Winning a fight against COVID-19: a blockchain perspective

The COVID-19 outbreak faced humanity with challenges it hardly confronted in the 21st century, leaving the world focused predominantly on fighting against coronavirus.

Governments and societies across the globe reacted differently to the situation and we’ll need some time to analyze whose reaction was good and who didn’t do it successfully. But, even now we can conclude that one thing became common for everybody: we’re turning to science and technology in order to find the answers and to overcome the situation in the best possible way.

Reading and researching coronavirus, its development, and consequences triggered tech opinion leaders (including us) to think about how we can help. One particular idea is turned to the blockchain.

In the following paragraphs, you’ll find how blockchain might support healthcare, surveillance systems, and news consumers.

1 – Data sharing in the healthcare sector

During this pandemic, healthcare systems showed deficiencies not only in supplies but in outdated processes of sharing information. They are transmitting data too slow. Additionally, information handled is sensitive.

For these obstacles, blockchain can be a problem solver.

One of the reasons why we were unable to contain this epidemic is the fact that we did not have a global early response system. Just think that you’re working in some local hospital in Germany and that you can enter a database which shows the movement of new infectious diseases, new occurrences and how it spreads. Also how the medical staff all over the world treats their patients – which therapy works and which doesn’t, how the disease is changing over time, and which pharmacy can deliver the medication you need the most. And everything is available in no time. Would that be helpful to you?

Additional plus: it can be done even in the areas where connectivity is low, and costs must be kept modest.

2 – Blockchain and surveillance systems

One sick person can infect 2.5 healthy people with COVID-19, shows a study by the World Health Organization [1]. With a snowball effect this number goes up to 59,000 [2].

Just by looking at these numbers we’re receiving a message: in times of pandemic people should reduce their contacts, especially if they aren’t sure whether they are contagious or not. But what to do with individuals who are not willing or able to spend this time in isolation? How to follow their contacts?

Together with AI, blockchain can help in determining a person’s location, so that medical teams can be sure if she/he stayed at home or if there is a probability that he/she infected someone. If option 2 is a case, they’ll know who the next possible patient is.

Similar systems conducted in Asia raised a question over privacy and security, but more thoughts on these topics on some other occasion.

3 – Verifying information

Coronavirus outbreak leads us to information overload as well. Being exposed to too much information about the topic makes it difficult for us to track if the sources are reliable if the news is true or false and produces difficulties for the reader to understand an issue and to make efficient decisions.

Where is blockchain’s role in it? It helps us to verify a source of information which will further help us in deciding whether it is trustworthy.

Tip: Blockchain can be a solution for problems with fake news independent of COVID-19.

Reshaping processes

By definition, blockchain is made up of digital pieces of information that are shared in real time, between relevant parties in the data chain and in a secure manner leaving probabilities for data manipulation on minimum.

What is the practical meaning of it?

Look at it from the COVID-19 perspective: think about Chinese doctors adding their first cases in a common database, then adding all symptoms they noted and exact steps that help them to cure people. Think about you in any place in the world being able to follow all that and to prepare for what is coming. Think about you being able to check databases with medical equipment and at the same time, so you don’t have to worry will there be enough masks, gloves, and ventilators. Sounds useful?




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