Travel App SimplyGo Completes Successful Live Test of COVID-19-focused Health Data Platform Together With SITA

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  • The digital health data platform and app, SimplyGo has successfully piloted the use of the app to demonstrate passengers’ COVID-19 status and the successful meeting of country’s entry regulations
  • SITA, the technology provider for the air transport industry, collaborates to trial SimplyGo for the industry, using SITA’s Health Protect ecosystem

An alliance of international health and technology companies ION Access & Health in collaboration with SITA has successfully tested the SimplyGo platform and application in a live environment to demonstrate passengers’ COVID-19 status and meet country’s entry regulations.

The digital health data platform and app SimplyGo is created by ION Access & Health, an alliance of international health and technology companies Nortal, Ottonova, InHealth and Daman. SITA, the technology provider for the air transport industry, collaborates with ION Access & Health to trial SimplyGo for the industry, using SITA’s Health Protect ecosystem.

Taavi Einaste, Partner at Nortal, co-founder of SimplyGo and Board Member at ION Access & Health, said: “The whole world is eagerly waiting for solutions that would help restore safe and efficient traveling. With this joint live test with SITA, we are once again step closer to that goal.”

According to Einaste, the platform itself is easy to use and the data is in the hands of users. “It is the user who will grant rights for the airline and border control to access the persons health data required to board the plane or enter a country.”

Enable traveling again with secure data infrastructure

A small group of air travelers flying from Germany and Estonia to the United Arab Emirates tested successfully the health data platform and app SimplyGo in a live environment beginning of 2021. Ahead of the trial, some travelers obtained negative Covid-19 results via their SimplyGo app before boarding. Another group had a positive result or did not have a test done at all. They were ultimately denied check-in and boarding.

The data was then securely stored on the SimplyGo platform to be accessed by airlines and border officials authorizing boarding of the plane and eventual arrival at the destination country, the United Arab Emirates. Integration to the UAE government systems was made possible through the Advance Passenger Processing (APP) platform delivered by SITA. Integrating SimplyGo with APP forms part of SITA’s Health Protect ecosystem, simplifying and automating the inclusion of health data into existing airline, airport, and government processes.

Peter Bauer, the founder of SimplyGo and Board Member at ION Accsess & Health, said: “The trial demonstrated that SimplyGo technology supports travelers and airlines in adhering to health requirements and secure systems. The app is extremely simple for travelers to use. Just a few clicks and users securely store their COVID-19 test or vaccination information, making it accessible for airlines and border officials. There’s no paperwork or bar code at the check-in needed; all data is managed securely and highly protected from fraud. This trial is the first step in rolling out SimplyGo, to help restore confidence in air travel and to ensure safer and more efficient air travel for all.”

Both direct and connecting flights were successfully tested. Travelers were able to fly roundtrip from Munich to the United Arab Emirates and from Tallinn to the United Arab Emirates via Frankfurt. In both examples, the SimplyGo platform stored their approved COVID-19 test results, and, at the point of check-in, the traveler was approved or denied traveling by the relevant border officials using SITA APP.

Jeremy Springall, Vice-President SITA AT BORDERS, said: “As the technology provider for the air transport industry, we are working closely with governments, industry bodies, and border organizations globally to mitigate health risks of travel during the pandemic.

“SITA’s Health Protect ecosystem enables interoperability and acts as a bridge between health passport schemes, airlines, airports, and governments. It comprises a suite of solutions, including SITA Health ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization), SITA APP, and SITA Flex for in-airport passenger flow monitoring. Selecting the right combination of products and integrating with a health pass system like SimplyGo, ensures governments are aware of who is intending to travel and their health status. Governments can then make informed decisions on who to allow to travel. We’re excited for the potential of SITA‘s Health Protect ecosystem to support the industry recovery in 2021 and enable safer, simpler travel experiences for passengers.”

SimplyGo integrating with global platforms

One of the founders of SimplyGo, Nortal, is a member of the Estonian consortium of IT companies involved in the joint initiative of the Estonian government and the WHO, working to provide a trusted framework for vaccination data globally. SimplyGo and the consortium are working on the global interoperability standards to enable travelers control over secure access and the sharing of COVID-19 and other medical-related data for travel purposes.

Following the trial, the deployment will be further optimized and made available for broader distribution to customers.

Creating the new norm of traveling

With SimplyGo, travelers and the transportation industry alike benefit from a highly secure and GDPR-compliant data platform with standardized gateways and state-of-the-art technology. Only officially accredited medical providers can transmit personal data. This brings the possibility of fraud to a minimum. Personal data is under full control of the user and can always be hosted in their country of residence under respective rules and regulations. A user has to actively give access to their data and can withdraw it anytime.