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The Application of Blockchain Technology in the COVID-19 Response

Companies / BlockChain Aug 28, 2020 - 09:55 AM GMT

By: Submissions


In the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, medical workers around the world have been pushed to their limits, medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) have been put into higher production, and the search for a vaccine has been accelerated. Blockchain is at the forefront of technological progress and has a wide range of applications, so it is inevitable that this powerful technology is used to help overcome the ongoing global crisis.

In addition to coronavirus concerns, in 2020 technology issues are important for London-based businesses. If you’re looking for further guidance on how to choose an outsourced IT team, check The 12 Best Cyber Security Companies in London | Mustard IT to find the best option in your area.

Leveraging trusted data

It is easy for anyone to observe that the handling of the COVID-19 crisis has been beset by misinformation and inaccuracies that have hampered progress in the struggle. Governments, scientists and doctors need to process data that is sourced from various hospitals, government departments and private departments around the world. This presents the challenge of finding a consistent and integrated system in which reliable data can be efficiently shared.

One solution to this is MiPasa, a project developed in partnership with blockchain platform Hacera, IBM Blockchain, Oracle and Microsoft. It is a distributed ledger technology (DLT) that is built on Hyperledger Fabric software. It is completely private and enables information to be shared between particular organisations, such as government authorities and agencies. It is currently being used by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The project is aimed at allowing data to be shared quickly and accurately to show evidence of the early detection of coronavirus carriers and infection zones.

Supply chain

Recent years have seen an increased use of blockchain technology in the supply chain of various industries, for tracing and tracking items of food, medical supplies and diamonds, among other products. This has been proven to improve transparency, efficiency, security and the tracking of demand, so the delivery of supplies can be automated in immediate response.

Blockchain has already been used in the medical supply chain in the past, but the COVID-19 crisis creates the opportunity for the technology to be more widely used. Making use of the digital ledger, blockchain platforms are able to record, review and track supplies and keep logistical records of epidemic prevention materials.

Blockchain technology is especially useful in the medical supply chain as there is high potential for information to become corrupted after passing through multiple parties. The unalterable nature of the digital ledger ensures a security that is not possible when traditional methods are used. This is critical when sensitive supplies are concerned, such as testing resources and vaccines.

Contact tracing

Another application of digital ledger technology is in the tracking and surveillance of public health data in outbreaks of infectious diseases like the novel coronavirus. Blockchain can bring about improvements in the accuracy and efficiency of reporting and response. 

As they enable the rapid processing of data, blockchain applications can help in the early detection of symptoms before they are able to spread throughout populations. This can help government authorities to be better able to follow the activity of a virus in a geographical area, and limit possible new cases. The advanced technology can also help in the faster development of treatment and vaccines. 

Decentralised payment systems

Over the course of 2020, public awareness of health issues relating to the spread of infectious diseases has increased as a result of information in the media. More people are wary of the dangers of transferring infections, especially in public places, and the importance of washing hands and wearing masks. One way that the virus can be easily spread is through cash, which changes hands on a regular basis. When organisations support the use of a blockchain-based, decentralised method of payment, this risk is immediately removed. Cryptocurrency payment systems can deliver international transactions instantly by using multiple processing nodes and synchronised ledgers.

Charitable contributions

Blockchain has recently been used to ensure transparency in donation and fundraising campaigns by tracing the origin of funds and ensuring that they are used correctly. These campaigns and funding can be used for raising money for medical equipment, research and relief materials in times of need.

Covir is a blockchain project that recently partnered up with Octopus Robots to help in the funding of biosafety licenses through the sale of cryptocurrency tokens. These robots are potentially able to decontaminate large buildings and areas during the pandemic. Covir aims to secure the necessary licenses for the robots to be used throughout the world. 

Crisis management

Smart contracts are a way that information can be transferred securely and without being changed. This technology can be applied to the global crisis by providing support to international organisations like the WHO, and informing members of the public of important health information at particular times. The information can be used to alert people at critical points in time, and also to provide recommendations to government departments. A secure blockchain platform would have the potential to update the media, health organisations, medical authorities and governments at the time of an outbreak or resurgence and prevent it from spreading further.

Tokenisation for building the economy

Whichever way we look at it, the global pandemic has brought unemployment and economic recession to societies around the world. The lasting impacts are still yet to be felt, but they are likely to be hugely damaging. Tokenisation is made possible by blockchain platforms; it removes the need for intermediaries and reduces the costs associated with human error. It allows the division of assets into the lowest possible increments, and it opens up investment to a higher number of people with smaller amounts to invest. As we begin to move towards a token-based economy, market trading will be more transparent and access to markets will be easier and fairer.

In the summer of 2020, we have come to realise that the virus will be affecting our lives for some time yet. The means using tools and technologies like blockchain is important to combat the disease, but we also need to learn to adapt to the new normal. COVID-19 has changed everything, but if we can focus on positive solutions then we can get through it.

By Samantha Waites

© 2020 Copyright Samantha Waites - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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