Verifiable Health Records UpdatesSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • United Airlines now works with SMART Health Cards.
  • Apple's Health app also works with the specification.
  • Customers can now share their COVID-19 vaccination record through the Health app with the airline.

If you're traveling on United Airlines and have your COVID-19 vaccination card in the Health app on iPhone, you might not need your physical card anymore.

Spotted by 9to5Mac, United Airlines revealed that customers could now, through their iOS app, link their vaccination card from the Health app to prove their COVID-19 vaccination status with the airline. They have provided instructions on how to share your vaccination card from the Health app to the United Airlines app below:

  • Customers with upcoming travel requiring proof of vaccination can visit the Travel-Ready Center on United's iOS app
  • Customers can select the option to upload vaccine documentation
  • Customers can then click on "Upload" then "Share your SMART Health Card"
  • The Apple Health app will automatically open and ask customers for permission to share their verifiable vaccination records with United
  • Once confirmed, the vaccination records will automatically be uploaded, verified on United's system and records will be stored until they complete their travels.

With iOS 15, Apple revealed that customers would now be able to store their vaccination card in the Health app for institutions that use the SMART Health Card specification.

With iOS 15, users can download and store verifiable health records, including COVID-19 vaccinations and test results, in the Health app. Verifiable health records in the Health app are based on the SMART Health Cards specification. Users can choose to share verifiable health records stored in the Health app with approved third-party apps requesting this information, like airlines, event venues, and other businesses that facilitate in-person interactions. And in an upcoming software update, they can also choose to add verifiable COVID-19 vaccination records as a vaccination card in Apple Wallet to present to businesses, venues, and more.

Organizations that issue SMART Health Cards will soon be able to use a new button to let users know that they can securely download and store their vaccination information in the Health app and quickly add and present it from Wallet. Artwork and usage guidelines will be available soon.

While there are plenty of instances where you can store your COVID-19 vaccination card on your iPhone, storing it in the Health app opens up a lot more possibilities on how other apps can integrate with Apple's offering rather than building their own. United Airlines will hopefully only be one of the first of many to offer this easier method for proving vaccination status.