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Baltimore-based b.well Connected Health partners with Mastercard

Mastercard's mobile ID verification service will be introduced to b.well's platform. Wisconsin-based Thedacare is the first to make it available.

b.well Connected Health's booth at CES. (Photo via Twitter)

b.well Connected Health is working with Mastercard to provide a mobile tools for users of its platform to verify their identity.

Through the partnership between the Baltimore digital health company and financial services brand, Mastercard’s ID Verification service is being integrated into b.well’s platform. It’s designed to enable patients to securely and more easily verify their identity on b.well’s platform, which makes data from health records, providers, insurers and a patient’s own devices accessible via mobile device.

Through another partnership that was struck last year, b.well’s technology is currently being made available by Thedacare, a seven-hospital health system in Wisconsin. With this latest agreement, users in that community are now the first to get access to the Mastercard tool.

It all comes back to authentication, which ensures that a person accessing a system are who they say they are.  In a statement, b.well CEO Kristen Valdes said the authentication process can be “complicated, difficult, and not always secure” for users. The work with Mastercard addresses that problem “by enabling consumers to protect their identity, while at the same time simplifying the verification of their identity, giving them more control over their personal information and streamlining interactions with their providers and health plan,” Valdes said.

It’s a move that shows a corporation extending work on digital tools, and working with a tech company to integrate them. Mastercard’s system is designed to comply with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Identity Assurance Level 2, which is the federal government’s highest level for proving the identity of a user remotely, and often cited in the highly regulated area of health data privacy.

“Embedding Mastercard’s identity solution into b.well greatly increases assurances that the person behind the mobile device is in fact the person aggregating the medical records, insurance and other healthcare data,” said Philips Johnson, chief strategy and innovation officer at b.well, in an email.

“As an example, individuals who have been identity-proofed through b.well’s platform will unlock additional sources of data, where b.well can collect COVID-19 vaccination records in order to provide a vaccination passport consumers can use for travel, events or other activities that require a vaccine passport to participate,” Johnson said.

For b.well, it builds on a relationship with Mastercard that began in 2017 when the company took part in the corporation’s incubator, called Start Path.

“Underpinned by a common ambition to make patient access to healthcare a simpler, more convenient experience, our relationship has seen remarkable progress in making this vision a reality,” said Sarah Clark, senior VP of digital identity of Mastercard, in an email. “With digital access to healthcare now considered essential following the disruption of 2020, ensuring safety and security for patients when it comes to accessing and sharing personal health data is a clear priority not just for the healthcare industry, but for our society-at-large.”

One of a group of Baltimore-based growth companies working in digital health, b.well raised $16 million in Series A funding at the beginning of 2020, and has grown amid increased adoption of consumer-friendly health tools in the pandemic. The company now has 93 employees.

Companies: b.well

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