Google makes it possible to store digital versions of either Covid-19 test results or vaccination cards on users’ Android devices. The company on Wednesday announced it’s updating its Passes API, which will give developers at healthcare organizations, government agencies, and other organizations authorized by public health authorities the ability to create digital versions of tests and vaccination cards which can then be saved directly to the user’s device. The Passes API is typically used to store boarding passes, loyalty cards, gift cards, tickets, and more to users’ Google Pay wallets. However, the Google Pay app, in this case, will not be required,
Google says. Instead, users without the Google Pay app will have the option to store the digital version of the Covid Card directly on their device, where it’s accessible from a home screen shortcut. Because Google is not retaining a copy of the card, anyone who needs to store the Covid Card on multiple devices will need to download it individually on each one from the healthcare provider or other organization’s app.
The cards themselves show the healthcare provider or organization’s logo and branding at the top, followed by the person’s name, date of birth, and other relevant information, like the vaccine manufacturer or date of shot or test. According to a support document, healthcare providers or organizations could alert users to the ability to download their card via email, text, or through a mobile website or app.
In an example photo, Google showed the Covid-19 Vaccination Card from Healthvana, which serves L.A. County. However, it didn’t provide any other information about which healthcare providers are interested in or planning to adopt the new technology. The Passes API update doesn’t mean Android users can immediately create digital versions of their Covid vaccination cards — something people have been taking pictures of as a means of backup or, unfortunately, in some cases, laminating it. (That’s not advised, however, as the card is meant to be used again for recording booster shots.)