Ralph Kalsi in Blockchain development, BLOCKCHAIN, Healthcare Jul 6, 2020 · 2 min read · 1.0K

Blockchain, Healthcare, and COVID-19

Blockchain, Healthcare, and COVID-19

COVID-19 has shaken up the world badly. The pandemic has hit almost 205+ countries, and with no confirmed cure or vaccination available yet, many countries, including Australia, are still fighting hard against the terrible effects the virus has brought on. On the other hand, the crisis exposed quite a few dire issues in the healthcare industry like supply chain, record management, and many more that went unnoticed or unprioritized for a very long time. Tech experts around the world expect blockchain to be one of the most superior solutions to all of this. Not only can it eradicate most of these issues in healthcare, but survey demonstrates that the adoption of blockchain could also save the healthcare industry up to $150 billion per year by 2025 in data breach-related costs, IT costs, operations costs, support function and personnel costs, and through a reduction in frauds and counterfeit products.

How can blockchain in healthcare help with COVID-19 crisis

In case you are unaware, “blockchain” is a series of time-stamped “blocks” containing digital information, stored in a public database using cryptographic principles or “chain”. This digital information consists of 3 parts - information about a transaction, information about the participant of that transaction, and special information (hash) which distinguishes every single block from one another. If blockchain and healthcare join forces, the industry can be completely revolutionised.

Supply chain:

Supply chain management has always been a big issue in the pharmaceutical industry, globally. According to WHO global surveillance and monitoring survey report 2017, from manufacturing the medicine till the packaging of it, the product passes through many hands via many countries, which makes the supply chain incredibly complex. Now, this increases the chances of errors, malpractice, theft, and the sale of counterfeit medicines which can draw the line between life and death at the time of COVID-19. 

Blockchain Australia enables you to document each transaction in a permanent, decentralised, and shareable format. Also, the full history of the product delivery, including any sign of tampering, inadequate handling, or servicing, can be detected in a blockchain. This way, the sources along with the authentication of the products can be traced, reducing the chances of unfortunate or illegal events.

Record management:

The features of this incredible technology allow securely storing an authentic and public record of each case of coronavirus and track them in a decentralised manner. Also, when information on COVID patients is added to a blockchain, no changes can be made to the record without the knowledge of everyone in the entire network. Every legitimate data can be recognised by their unique signatures, so corrupted activities regarding the data can be stopped. The same feature of the technology will also make it much simpler to track the patients infected with the virus, as well as contact tracing of the same.

Another reason why blockchain in healthcare will be extremely useful is because of its many layers of security shields. In a blockchain-enabled data recording system, patient identities are secured with private keys for each patient. Not only the enhanced security of blockchain prevents hacking of medical records, but data encrypted here is also unreadable by a third party even if the system is infiltrated.

Biomedical research:

As coronavirus spreads far and wide, the need for a cure and vaccination is growing every day. Combining blockchain and healthcare can help researchers reach the goal much faster.

A global collaboration of researchers is becoming more essential at this time of the pandemic. By design, blockchain Australia is a peer-to-peer, non-intermediated technology. So it can create an enhanced data sharing and analysis platform where each institution can share their research data with other institutions while keeping full control of their own resources. The authenticity of the data can also be easily checked since the ownership of a digital asset registered on a blockchain can only be modified by the owner itself, and therefore, the origins of the assets are traceable and hence are verifiable and reusable. This data from all over the world can be accessed in real-time. This will allow researchers to quickly detect the virus and observe the growth and spread of it in real-time which will be a massive help in research.

Conclusion

No matter how much effort everyone in the healthcare and the administration of our country has put in, as WHO stated, coronavirus is here to stay and we are going to have to learn to live with it and rise above it. The world needs to adapt to the “new normal” and blockchain in healthcare is going to be a great help in the process as we can see. With the exponential rise in this amazing technology, we sure hope to see a new, secure, less corrupt and better-managed world very soon.




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