Singapore-Johor VTL Resumes with COVID-19 Test Results Issued by Jebhealth


With the resumption of the land VTL between Singapore and Johor Bahru on Jan 21, about 2,000 travellers are expected to cross the causeway each day, in hope that we can eventually scale up to the normal 300,000 daily commutes. Many would be meeting their loved ones for the first time this year since COVID-19 led to travel restrictions.

Public safety against the spread of COVID-19 is a top priority as the movement of people increases. All travellers are required to be tested negative for COVID-19 within two days of departure. Balancing the needs of people taking tests quickly and conveniently while ensuring a high level of accuracy in the test results is an issue the healthcare sector has been trying to tackle the past two years.

Singapore-based HealthTech startup Jebhealth is working with healthcare providers to achieve this by developing a decentralised digital health credentials software system that enables the validity of test results to be easily verified. The underlying technology used by Jebhealth to power this software is blockchain.

Blockchain enables people from anywhere in the world to verify that transactions are true and accurate regardless of the physical location at which the transactions have taken place. By leveraging blockchain technology, COVID-19 test results certified by Jebhealth can easily be verified as real by customs personnel in any country. For example, these test results recorded on the Ethereum network are recognised by the European Union Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC) programme, in collaboration with Singapore’s GovTech and Affinidi, a startup founded by global investment firm Temasek.

However, unlike many conventional blockchains that take some time to complete a transaction, Jebhealth is able to certify test results in seconds. Hence, its solution has been deployed for the land VTL between Singapore and Johor Bahru. At the Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange test centre, it is used to issue test results for outbound travellers. The speed and efficiency of Jebhealth’s algorithm ensures that queues do not build up during peak departure periods.

WIth more than five years of operations in the regional healthcare space, Jebhealth has a deep understanding of the regulatory needs and concerns in areas like medical ethics and patient privacy. Compared to generic accreditation software services, Jebhealth puts in place the best practice of the healthcare industry to ensure the integrity and privacy of patient data. This enables Jebhealth to forge a series of public-private partnerships within the healthcare community, with plans to roll out new services such as remote COVID-19 tests that can be done online.

“In the past two years, Jebhealth has been providing solutions ranging from telehealth, cloud storage for medical data and digital payments for healthcare services, helping people from all walks of life ranging from employees, students to sea crew cope with COVID-19. Now that we are at the startline of international travel, Jebhealth is actively working with our partners to implement a new HealthCerts solution that reduces the hassle in each step of the COVID-19 testing process. Our new solution helps travellers complete their COVID-19 tests quickly and conveniently with the results accurately recorded and verified easily by customs officials in different countries,” says Jebhealth CEO Jimmy Boey.

Moving forward, frequent testing is going to be an essential part of our lives as we engage in more social activities. Each of us has a role to play to safeguard the health of ourselves and our loved ones. The use of new health technological software would significantly improve our ease and convenience in adapting to this new normal and facilitate reunions of families and loved ones this new year.

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