Blockchain Technology to Combat the COVID-19 Battle?
Across the world, amidst the setback of COVID-19 cases, there is a deepening crisis in predicting the newly infected patients, proper vaccination campaigns, effective planning operations, and resource deployments. Can blockchain help mitigate this situation?
In just over three months of the Coronavirus outbreak, new cases have escalated to more than a million worldwide. There is a rapid transmission of the virus, and simultaneously, the death rate forced the world to undergo lock-downs and social distancing. Mask and sanitizer have been added as the new-normal to one’s life.
A new set of data, both positive and negative, went to a toss. Patients hospitalized, deaths, hospital beds occupation, ventilator falling short, medicine, vaccination, etc., remained a significant concern. The lack of accurate data caused chaos in the government officials, and it was quite hard to handle such an unexpected hit. Thus, a few researchers suggest introducing blockchain technology into the current world scenario will help us deal with the pandemic and recover quickly.
In the current situation, what all can blockchain steer?
We all know that blockchain technology is a shared digital ledger with decentralized nature, often open to everyone. It has multiple blocks that consist of information or data that is shared across the network participants. The miners create a new block of chains which is called mining. So the nodes, one of the parts of the blockchain technology maintains a copy of the blockchain and keeps its networking functioning on the platform. Hence, reports suggest that the role of blockchain technology during the pandemic could benefit the world.
Well, blockchain technology can significantly support the COVID-19 pandemic. It can enable the distribution and encryption of data with the enhanced security of digital transactions. It can store the patients’ information and fast-track the drug trials information. This disruptive technology can keep track and record all the data and share it with participants across the network. This data will help medical professionals, government officials, and others to have accurate information and track the necessary updates. However, this entire process will be highly protected, and users’ data will not be public. Also, the fundraising activities and donations can be made transparent to everyone.
The Data of COVID-19
The spread of novel Coronavirus has bought several concerns such as staying up-to-date in maintaining data, circulating reliable and verified information, recording patients’ information, location, history, health conditions. On the other hand, privacy and security remained significant concerns. Although the data was fast spread in the digital world, the information was not reliable, accurate, and valuable. This resulted in panic and affected the mental and physical health condition of people.
Blockchain technology-based platforms can really facilitate the private sharing of accurate information between the state authorities and health institutions before a citizen gets to know it. Also, blockchain can consist of the self-reporting health data of the citizens by allowing the public to update their health conditions and officials monitoring them closely from time to time.
Pandemic Awareness and Data Accuracy
Both awareness and accuracy are possible with blockchain technology. If worked well, the blockchain could store the patents examined and diagnosed information and distributed it across the health institutions. So, the treatment can remain universal. The patient’s quarantine information, medicine, monitoring will be easily possible using the technology.
Also, half of the cases arise due to the negligence of not following preventive measures. This could be negligence or a lack of awareness. So, blockchain can assure the accuracy of the data and also create awareness among the people.
Use Cases of Blockchain to Handle Coronavirus
Here are a few use cases that are subsequently in usage to handle the pandemic data:
Georgia-based health technology startup, Acoer, launched Hashlog blockchain by distributed blockchain ledger technology. It ensures logging and data visualization of the pandemic outbreak from US centers’ public data for disease control (CDC) and WHO.
VeChain was launched to monitor vaccine production in China. The vaccination-related information like materials, codes to package are stored as records on the distributed ledgers. It enables to reduce the risk of potential modifications to the vaccine information.
The blockchain-based platform offers continual and anonymous verification of communities and workplaces that are free from COVID-19. It reduces the high risk of viruses spreading drastically. It traces, monitors the uninfected persons’ movement, and restricts their return if they have visited infected areas and got affected by the virus.
This blockchain-based platform supports governments and health organizations in the donation processes to infected persons in China. It connects up to millions of nodes so that several users can reach donated goods and necessary medical equipment factories. This solves the shortage issues during the high crisis.
Blockchain can be the major weapon to fight the battle against Coronavirus. It can trace, monitor, and keep the data transparent to everyone. Blockchain technology can effectively manage the outbreak and tackle challenging issues with high-end security systems.