Digital health passes: Flying into big technology history

In late July this year, a chartered flight took off from Johannesburg en route to the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar. On this flight were commercial travellers venturing ultimately toward one of the remotest workplaces on earth: the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine, located some 500km south of the capital in the Gobi Desert.

The Mongolian Airlines operated flight was chartered by Australian mining giant Rio Tinto.


The pandemic-fatigued passengers were set to be onsite at the mine for at least one year, and left amid great uncertainty over the long-term state of international borders.


But as they flew into uncertainty, it was not lost on them that they were also creating history. MIAT7602 was the first ever charter flight on which all that embarked carried a digital health pass to verify that they were negative for Covid-19.


The AOKpass, a project formed in conjunction with health industry and chamber of commerce partners, was used to authenticate employees’ Covid-19 results at both embarkation and disembarkation.


“One of the major considerations for organisations now is how to manage return-to-work and all of their international employees’ health data related to health screening, testing, vaccinations, boosters plus the added complexity of different systems for travel around the world,” said an analyst close to its development. “Digital health passes comprise a leading business travel topic now and there are several platforms being rolled out by global players."


This case study was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's report on HR in the Healthcare Industry. For further coverage, and access to the full report, please see any of the below links:

HR in healthcare: Fighting on many fronts (full report)

Healthcare staff face long-term risk: Chief of Staff report (news highlight) November 16, 2021

To retain and protect: HR's big role in the healthcare industry (feature) November 18, 2021

Healthcare industry: Will the pandemic help propel HR? (feature) November 22, 2021

Digital health passes: HR's big collaboration with tech (feature) November 24, 2021

Digital health passes: Flying into big technology history (case study) November 26, 2021


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