From the start of this year, up to 50 per cent of employees who are able to work from home are now allowed to return to the office.
According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), employees who report to work onsite are encouraged to self-test weekly via an Antigen Rapid Test (ART).
Some companies require employees to submit their ART results, but most do not have any streamlined collection process in place, which can get very messy to keep track.
Particularly, Open Government Products — a division of the Government Technology Agency — noted that drivers in the ride-hailing sector found it “onerous” to submit their ART self-swab test results to multiple organisations on a regular basis.
“Ride-hailing companies were also finding it administratively challenging to consolidate screenshots of records sent in by drivers. In addition, employees often have to resubmit their vaccination statuses to employers when these statuses change. That’s when we realised that current methods of sharing data are inconvenient, difficult to verify, and not easy to keep up-to-date,” said a spokesperson for the team.
“Employers in high-risk sectors frequently need access to employees’ test statuses as well, but lack a scalable way of collecting consent and keeping records up to date, since submissions capture only a snapshot in time.”
This was what prompted them to collaborate with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to build a free-for-use online platform called Sync to help employees seamlessly share their Covid-19 ART and PCR swab test results and vaccination records with just a few clicks.
“We came up with the idea of Sync to enable employees to give consent for employers to access specific records on a subscription basis, so that they do not need to go through the hassle of resubmitting records or updating multiple organisations when statuses change.”
How to use Sync?
Organisations that are keen on using Sync must first register here. They will then be able to get timely and easy access to verified Covid-19 vaccination status and test results from both employees and visitors, and receive daily reports from Sync. This also helps to facilitate easy compliance with ongoing workplace monitoring protocols.
There is no need to download an app to use Sync. To access it, employees can use the invite link sent by their company, or log on to app.sync.gov.sg through their mobile phone browser.
Logging in however, requires users to own a Singpass account and mobile app.
Before submitting a self-swab ART result, users would need to do a one-time verification of their mobile number. Other details, like their name and NRIC information, will be filled in automatically upon log-in with Singpass.
Once submitted on Sync, Covid-19 test results are sent automatically to recipients that the user shares their health records with and stored in MOH’s database. Sync does not store any data on its system, apart from users’ mobile numbers.
Users can also view their vaccination status, as well as past ART/PCR swab test results within the past two weeks, including those administered at clinics, Quick Test Centres (QTCs) and other supervised test centres.
Organisations will then receive daily reports via email every morning, which contain password-protected files of employees’ vaccination status, ART results and PCR results.
To stop sharing records with a particular organisation, users can simply toggle off the switch on Sync. This should be done when an employee leaves his/her company, or once an event he/she is attending has ended.
“Users have full control over which organisations can view their records, and can grant or withdraw consent at any point in time,” asserted a spokesperson from SNDGG.
150,000 users are already onboard Sync
The beta phase of Sync was launched in November 2021 after two weeks of development to a select group of organisations in ride-hailing and delivery industries, as well as public agencies and public hospitals.
After two months of fine-tuning, Sync was finally launched to all private sector organisations.
Currently, around 250 private organisations and 50 public agencies with around 150,000 users have onboarded with Sync.
When asked if the team has any plans to introduce any new features on Sync, the spokesperson said that they are looking at enabling email pings to notify organisations of positive ACR and PCR results.
This helps organisations swiftly activate necessary workplace protocols such as ensuring that these positive-tested individuals work from home.
The spokesperson added that as the Covid-19 situation evolves, Sync could potentially introduce other COVID-19 data relevant for users to share with organisations in future.
“We also plan to widen the scope for Sync beyond Covid-19 data to enable more individuals to share consent and data with organisations and institutions easily and securely.”
“Other use cases may be consent-based sharing of general health records such as digital medical certificates with organisations and employers, or sharing of personalised health info between patients and healthcare providers.”
Featured Image Credit: Sync