HealthCerts - digital standards and schema | Singapore Government Developer Portal
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HealthCerts

For most countries, an extensive vaccination process is underway. There are ongoing discussions how vaccine-certificates can be part of the effort to reopen the global economy and enable cross-border travel. There is a need to collaborate amongst governments to support cross border prospects that provide global solutions.

We published HealthCerts - a set of digital open standards and schema for issuing digital COVID-19 test results/ vaccination certificates, in line with international standards and the Singapore Government's requirements. This will allow the global community to collectively improve it so that governments and public health authorities may adapt it. Besides the standards and schema, it is useful to understand in greater detail how the solution works and some of the limitations to be taken note of.

Together with HealthCerts, Notarise was also developed to digitally notarise certificates and Verify to enable authorities to confirm certificates' legitimacy as shown in Figure 1 below.

Confirming digital certificate legitmacy process
Figure 1. Use of HealthCerts, Notarise and Verify

Digital Vaccine-Certificates in Singapore

The Government Technology Agency(GovTech), in collaboration with the Singapore Health Ministry have developed a system for issuing, authenticating and verifying digital certificates shown in Figure 2 below. It ensures certificates issues are tamper-proof, secure and comply with international standards and the Singapore Government's requirements.

HealthCerts, Notarise and Verify
Figure 2. System for issuing, authenticating and verifying digital certificates

How It Works

HealthCerts is a set of digital open standards and schema for issuing, authenticating and verifying digital COVID-19 test results/vaccination certificates. HealthCerts are issued in line with international standards and the Singapore Government's requirements. It is interoperable with private sector solutions. These certificates are also tamper-proof(data stored is immutable) and secure, protected against unauthorised access.

The digital certificate stores identity details (name, national identity numnber, DOB etc.) and test details (type, status, date, medical institution details). The QR Code will be sent via email or presented under the SingPass Mobile app as shown in Figure 3 below.

HealthCerts screenshot on SingPass mobile app
Figure 3. HealthCerts presented on SingPass Mobile app

HealthCerts is powered by OpenAttestation, an open-source framework using blockchain to issue cryptographically trustworthy documents which can be verified independently without the need for proprietary software equipment.

For added assurance, Digital Certificates may be digitally notarized by the Government through Notarise to ease downstream verification by ensuring:

  • Untampered content - Authenticate the veracity of the Digital Certificate against blockchain hash value

  • Trusted provenance - Verify the legitimacy of Digital Certificate according to our travel policy requirements and checks that the  laboratory (or clinic) is authorised to issue Digital Certificates

  • Rightful ownership - Strong identity assurance through SingPass to prevent impersonation

Verify provides an easy, reliable way to ensures digital certificates have not been tampered with and issued/ notarised by a recognised entity.

Global Interoperability

To support the opening of cross-border travel, there is a need to verify travellers’ identity and their associated health status.

We have therefore designed HealthCerts with global interoperability in mind as an open standard. Entities can sign up to issue digital certificates compliant with the HealthCerts standard. At the moment, AOKpass, Accredify. Collinson and Trybe.ID provide issuance service to clinics and labs such as Quest Laboratories, Gleneagles Hospital and Parkway Shenton Medical Group in Singapore and overseas countries.

As Verify is open sourced, private companies or governments can develop their own versions of Verify, with their own list of recognised COVID labs or foreign authorities. Private sector offerings:

  • Affinidi provides document verification services for attesting document authenticity and validation to airlines & airports.

  • IATA conducts verification against the rules engine of other countries to determine if the test certificate meets the destination country requirements.

Singapore welcomes working with partners to further the work in this space, including further enhancing interoperability, privacy, and verifiability for such certificates.

For more information, visit https://healthcerts.gov.sg and https://openattestation.com.

Last updated 26 February 2021