Since the COVID-19 pandemic has been under control in China, the city of Hangzhou has proposed a smartphone app that can access the medical records of its residents and can assign people a daily score based on their recent checkups, preconditions, and their lifestyle habits.
The said the app will also record how much a person has smoked, drank, exercised, and slept on a daily basis, as all those activities can affect a person's health. The total points that a person gets in a day will either boost or lower their ranking.
The person's health score will be recorded in a digital QR code that can be accessed on the phone. The code can be scanned when needed. This is the process the government of Hangzhou wants for its 10 million residents.
Around the world, governments have developed ways to collect the personal data of their residents in an attempt to fight the coronavirus from spreading.
The virus has now killed more than 300,000 people and infected around 5 million people worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. However, these extreme measures sparked fear and concern among the residents because they can pose a threat to a person's privacy.
The concern was raised after the municipal government of Hangzhou announced on May 22 that it was planning to make a permanent version of the code app that they used during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chinese government used a health code system in February to control the movements of people and to flatten the curve. The QR codes were automatically generated and they were assigned to people on their smartphones as an indicator of their current health status.
The color of the codes, which came in red, green, and amber, decides whether someone can leave their home, use public transportation, and if they can enter public places. It served as a tracker for the movement of the citizens, and the QR codes on the phones were scanned whenever they enter public places.
Once there is a confirmed case, the authorities were able to trace the infected person quickly and they were able to identify those people who came in contact with the infected person. Because of its effectiveness, the city government of Hangzhou wants the health code to be normalized.
Proposed health code system
The website of Hangzhou Municipal Health Commission shows an image of the proposed system, it is what the app will look like once it is installed in a smartphone. The daily health score will range from 0 to 100, and the colors will go from red to green.
The daily activities of a person will affect the overall score. If a person does 15,000 steps daily, the score will increase by 5 points. If a person drinks 200 milliliters of alcohol, it will lower the score by 1.5 points. Five cigarettes will decrease the score by 3 points and 7.5 hours of sleep will add one point to the score.
Group health scores may also be available for residential committees and companies. A health score for a company can be based on how much the employees exercise and sleep every day, how many have gone through their annual check-up, and how well the disease is controlled in the company.
The public is already saying that it is too much work, and they are pointing out that aside from the app violating their privacy, it is also prone to technical difficulties will lead to false claims about a person's health.