Can Blockchain be the solution to prevent/control future pandemics?
The effect of COVID19 on us is as plain as a pikestaff. Hardly there has been any sector immune to the virus. We are not going to discuss the devastating effects of the virus again. But is there a way out to control pandemics like these in the future?
Is there anything government agencies around the world could have done better to reduce the impact of the deadly monster we have amongst us today?
Blockchain is still in its early stages but its capabilities in various industries are not new to us. The amount of data that is generated every-day is beyond one’s imagination and it is only going to creep up. The way to succeed for most organizations today has been taking the path of digital transformation. Now imagine the amount of data that will be generated and the number of transactions that would be recorded every second of the day in the coming time.
Clearly, the next big change we are talking about is having the capabilities to handle this gargantuan amount of data. With so much data and transactions invites another age-old problem – The security of this data. Thus, BlockChain can play a huge part in every sector and it will be imperative for organizations to leverage this technology to cut down on their costs and operate in a smooth manner for the post COVID era.
Restricting ourselves to the healthcare sector, Data is the fuel to provide the best care in Healthcare today and BlockChain could be the vehicle to drive us there. It can play a pivotal role in the healthcare sector and all the agencies involved in the healthcare ecosystem could look upon to invest in this technology to control pandemics of a similar scale in the future.
So how can Blockchain help?
In difficult times like this, a proper mechanism needs to be established to gather data and protect that data. Blockchain can be leveraged to collect and collate patient data more efficiently by the government agencies and by those who are part of the health-care ecosystem. Further, patient movements can be effectively monitored to guarantee social distancing. Since we are talking about blockchain, people need not worry about protecting their identity as it is taken care of by blockchain.
Currently, most of the data on COVID-19 is being shared through APIs and the data is being stored on centralized databases, making the whole system vulnerable and prone to data misuse. Being part of the blockchain system will allow the patients to selectively share their data that are important for mitigation efforts while not disclosing the entire information. The data will remain anonymous in the network and the patient will own it entirely. This will reduce the severity of a pandemic like COVID and help most of the businesses to function as close to normal, significantly bringing down the chances of getting infected from such diseases.
Another advantage a decentralized platform like BlockChain can provide is in the Supply management side. The Global supply chain has been compromised in these tough times and there has to be a way around it. HealthCare authorities, especially those concerned in dealing with medical supplies, are at times unclear on sourcing supplies without knowing the origin. Long supply chains cause problems with forecasting and Blockchain can be utilized here to solve the problem. Having Blockchain incorporated in the healthcare supply chain will allow organizations to break the silos and establish a sense of safety. This has already been embraced by IBM with Rapid Supplier Connect and its time all the players slowly implement blockchain as a part of their digital transformation.
Block-chain could be the missing piece of the puzzle in the health-care system that can help authorities to collect data effectively, ensure data interoperability, dismiss fake news, and prevent countries from hiding information. All the federal authorities can begin by taking mini-steps towards adopting BlockChain NOW!
The above article is written by guest author Sushil Sali. he has worked for the biggest healthcare insurance platform in the US and is now exploring Blockchain use-cases in the healthcare and other industries.
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