Blockchain Helps Fight Covid-19 Pandemic

IBM and Ernst & Young are working on two blockchain solutions to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This has tremendous significance since, the scale of this pandemic is massive. Solutions discovered can be used in future crisis though, everyone hopes that a similar situation never arises again. 

IBM recently announced its “Rapid Supplier Connect” blockchain project designed to be an efficient way of connecting health care providers, with needed medical equipment from global suppliers. This merchandise would normally be difficult to source in emergency scenarios.  

Mark Treshock, IBM’s global blockchain solutions leader for health care and life sciences, overseeing the project said that, “The blockchain could help dramatically bring that time down for health-care providers in dire need of equipment such as masks, test kits and ventilators”  

Pre-vetting of nontraditional suppliers, like apparel makers now making masks, can take place to get on the platform so that buyers can be confident of purchases that normally would require a four to six week process. Project N95, which helps procure personal protective equipment, and about 200 companies who are members of the Worldwide Supply Chain Federation are now on the Rapid Supplier Connect blockchain platform.  

A blockchain ledger allows participants to add blocks of information after which, each party runs algorithms to evaluate a proposed transaction. If all the info matches for a valid purchase, it will be approved, time-stamped and added to the chain.  The goal is that 15 types of medical equipment, including masks, ventilators, dialysis machines, and oxygen masks will be available on the platform.

Ernst & Young is working on a blockchain to help employers, governments and others monitor antibody positive people. This group would be immune to and unable to spread the virus. Once launched the project would help hospitals test whether, individuals have sufficient antibodies to build a fair level of immunity from the COVID-19 virus. The next step would be to create a permanent record on the blockchain.   

The blockchain is advantageous for these tasks because data is very difficult to tamper with, and there is no single entity with data control.  The key is to make sure that the data being put onto the blockchain is legitimate.  

Blockchain is best known as a platform to launch a cryptocurrency. The fact is that the technology is very powerful with utility in a range of applications. Controlling and managing the coronavirus pandemic, requires every possible tool to be deployed – blockchain has risen to the occasion. 

 

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