Screen4 partners with S4Encrypt for Covid-19 Testing

Screen4, one of the UK’s leading providers of health screening services, has partnered with S4Encrypt to help to automate the processing of Covid-19 tests purchased from its website.

As one of the world’s top drug and alcohol screening services for the travel sector, with operations in 140 locations across 40 countries, Screen4 was well placed to offer Covid-19 testing facilities when the pandemic started to have an impact in the UK. From its Barnsley, Yorkshire, premises it can process in excess of 3,000 Covid-19 tests per day, in conjunction with Oncologica, a testing laboratory based in Cambridge.

Contact began in June 2020

The first contact between S4Encrypt and Screen4 took place on 23 June 2020, by which time the UK was in a state of lockdown and reeling from the effects of the Coronavirus. This quickly led to technical discussions between Safe4, sister company of S4Encrypt, and the technology partners of Screen4, with the intention of integrating the process for receiving orders for Covid-19 tests with the use of the Safe4 vault as a means of delivering the test result to the end customer.

Alistair Stubbs, Safe4 CTO, came up with a solution design based on the use of the system’s existing capabilities in conjunction with a new Safe4 object type – the Event. This allowed each individual test – the Safe4 Event – to be associated with one or more customers who would each become users of the system.

How the process works

The primary requirement arose from the close association that Screen4 had built up with the travel sector, and focussed on the need for pre-travel testing. Many countries had determined that before anyone would be permitted to enter from abroad, the passenger would have to provide evidence of a negative PCR test for Covid-19.

Several airlines, including TUI, Virgin Atlantic and Qantas, as well as P&O Ferries, now direct passengers buying travel tickets to the Screen4 website, where Covid-19 PCR tests can be purchased. These include both self-administered and clinician-collected tests. The Screen4 internal systems then send data to Safe4 through the API, triggering the creation of a vault and an invitation for the traveller to create a user account.

After confirmation of the test, including time and location in the case of clinician-collected tests, the user is prompted to use their vault to record the barcode on the sample vial that is used to carry the PCR swab to the laboratory in Cambridge. This unique code also captures the precise time and date of entering the barcode, essential for the calculation of the pre-flight hours for the destination country: either 48 or 72 hours. After analysis of the samples by the laboratory the test results are transferred automatically to each individual’s vault. Safe4 then notifies the traveller that the result is available and produces a PDF certificate confirming the traveller’s details and the test result, which can be shown both on departure and arrival to satisfy the requirements of the destination country.

The e-wallet and the QR Code

In addition to the certificate, which can be downloaded to a computer or a smartphone, Safe4 also creates a pass that can be added to the e-wallet on most modern phones. Both the certificate and the pass carry a QR code that, when scanned, displays a page from the secure Safe4 website allowing independent verification of the test result.

The way forward

S4Encrypt and Screen4 are looking at enhancements of the service to include different types of test, as well as exploring the capability of the solution to capture evidence of a vaccination. This can be linked with an identity verification function that will capture a photograph of the individual, for additional validation of the traveller and the test or vaccination status. This Immunity Passport facility will help the travel industry to start to resume pre-pandemic levels of activity.

David Grouse, Managing Director of Screen4, believes that the association with S4Encrypt and the use of the Safe4 vault can help to achieve higher volumes and faster customer service. David believes that “the addition of the vault capability to deliver Covid-19 test results rapidly to our customers is helping us to streamline our operations and increase throughput, as well as bringing the result to the travelling customer more quickly and securely.”

Ben Martin, director of both S4Encrypt and Safe4, is delighted with the progress that has been made. He feels that “working closely with Screen4 has been a very productive process for us. We are conscious of the importance of handling the Covid-19 test process as quickly and efficiently as possible, bearing in mind the health consequences for the customer and the need to get our economy functioning again quickly. Using the system as an irrefutable means of proving vaccination status in the future will also help all of us to move towards an end to the disruption that everyone has suffered during the pandemic.”

The high level of security provided by the Safe4 vault is crucial to ensure that the personal health data being handled throughout the process is managed as safely as possible. Safe4 complies fully with the UK Data Protection Act 2018, incorporating the European GDPR. All the information captured in the service is held in UK-only data centres accredited to ISO 27001.

For more information, please contact us. We will be delighted to hear from you.


Frequently Asked Questions – Covid 19 Tests

What is a PCR test?

A PCR test, sometimes called an antigen test, looks for signs of active virus in your body.  The test will tell you if you are positive or negative for Coronavirus (Covid-19). The PCR test can be performed at home by yourself or we can arrange for a clinician to carry this out for you – but it is more reliable if a clinician performs the test.

