The COVID-10 pandemic has infected thousands of citizens and businesses around the globe. Right now, almost the whole world is practicing social distancing, and governments are implementing emergency measures. As the on-going fight against COVID-19 continues, business, both in the private and public sectors are facing one looming question: Is there any way to ensure safety when economics and communities are ready to open post-COVID?
Now more than ever, we need a trusted platform that can renew and automate the traditional and out-dated modes of working and unlock actionable insights to survive through this crisis. That trusted platform is Blockchain.
Blockchain entered into our lives and became increasingly important in the last few years and the CoVID-19 crisis has enhanced their prominence. This technology is at the peak of inflated expectations, and its value is expected to exceed $3.1 trillion by the year 2030. It is a decentralized distributed technology that has the potential to transform every sector: Healthcare, Finance, Banking, eCommerce, Agriculture, Supply Chain, etc.
What Role Blockchain Can Play In COVID-19 Crisis Recovery?
Though over the time period, we have witnessed development in technology leading to many improvements in all the sectors. However, the sudden spike in the outbreak has shown the failures in the systems. The COVID-19 revealed general lack, traceability, connectivity, data exchange, and transparency problems present in our systems.
Quite shocking to consider that we are living in a world in which we have 5G and IoT (Internet of Things) yet no efficient and transparent system to track your shipments. And this is why the pandemic brought the supply chain and many other sectors to their knees. All these crises have made it clear to us how important it is to build your business network according to the latest practices.
Nevertheless, Blockchain development solutions have some bright spots that can be used to combat the COVID-19 crisis as well as help in the recovery process. According to the reports of the Blockchain Research Institute, Blockchain could be deployed to prevent COVId-19 as well as future pandemics.
All industries need to focus on data management as data is an essential asset to fight against pandemics. Through Blockchain solutions, they will have access to data about what, where, How, When, Who — that would help them to get better control over the businesses even during the pandemic.
Below are some key areas in which Blockchain Solution can be used to resolve issues:
1- Data Management
To recover from the crisis, industries must leverage trusted data across all the levels of organizations.
As huge amounts of data are produced in almost all industries, governments, scientists, and business owners are looking for disparate data sets that have better consistency, integration and can easily be shared across all levels of an organization or among different organizations.
Blockchain solutions can be used to make consistent, efficient, and transparent data records. This will also help businesses during data analysis. With Blockchain, data collection can be automated as it stores data in the ledger which protects the data against unauthorized access, thus maintaining privacy. This is particularly beneficial for the medical industry.
It can provide a solution that serves as a central point where all the institutions can share data, concepts, ideas, and results. When data such as patients’ symptoms, treatments, and progress is present on one platform, it will help the doctors and specialists to diagnose, treat, and even research to find the vaccine for COVID-19. Instead of working separately and independently, Blockchain technology can provide a solution where everyone can work, share critical information, and get results quickly.
2- Supply Chain Management
From food to healthcare, COVID-19 has disrupted every supply chain around the globe. The global shortage of basic necessities has shown the failures of the supply chain. The worst case is that not only is there a shortage but even if people are finding alternatives, there are delays of several days due to out-dated and inefficient supply chain systems.
As the global demand for goods is increasing, the implementation of blockchain solutions could be the first-hand solution to these problems. It is a digital ledger technology that will keep a record of all real-time transactions happening in the system. Moreover, it will also save you from the stress of product nomenclature and paperwork as all the data will be available on the network.
It is noteworthy that with this ledger technology, the industries can also put an end to cyber threats and data security. Blockchain can completely transform the supply chain industry by keeping a complete record of product history, tracking details, and shared history. Thus, both manufacturers and users will be able to check the originality of the product. This is the reason why companies like Maersk and IBM have started incorporating blockchain in their supply chain management systems.
3- Spreading Awareness Among Masses
According to the reports, one-third of people have viewed the COVID-19 misleading information and many of them have faced consequences for believing rumors. People blindly follow social media and content shared on it. It was due to this that some people in African and Asian countries drank detergents after they read it on social media that detergents kill coronavirus. Such misleading information can be harmful and can even take lives.
Blockchain ledgers can be implemented to prevent the spread of such misleading information. Many companies have already started working on developing solutions where people can access the right information. Blockchain solutions are immutable and no one can manipulate information here. Everyone will have access to complete information but no one can add or remove information without permission.
On this platform, the right data such as symptoms, precautionary measures, number of victims, and deaths can be made available for public access. Governments, scientists, and technology companies can work together to create solutions to spread awareness and fight against COVID-19.
4- Secured Tracking Apps
In this crisis, the balance has to be struck between collecting data and protection of privacy. As more and more tracking apps are being developed to track patients, technologists are using Blockchain to ensure user privacy.
In Blockchain, data blocks are built linearly, it is impossible for anyone to try to tamper with the information. There is a hash value attached to the information block and the previous block, ensuring a strong ‘linkage’ between them. This is how information becomes immutable, cannot be tampered, deleted, or changed. Blockchain protects user’s identities and rights by using anonymous identifiers and encryptions.
This Blockchain ledger technology will assist medical authorities to keep a track of everyone involved in the system. This way, every person in the system can see if he or she has been near another person’s network who is COVID-19 infected. That’s how blockchain can help people to keep them safe during this pandemic.
COVID-19 has presented a series of complex challenges to humankind. But with blockchain technology, we can respond to this crisis with speed, transparency, and efficiency. It can serve as a trusted platform to improve processes and data exchange between businesses, health organizations, governments, research centers, and the public —the right key to fight this global pandemic and prepare for the world post-COVID.