…”

“GAO also identified equity as a key challenge to these new tools. Because digital credentialing and exposure notification apps require smartphones, network coverage and digital fluency, there are barriers to which populations are able to use these tools…”

“’To help address some of the colleges, we identified several policy approaches,’ Huang said. ‘Some policy approaches include working to establish effectiveness and utility of these credentials and apps. That includes whether they work, how well they do what they’re supposed to, how many people are using them, and what are the benefits gained? Additionally, development of standards can help address concerns relating to privacy and interoperability.’…” Read the full article here.

Source: The Call for a National Approach to COVID-Tracking Apps – By Sarah Sybert, January 6, 2022. GovCIO.

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