Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

Blockchain Covidshutterstock_1662701254

The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on a global scale. More than 140 countries are grappling with this crisis. As fatalities continue to rise, technology, as an enabler, is being explored to mitigate the spread and adverse impact of coronavirus outbreak.

Blockchain is being leveraged by emerging technology startups to help organizations track and visualize coronavirus outbreak. Acoer has developed HashLog dashboard, powered by Hedera Hashgraph, which allows people to understand the extent of spread of the virus and trends over time, from an ever-growing set of public data. The sourced data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) empowers the Acoer Coronavirus HashLog to create data visualization models related to clinical trial data, as well as data and trends from social media platforms such as Twitter, including sentiment, languages, Tweets per day, and top locations identified in Tweets.

The Indian government should emulate the national tracking system of South Korea to collate test data in real-time and get actionable insights to mitigate the spread of coronavirus pandemic. A national tracking system built on blockchain will not only ensure the integrity of test data but also ensure that the privacy of citizen data is not violated thanks to cryptographic encryption and immutability offered by the DLT. South Korea has shown remarkable resilience and agility in combating the epidemic and has set an example of others to follow.

Blockchain networks can usher in new distributed applications to create a collaborative ecosystem of sustainable, efficient and transparent drug supply chains. The menace of counterfeit drugs can also be nipped in the bud thanksto immutability and provenance of blockchains. Distributed ledger technology can be leveraged to unblock the coronavirus medical supply chain by expediting supply chain contracts, procurement systems, and enabling faster payments and remittances.

In these uncertain times, the agility of the medical supply chain is the need of the hour. The demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), masks, gloves and ventilators has increased exponentially. There have been reports of fake sanitizers and masks flooding the market. Traceability of medical equipment and supplies can be ensured by integrating blockchain in the supply chain ecosystem.

Dubai has been at the forefront of utilizing emerging technology for governance. UAE’s Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) has embraced digital channels for ensuring the effectiveness of government services. The department is banking heavily on the use of digital identity by citizens, blockchain systems, and chat systems to process citizen requests at scale. The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) uses a blockchain platform for clinical and healthcare information storage. MoHAP is also expediting credential checks of healthcare professionals using blockchain.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) came up with guidelines for combating the coronavirus pandemic, listing blockchain managers as ‘critical infrastructure workers’ especially those involved in the distribution of agricultural produce and food supplies. In these extraordinary circumstances, the resilience and sustainability of the food supply chain is crucial to ensure that everyone gets access to meals. DHS guidelines reinforce the criticality of blockchain in the food supply chain.

There is a shroud of uncertainty, and no one knows for sure how long this crisis is going to last. Technology should be used to the maximum to fight this epidemic and ensure that we are better prepared to tackle such events in the future.

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]Author – Sharat Chandra, Hashgraph MVP Ambassador & Emerging Tech Evangelist [/box]

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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