Government authorities in France are embarking on a trial of a virtual, mobile-based health card for citizens. The mobile carte vitale is now available to interested residents in the regions of Bas-Rhin, Loire-Atlantique, Puy-de-Dôme, Saône-et-Loire, Sarthe, Seine-Maritime, Rhône, and Alpes-Maritimes; and authorities are aiming to expand its availability across the entire country next year.
Selfie-based biometrics are being used for the MonCV app’s onboarding process. As The Local France reports, users are asked to submit images of their passport of government-issued ID card alongside a selfie video as part of the remote identification process.
When accessing healthcare services, trial participants will be able to scan their mobile health card via NFC, or show service providers a QR code. Users also have the option of linking their complementary insurance to their mobile health cards, and can designate a trusted individual to pick up medication on their behalf.
Meanwhile, plans for a biometric version of the physical health card appear to have been shelved. Centre-right lawmakers had proposed a legislative amendment earlier this year that would establish a legal basis for fingerprint-scanning health cards in an effort to fight fraud, but it seems that concerns about the costs of implementing such a system have prevailed.
In any case, the mobile carte vitale offers another striking indication of the French government’s enthusiasm for digital identity technology as it continues to test a separate mobile ID system called “France Identité”. That system is anticipated to officially launch next year.