Barcodes and smartphones, two allies to secure the health “new normal”


Allowing everyone to scan barcodes using their own smartphone is proving to be a simple and secure approach to transforming citizens into real players in their health. Already used for order pick-up in Click & Collect or to secure deliveries, this approach also facilitates the smooth running of testing and vaccination campaigns. The scan barcodes and QR codes is a real meeting point between the physical and digital world. The smartphone, as a linkage tool, is in fact a means of contributing to the maintenance of public health.

Now that vaccination campaigns are deployed on a global scale, the smartphone appears to be, for a large number of countries, the default tool to support health measures. The European Union thus wishes to set up the Digital Green Certificate from June. This will be personal to each citizen and will provide health evidence (negative PCR test or vaccine performed) to travel between Member States. Coupled with barcode scanning technology, these electronic certificates could help bring back travel and tourism.

Computer vision technology reduces human error

Non-contact computer vision greatly reduces the risks associated with human error. Computer vision is already a technology used by healthcare workers to scan, via smartphones, barcodes on COVID-19 test vials. These vials are in turn linked to the identity of the corresponding patient by another personal card scan. Healthcare facilities use this digital contactless method to create large-scale testing stations. The deployment of such technology helps to eliminate bureaucratic tasks and limits the possibility of manual errors.

The digitization of records allows each citizen to quickly assimilate to the test sample, or dose of vaccine in the context of vaccination campaigns, which corresponds to him, to help health and government organizations fight against the virus and preserve the health of the population. If, however, a testing center were to face non-compliant results, computer vision technology would help easily identify and contact affected citizens.

This tracking and traceability capability also ensures the safety of drug supply chains and improves patient safety. The ability to scan drug barcodes from a smartphone makes it possible not only to track and trace products, but also to react more quickly in the event of a problem.

The scanning via smartphones makes it possible to intensify national efforts

By making the smartphone the digital reference platform for entering data relating to tests and vaccination, citizens are also participating in their own protection. Given the current pandemic, the use of digital tools has been widely adopted to allow everyone to simplify their daily lives, both from a private and professional point of view.

The digitization of the screening process has already proven its effectiveness, which suggests a potential future use of self-tests recorded directly via a smartphone. Computer vision associated with smartphones offers other possibilities for managing the virus, in particular that of combining barcode reading and augmented reality on smartphones in order to provide citizens with more information.

Smartphones, individual (and collective?) Health and safety advantages

Augmented reality on smartphones could thus be an assistantship tool that would allow volunteers from the medical sector to help health professionals in vaccination campaigns. They would then have access to detailed information and additional instructions to facilitate the administration of doses with each scan. This same technique would also allow health professionals to quickly verify that the vaccines are still usable and have not passed the expiration date.

Governments smart in digital technology consider that smartphones, combined with the scanning, constitute a set of tools necessary to find solutions to the pandemic. This makes it possible to secure physical interactions or the manipulation of objects, but also to be able to collect data providing information on the health of the population. Already popular on a daily basis by citizens, especially in the contactless shopping experience or when receiving parcels, this technology, combined with augmented reality, could benefit them even more and support them in the period of deconfinement. Smartphones are thus paving the way for the “new normal”.