Blockchain to Track COVID-19 Medical Platforms
Blockchain is anticipated to become more common as more industries view to this technology to resolve weaknesses in their recent processes. It is becoming a way to improve accountability and transparency throughout supply chains, insurance, health care, contract management, and the financial industry.
Blockchain was made popular in 2008 with the invention of Bitcoin cryptocurrency. It registers all transactions permanently within two parties on a public decentralized ledger that is time-stamped, implementing a digital trust for those utilizing the technology.
Blockchain technology offers trackability, traceability, and trust in goods and financial resources. Blockchain technology could be utilized to track medical supplies — new and contaminated products — and even medical providers for the COVID-19 pandemic, contributing valuable data about where medical providers and products are going and where they are coming from.
A list of ongoing efforts over universities, medical academia, the private sector, and even private citizens harness distributed systems in the fight against COVID-19. A blockchain prototype to enhance medical supply tracking and delivery to nongovernment organizations have been formed by a group of Arizona State University graduate students.
The prototype shows the transparency and accountability available with blockchain technology. It utilizes a smartphone to track an amoxicillin order in real-time as it moves over the distribution process from initial order by the aid agency to the end-user will distribute it to those in need. The details of the order — purchase order number, item type, and quantity received — must be digitally verified at each point in the distribution channel. If there are any discrepancies or changes along the way, previous approvers are notified.
The prototype solution won the ASU Research Enterprise’s annual innovation challenge. Five competing teams were challenged to implement blockchain or blockchain-related technologies to resolve a logistics or supply chain management security problem. Several solutions were submitted with some applying blockchain solutions to increase the security of the military supply chain and others utilizing blockchain technology to enhance the management of charitable contributions to nonprofit organizations.
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