Frequently Asked Questions


How to Use

What are SMART Health Cards?

SMART Health Cards are paper or digital versions of your clinical information, such as vaccination history or test results. They allow you to keep a copy of your records on hand and easily share this information with others if you choose.

What does a SMART Health Card look like?

A SMART Health Card has a 2D barcode (QR code) and may look something like this; see image below. Although the other information on your SMART Health Card may vary based on your individual records, most will have the SMART logo.

What can I do with a SMART Health Card?

You can keep your SMART Health Card as a record of your vaccination history and/or test results. You can also choose to share it with others if you want to show them this information.

How can I get a SMART Health Card?

SMART Health Cards may come from any organization that has your clinical information, such as a pharmacy, doctor’s office, or state registry. You can find a list of issuers here. Here are some of the ways you may get a SMART Health Card from them:

  • A paper copy may be handed to you by the organization at the time of your visit.
  • A paper copy may be mailed to you by the organization after your visit.
  • You may download it from a website or app hosted by the organization and print a copy and/or save it as a file.
  • You may connect your health records to an app that supports SMART Health Cards.

I don't have a SMART Health Card. Can I get one?

The organization that has your clinical records may be able to give you one. Additionally, you can find a list of issuers here.

I don’t have a smart phone, internet access, and/or a printer. Can I still get and use a SMART Health Card?

Yes. The organization with your clinical information may give you a printed paper copy of your SMART Health Card.

Is there a fee to use a SMART Health Card?

No. There should be no fee to get a SMART Health Card. If you decide to share your SMART Health Card with someone, there should be no fee for you or them.

Will my SMART Health Card be accepted everywhere that asks for my COVID-19 vaccination or test status?

Right now, different organizations have different rules for verifying vaccinations or test results. For example, some countries may have different rules than others. SMART Health Cards are designed so they may be used by any organization that wants to use them. All organizations should provide options for users who don’t have or prefer not to use a SMART Health Card.

I don’t wish to use a SMART Health Card. How do I opt out?

Even if you get a SMART Health Card, you do not need to share it with anyone. Choosing to share your information is always in your control and the SMART Health Card should never be your only option when asked to show your vaccination history or test results.

Can I delete or destroy my SMART Health Card?

You can destroy a paper SMART Health Card and/or delete a digital SMART Health Card at any time. If you change your mind, you may be able to get a copy from the organization that provided your vaccination or test.

What if the information on my SMART Health Card is wrong?

You should contact the organization that performed your vaccination or test. They are responsible for the accuracy of your records and these records are the source of the information on your SMART Health Card.

Can I present my child’s/parent’s SMART Health Card on their behalf?

Yes, as long as you are allowed to. Sharing a SMART Health Card is similar to sharing other medical records in this way.


Privacy

How do SMART Health Cards protect my privacy?

Your vaccination history and/or test results are stored directly within the SMART Health Card as a 2D barcode (QR code) or file that you control. Sharing your card is completely up to you.

What happens to my information after I share it?

Sharing your SMART Health Card information is just like sharing a paper copy of immunization records with a school, faxing medical records to a physician’s office, or using your credit card at a restaurant. You should only share your SMART Health Card information with trusted organizations that tell you what they intend to do with your data and/or if they will keep it. If you are not comfortable with the organization seeing the information in your SMART Health Card, you should not share it.

What if I lose my SMART Health Card?

Just like a normal file, you can save back-ups of your digital SMART Health Card. You may also make copies of a paper SMART Health Card. You may be able to receive a new SMART Health Card from the organization that has your records.

Can someone steal my SMART Health Card?

Your SMART Health Card can be presented by anyone holding it. However, SMART Health Cards are verified with another form identification, such as a student account in a school system or a driver’s license.

Does sharing my SMART Health Card disclose any government-issued identifiers, like my social security number or citizenship status?

In the USA, no. The card should only contain your legal name, date of birth, and clinical information like test results and/or vaccination history. A SMART Health Card issued in other countries could include commonly used identifiers, depending on local practices or regulations.


Benefits

Why would I want a SMART Health Card?

SMART Health Cards are a way to store your vaccination history and/or test results for your personal records and can help you easily share your status to an organization that asks for it.

How is the SMART Health Card different from other digital health cards?

SMART Health Cards are free; ready for use; available for organizations to use; not associated with any single organization, corporation, or government entity; and were created to provide people simple access to their health records.

Will I be able to use my SMART Health Card to store and share other clinical information?

In the future, you may be able to use your SMART Health Card to share and store other health information.


Community

How can my organization become a SMART Health Card issuer?

SMART Health Cards are open source and available to anyone who wants to utilize these standards. Free tutorials and getting-started guidance to help you build solutions that utilize the SMART Health Cards Framework can be found at https://docs.smarthealthit.org/ and https://spec.smarthealth.cards/. Additionally, visit VCI.org to learn more about joining VCI, a free and collaborative coalition of public and private organizations interested in empowering individuals with digital access to their verifiable clinical information (including vaccination records).

My organization would like to use SMART Health Cards to verify clinical results. How do we get started?

Anyone who is interested in developing apps for verifying clinical results can utilize SMART Health Cards, which are open source and available to anyone. Free tutorials and getting-started guidance to help you build solutions that utilize the SMART Health Cards Framework can be found at https://docs.smarthealthit.org/ and https://spec.smarthealth.cards/. Additionally, visit VCI.org to learn more about joining VCI, a free and collaborative coalition of public and private organizations interested in empowering individuals with digital access to their verifiable clinical information (including vaccination records).

Can any organization use SMART Health Cards to verify clinical results?

Yes. SMART Health Cards are an open-source standard and are based on the SMART Health Card Framework. Anyone can use the SMART Health Card Framework to build solutions that verify clinical results, and organizations all over the world have already adopted these standards to for that reason as well as for numerous other use cases. For instance, with iOS 15 Apple is using the SMART Health Cards Framework to allow users to download and store verifiable COVID-19 test result or vaccination records in the Health app, has s Health App, Walmart has announced the creation of a digital wallet for its customers to track their health information built on SMART, and the State of California has announced support for SMART Health Cards by offering residents a digital record of their COVID-19 vaccination status.

What’s more, the SMART on FHIR API is being used throughout the healthcare community to enable interoperability, including the National Institutes of Health prioiritizing SMART on FHIR for use in its research programs, Microsoft using SMART on FHIR in its Azure health product, and numerous EHR vendors, like Epic, Cerner, and Allscripts, integrating the SMART on FHIR API into their products as well.