Edinburgh-based tech firm Wallet.Services is to explore how distributed ledger technology (DLT) can help people with disabilities apply for and access their entitlements.
Alongside the Improvement Service, the company will work through a Proof of Concept project to examine how people with disabilities can automatically prove their identity and disabled status to multiple organisations.
The project aims to add further value to the Improvement Service’s existing mygovscot ‘myaccount’ digital identity service, which provides users with a secure means to sign-in and access a range of public services.
Established in 2005, the Improvement Service works with local government to improve public services across Scotland.
Peter Ferry, CEO of Wallet.Services, said: “Currently, the whole process of accessing entitlements can be inefficient and frustrating for those living with a disability. People are asked to reiterate personal details to prove their eligibility to different agencies.
“It’s not just time-consuming, it also involves repeatedly disclosing sensitive medical information, which is distressing the unnecessary.”
With more than 25 different types of benefits and financial support being offered to people in Scotland with disabilities, Ferry said there is a “real urgency” to simplify application processes and remove barriers.
Wallet.Services’ SICCAR platform could play a role in solving this problem and improve public sector efficiency by allowing disability claims to be automatically confirmed or denied.
By adopting this approach, public services and local authorities could eradicate the need for people with disabilities to repeatedly provide sensitive personal information when applying to different organisations.
An additional objective will be to demonstrate how SICCAR can boost cybersecurity. The platform enables public sector bodies to minimise the disclosure of sensitive information and significantly reduce data duplication or the risk of cybersecurity breaches.
Commenting on the project Andrew Campbell, programme manager for the organisation, said: “At the Improvement Service we are ambassadors for embracing change, new ways of working and technology.
“The process of supplying the same personal information repeatedly to public bodies, and in some cases the same organisation, is an activity most people can relate to. We want to make life easier for people and making the process of applying for disability entitlements is a great place to start.”