Covid-19: IBM Has Launched an Artificial Intelligence Powered Digital Health Pass & Why Contact Tracing Apps are Failing

Covid-19: IBM Has Launched an Artificial Intelligence Powered Digital Health Pass & Why Contact Tracing Apps are Failing

Covid-19: IBM Has Launched an Artificial Intelligence Powered Digital Health Pass

IBM has developed a powerful digital health pass amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

IBM's Revolutionary Digital Health Pass

The artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain powered digital health pass is aimed at allowing users to securely share their health status without exposing their data. 

It's important to state that more people are reluctant to share their personal and health data due to cyber security concerns. 

The tool developed by IMB will allow users to share their verified health pass on their mobile phone including COVID-19 test results securely. 

Trust and transparency remain paramount when developing a platform like a digital health passport. 

The IMB digital health pass will be available on App Store and Google Play later this year.

Why Contact Tracing Apps Have Failed 

The current contact tracing apps were launched prematurely. They have failed to flag people exposed to COVID-19.

Many people didn't receive a notification that they were in close contact with a sick person to isolate. 

In addition, there are also thousands of individuals who were told to quarantine despite testing negative. 

How Artificial Intelligence is Helping to Prevent COVID-19 

There is an emerging opportunity to help sick care organizations and AI entrepreneurs as they aim to bring individuals back to normal life. 

An AI entrepreneur is someone who pursues opportunities in healthcare AI under VUCA conditions with the goal of creating user or stakeholder defined value through the deployment of innovation using a VAST business model.

AI-powered tools will help scientists develop innovative solutions. However, there are some major issues that must be answered by AI entrepreneurs.  

10 Questions for Artificial Intelligence Entrepreneurs

AI entrepreneurs will need to overcome some hurdles at four different levels of the healthcare AI value chain-personal, company, consumer, end-user and the sick care ecosystem. The first step is to find the answers to some basic questions:


1, Do you understand the definition and goals of physician entrepreneurship?

2.Do you have the requisite entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, attitudes and competencies to be successful? Do you know why your startup will fail? Do you know why non-sickcare entrepreneurs fail?

3. Do you understand the people part of AI?


4. Do you have a clearly defined customer?

5. Do you understand their problem and the pain it is causing?

6. Are your underlying business model canvas hypotheses valid?


7. Do you know how to overcome the barriers to AI dissemination and implementation?

8. Do you know how to create a cultural transformation in the end user community?


9. Do you know how to overcome the systemic challenges of AI dissemination?

10. Are you offering an AI product or service that will transform sick-care to healthcare and add at least 10x value compared to existing offerings?

In England, France and other countries, contact tracing apps are failing to support hospitals. To stop the spread of the coronavirus, local authorities are taking matters into their own hands.

Digital health entrepreneurship and AI entrepreneurship, specifically, requires a multilevel approach to solve problems that are unique to the sick-care system of systems. Start by answering the above questions to judge whether you are prepared to take the journey.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs and an advisor at

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  • Danny Meek

    IMB Watson didn't live up to the expectations in the past. Perhaps IBM will succeed this time.

  • Fabian G

    Good read

  • Tony Mclaughlin

    Anything free will be used against you including data.

  • Miller Hopkins

    Privacy is a thing of the past.

  • Clinton N

    My data is as useless as myself. No need to worry.

  • Jon Walsh

    The IBM device is promising !

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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