France lets residents add a digital version of their medical insurance card to their smartphone • NFCW

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DIGITAL HEALTH: French residents will have the opportunity to store their physical Carte Vitale card on their smartphone

Residents across France will soon have the opportunity to download and store a digital version of their Carte Vitale medical insurance card on their Apple or Android smartphone using the ApCV app currently being piloted in 10 French departments.

News of the national digital rollout comes because the French government has also approved plans to develop a biometric version of the Carte Vitale that can enable holders to confirm their identity using their fingerprint or other biometric data stored in a chip on the cardboard.

Along with verifying their identity, the present Carte Vitale allows holders to say reimbursement for healthcare service charges and the digital version will contain the identical personal information and operate in the identical way.

The launch of the digital Carte Vitale, nevertheless, may even make it possible “so as to add the person’s identité nationale de santé (INS), and, eventually, details of their top-up medical insurance policies, commonly known as mutuelles,” English language French newspaper The Connexion reports.

“The app may even allow people to seek the advice of their healthcare bills directly, with the receipts downloading immediately when the app is opened. These will remain available to download for seven days after a medical consultation, after which they’ll then grow to be inaccessible. Once downloaded, they might be available indefinitely. 

“The app may even allow users to delegate using their Carte Vitale to another person they trust for a limited time. This could be useful within the case that a grandparent is taking good care of a baby and desires to take them to the doctors.”

The digital Carte Vitale might be rolled out in an extra eight French departments “from the fourth quarter of 2022” before launching across the entire country “in 2023”, The Connexion says.

Biometric version

The French government previously rejected proposals to integrate biometric data into the physical Carte Vitale in 2019 but has now put aside €20m (US$20.4m) to develop and launch a biometric version as a way to enhance security and stop fraud, based on French media outlets.

“The scheme is ready to start within the autumn, but there isn’t a information on how this might be done, and whether the biometric chip will just be added to recent cards, or whether existing cards might be replaced with recent ones,” The Local reports.

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