Amid the coronavirus epidemic that has been ravaging China, the country has since turned to the use of blockchain technology to keep track of the supply of virus prevention materials, manage medical data, and in getting a public opinion.
From February 1 to 14, at least 20 blockchain applications have been launched in China to tackle the emerging coronavirus related challenges.
For instance, Chinese company Hyperchain announced on February 4 that it would launch a blockchain-based platform aimed at raising funds to fight the coronavirus. Donors can track their donations at every stage via the blockchain and see when their money is matched to the needed medical equipment.
Furthermore, the payment platform Alipay launched an information podium on its mobile app to enable collaboration with transparency and efficiency.
The blockchain-based platform enables the analysis, recording, and tracing of demand, supplies, and logistics of epidemic prevention provisions.
Alipay said the whole process of record and verification by each party is tamper-proof, allowing anybody involved to track the process and transparently see what the other party is doing.
Practical Use Cases for Blockchain in Handling the Coronavirus Epidemic
The coronavirus epidemic is now displaying to health officials and government authorities practical use cases in which blockchain can be employed to handle a medical crisis, beyond the supply chain or improving government efficiencies.
The endemic disease has also given a push to another emerging tech, including AI and drones, which are being deployed as health specialists struggle to detect better and diagnose the lethal virus.
AI pioneers Baidu and Megvii have developed advanced temperature screening tools for major Beijing railway stations, while autonomous robots are replacing human cleaners in infected wards.
Combined with AI, the blockchain can bring much-needed improvement to current healthcare systems, with hospitals leveraging the tech to provide ubiquitous, secure network infrastructure, verifiable identity, and authentication of all participants in the healthcare system.
Medical Industry Retains High Hopes for Blockchain
The healthcare industry has high hopes for blockchain to improve other areas, including record management and biomedical research and development.
Matching the correct individual to his or her health data is critical to their medical care, which is one of the critical areas that blockchain tech could be utilized.
The blockchain could also be leveraged to create a collaborative relationship between health IT companies, hospitals, and insurance companies to curb information blocking while disbursing critical patient data.
Finally, blockchain assists drug manufacturers in keeping track of all the ingredients used in a drug, ensuring that all the ingredients used are as per the medical standards. This allows pharmaceutical organizations to get rid of counterfeit drugs.