What does it entail?

The test requires taking a swab from the throat and nose, this sample will then be sent to an approved laboratory for analysis using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

The chances of detecting the virus are highest in the days surrounding the start of any symptoms.  Ideally samples should be taken from symptomatic individuals between days 1-5 from symptom onset, however, there are many cases when virus can be detected later into the illness.

How long does it take to get my results?

It takes 24-48 hours to return the result once the laboratory receives the sample back.

How accurate are these tests?

The tests used in our Laboratory are PHE (Public Health England) evaluated and show a minimum sensitivity greater than 99% and a specificity of greater than 99% when the virus is on the swab with no cross-reactivity with other viruses. This is when the test is performed correctly.

This test is free with the NHS, why is yours different?

The NHS test only gives a result of positive or negative and does not produce any certification to prove this.  Our test process also includes biometric identity verification and provides the result in a digital smartphone wallet with certification of the result, and is proven to be more effective than the NHS test. The ability to present the result in a digital wallet will enable you to show that you do not have the virus.

There is a new test taking 90 minutes, do you provide this?

This test is not yet available and may be the end of 2020 before it is distributed.  Whilst this test takes 90 minutes to process at the laboratory as opposed to 150 minutes for our PCR test, the logistics of transferring samples to the lab for analysis, and getting the results back ,will not be affected. The laboratory then has to process the test using the Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification test (LAMP) for the result so you need to add this time onto the 90 minutes.  Getting the test to the lab can be done one of two ways: you could have a pop up laboratory at your business with a lab technician to process the results, or they will need to be sent to the lab which will take time.

What Professional Indemnity Insurance do you have as a company?

Screen4 offer PI insurance cover of £5 million. The S4Encrypt PI cover is set at £2 million.

What about travelling abroad, what proof can you provide of the test?

Now that overseas travel has resumed, you may find that you require a PCR test and a laboratory certificate to prove that you are Covid-19 free.

Countries across the globe have enforced local restrictions and they recommend that people travelling need to have a PCR test carried out 72-96 hours prior to travelling!  We can provide you with the testing and the certification for this.

PHE Evaluated Antibody Testing   

What is it?

An antibody test looks for things called antibodies in your blood. Your body makes these when it fights an infection, like Covid-19. The same thing happens when you get a vaccine, like a flu jab. That is how you build immunity to a virus.

The antibody test is not checking for the virus itself. Instead, it looks to see whether your immune system (your body’s defence against illness) has responded to the infection. The antibody test can be performed at your workplace by a fully qualified / trained phlebotomist.

 How long does it take to get my results?

It takes 24-48 hrs to return the result once the laboratory receives the sample back.

How accurate is this test?

Our antibody test, which uses the Roche immuno-assay and has a specificity greater than 99.8% and 100% sensitivity (14 Days post-PCR confirmation), can help assess patients’ immune response to the virus. As more is understood about immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the test may help to assess who has built up immunity to the virus.

The high specificity of the test is crucial to determine reliably if a person has been exposed to the virus and if the patient has developed antibodies. 

How quickly can we arrange a visit by a nurse for testing?

Usually within a week to 10 days.  Urgent requests can also be accommodated, since if you have an outbreak and need to test all your staff, the PCR test will be used.  We can either post this out to individuals or attend on site with a clinician to administer the test.

Bank scammers steal £1 million a day

As published in the Daily Mail, the new figures reveal that in the run-up to the new code of conduct, banks actually cut back on the amount of money they returned to victims. In the second half of last year, banks paid back £51.7 million, compared to the £39.3 million in the first six months of 2019 – a fall of 24 per cent.

The UK Finance report breaks down how much money was lost to different types of fraud.

Investment scams accounted for the largest proportion of losses – a total of £43.4 million, twice the amount lost in the same period in 2018. The average victim, who is typically tricked into transferring money into funds or investments that don’t exist, lost £12,200. Just £2.9 million of this was refunded by banks.

More than a quarter of all authorised push payment scam losses were the result of invoice and mandate fraud. This is where criminals pose as solicitors or builders, for example, and intercept invoices sent to customers via email so they can swap the bank details for their own.

The number of impersonation scam reports also doubled compared to the first six months of 2018. Earlier this month, TV presenter Helen Skelton was conned out of £70,000 by telephone scammers claiming to be from her bank. UK Finance blamed the rise in fraud on data breaches and theft of personal information.