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National framework for states, territories & nations to assist in development of digital health credentials
√ A series of virtual webinars and events to follow to provide technical support to other entities
√ Download the blueprint here
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced New York State's Excelsior Pass Blueprint, a national framework to aid in the development and implementation of digital health credentials. Building off of the state's Excelsior Pass Wallet solution – which includes Excelsior Pass, Excelsior Pass Plus, and the Excelsior Pass scanner app for businesses – the blueprint serves as a guide to assist other states, territories and entities in the expansion of compatible COVID-19 vaccine credential systems to advance economic development efforts nationwide.
"If we're to finally beat COVID-19, we have to act boldly, decisively and with a spirit of collaboration and transparency," Hochul said. "Our Excelsior Pass program is the perfect example of this, with its positive impact on our economy and unique ability to empower New Yorkers to be more in control of their health information than ever before. Our hope is that more states will join us to drive our collective reopening activities forward so we can emerge from an unprecedented pandemic safer, stronger and more interconnected than ever before."
Hochul’s team said, “The blueprint, now publicly available, shares New York state's process to build, implement and advance the Excelsior Pass platform. Encompassing tactical actions and management activities, the framework serves as a launching point for any entity looking to begin, optimize, or launch their own solution. The document includes a step-by-step guide tailored for the unique needs of state governments, covering components ranging from privacy and security strategy, data management, and public information and engagement.”
Corporate Vice President and Deputy CTO at Microsoft, Lila Tretikov said, "I continue to be inspired by the work New York state is doing to help other states implement SMART Health Cards. Ensuring communities can reopen safely and everyone can trust vaccination verification are commitments Microsoft and our partners in the VCI coalition made from the start. New York State's Blueprint is an important addition to this effort to continue making SMART Health Cards easy to implement and accessible for everyone, everywhere."
Chief digital health physician at MITRE and co-founder of VCI, Dr. Brian Anderson said, "The state of New York has successfully leveraged the open-source SMART Health Cards framework, developed by VCI, to create a suite of tools empowering individuals and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The launch of the Excelsior Pass Blueprint offers other states a head-start in planning their own implementations supporting public health authorities and infrastructure. We at MITRE are excited to partner with New York to build out the technology and tools to enable the increased availability and adoption of SMART Health Cards nationally."
A press release stated, “Expanding on the state's commitment to empower more individuals with access to a trustworthy, privacy-preserving copy of their vaccination record in paper or digital form, the blueprint details the importance of compatible solutions that enable interoperability using SMART Health Cards framework and specifications – meaning passes issued by different states or entities, issued through a shared set of standards, can be validated and accepted without exchanging individual data.”
Following on the blueprint's release, New York will host a series of virtual events and webinars to provide those interested with additional tools and resources. New York is actively working with other states to provide technical support – including architecture information and instructional logic.
The press release added, “New York state was the first in the nation to launch a proof of COVID-19 vaccination and negative test results pass system in March 2021. To date, over 6 million Excelsior Passes have been retrieved by New Yorkers, and over 157,000 downloads of the Excelsior Pass scanner app have been made. The toolset continues to be critically important to support the state's reopening efforts – supporting public health and economic development simultaneously. A diverse group of big and small businesses statewide – including hard-hit sectors such as event and entertainment venues, food services and hospitality – continue to leverage Excelsior Pass to more easily and seamlessly verify individual's proof of vaccination.”
To download New York State's Excelsior Pass Blueprint, visit the link here. Individuals can learn more about Excelsior Pass and Excelsior Pass Plus here and eligible individuals can retrieve their pass here. Organizations and businesses can learn more about the Excelsior Pass scanner app – free for any business nationwide and available in more than 10 languages – and New York state's trusted issuers framework here.