Is Apple Stepping Into The Digital Identity Game?

David Chou
3 min readSep 2, 2021

Apple is now in the digital identity game, with their latest release of seamlessly and securely add their driver’s license or state ID to Wallet on their iPhone and Apple Watch. Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to introduce this innovation to their residents, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will enable select airport security checkpoints and lanes in participating airports as the first locations customers can use their driver’s license or state ID in Wallet.

This is a huge step for Apple as a gateway into the digital identity space. Does this mean that the Apple wallet is your digital identity in the future? In Australia, users can add their digital health insurance cards to the Apple Wallet with the Health Industry Claims and Payments Service app.

The difference in Australia vs. adding your insurance card in the US is that Australians can process their healthcare claim using the iPhone or the Watch, similar to using Apple pay as a credit card.

Potential Healthcare Use Cases In The US

Digital Identity

Digital identity is a step forward towards creating a unique identifier. We are struggling with creating a unique patient ID, and this is one step towards that. When I was traveling and working internationally, I realized that my phone number was a unique identifier for many transaction services where it almost felt like my identity is my phone number. Think about when was the last time that you had changed your cell phone number.

We need to create a universal patient identifier that can be used across healthcare systems. This is not limited to EHR but also includes other workflow applications like scheduling, referrals, ordering medications, and much more. I predict that Apple will play an essential role in securing the digital health ecosystem by enforcing proper user authentication through apple wallet, similar to how they are doing with their credit card solution. Every time you open your medical record or medication order, it should force apple wallet as part of the HIPAA compliance process.

Apple Authenticator