Using Digital Identity Technology for Thai Healthcare System

Thailand’s healthcare ranks sixth best in the world. Every Thai person has free healthcare throughout their life. Since it’s so accessible for everyone, Thai public hospitals are always filled with people waiting in multiple-hour queues. Finema knows that improving the healthcare system is one of the most significant ways to improve people’s lives, so in 2019, Finema started a project with Thailand’s government department to create a digital health ID for every Thai person. By 2025 every public hospital in Thailand will be able to offer a 100% digital identification process.

Moving beyond historical paper records is challenging.

Imagine the story of Somchai. Somchai was born in Phuket in 1987. He grew up in Phuket until he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the top university in the region. When he was in University, he had terrible chest pain, and his heart raced like crazy. He went to the hospital in Phuket, where the doctor ran Electrocardiogram (EKG) and Ultrasound tests on him. He was diagnosed with Atrial fibrillation and has been on medication since then. After he graduated, Somchai moved to Bangkok to pursue his dream of working as a growth marketer in one of the most well-known startups in Thailand. His Atrial fibrillation seemed to be under controlled, until now.

Recently, Somchai’s chest began to hurt

and he thinks it might be related to Atrial fibrillation. He went to the hospital in Bangkok, and the doctor suspected the same thing. His doctor wants to see his test records from the hospital in Phuket to confirm; otherwise, it will cost him 20,000 THB to run all the tests again.

Somchai called the hospital in Phuket

to ask for his record and found out that they cannot give it to him unless he can identify himself. He tries to email his ID card to the hospital, but that’s still not enough. Anyone could have gotten a copy of his ID and email it. Since there’s no digital solution, Somchai needs to fly to Phuket to verify himself by being there physically with his ID card. Somchai books a flight and makes it to the hospital only to find out that he forgot his ID card at his apartment in Bangkok. What now?

We are in the Information age now

and Somchai does not need to fly back to Bangkok just to get his ID card. With digital health ID that Finema is working on, Somchai would be able to use his phone to verify his identity at the hospital and get his record. Even better, Somchai could have just verified himself remotely using his digital ID to cryptographically sign the original email and avoid the entire trip. Can you imagine having your chest pain solved in a few days instead of weeks flying back and forth just to get a record for your doctor?

New : 2020 Guidance for Decentralized Identity and Verifiable Claims

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