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Can Blockchain Limit the Spread of COVID-19 in Healthcare? Let’s Find Out!

17 March 2020
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With the dramatic upsurge of COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, all over the world, the healthcare industry was the first to face its adversity. Causing disruptions and shortages, Coronavirus continues to create a desolation in all the industries. To date, more than 100,000 cases of Coronavirus have been reported worldwide, out of which more than 3,500 deaths have been confirmed. COVID is causing a great burden on the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Vaccine R&D for Coronavirus is still under process and may take more than a few months for deployment, which somehow, is intensifying the pressure on the healthcare industry. There are several milestones that Blockchain development must overcome in order to make its impact in the medicine industry, the major one being Technical PoC.  With the supply chains being affected severely, the pressure seems unending.

Source: China National Health Commission

Healthcare and Blockchain defined

Although the healthcare industry seems reluctant to incorporate Blockchain technology into its core, many reports show that Blockchain would play a pivotal role in the same. According to a survey by Hyperledger, nearly 43 percent of organizations are of the view that with the easier accessibility of the information, Blockchain would prove to be a beneficial resource for the organization. The healthcare industry continues to be plagued with high hospital bills, inefficient healthcare workers and constant data breaches. In the event of COVID-19, getting access to the complete patient record is important to track the epidemic. Data security, accessibility, and immutable audit trail are some of the major advantages of incorporating Blockchain into the pharma industry.

Blockchain technology also helps in governing the finances, insurances, and records of patients in the healthcare industry. Blockchain creates a mechanism for healthcare professionals to interact, share and process information and create pathways for supply chains. The technology continues to ease the pain of COVID-19 by encrypting the patient data and work on the current spending bubble. Organizations are also working on an automated process of Blockchain-enabled smart contracts to remove the manual process and eliminate any breaches.

Recruitment and Retention are the two main challenges that are faced by healthcare professionals. Blockchain technology would help in the creation of a single platform for clinical data sharing and availability of the data for research professionals leading to an increase in the Research and Development process in the healthcare industry. The Coronavirus vaccine R&D is still in its primary phase which makes it important for researchers across the world to track the process and give their valuable inputs.

Managing healthcare supply chain with Blockchain technology

About 75 percent of the healthcare supply chains all over the world are facing disruption due to COVID-19. In the event of such tremendous pressure, it becomes necessary to automate the process and reduce the flaws in supply chain management. With the help of Blockchain logistics technology, we can manage the healthcare supply chain traceability as follows:

1. Digitization of the supply chain: One of the primary concerns with the pharma supply chain is that it involves many intermediaries and also lack modernization. These drawbacks pose many threats to the supply chain and also reduces efficiency. With the incorporation of Blockchain technology, the supply chain can be digitized and can be easily monitored by organizations, retailers and manufacturers.

2. High Security and Transparency: With the help of Blockchain supply technology, we can ensure that the medical products and devices are being transported under high security, and no mishandling is being done at any level of the supply chain. This would help in ensuring authenticity, transparency and also help in flagging potential damages.

3. Monitoring the Drug supply chain: Counterfeit drugs are one of the major issues of the Healthcare industry. According to WHO, the counterfeit drugs cost about $30 million to the healthcare industry. Many black-market drug chains have been providing counterfeit drugs without being traced and getting under the radar. With the help of Blockchain technology, such cases can be minimized to a great extent.

4. Coldchain Management: With the collaboration of temperature tracking devices and Blockchain technology, Coldchain Management can also prove to be an efficient process. A decentralized and distributed Blockchain supply logistics can help in the fast-tracking of the process and also help in cost-saving and reducing discrepancies in the process.

Conclusion

To conclude, Blockchain offers numerous advantages to the healthcare industry. From added security to increased accessibility of the process, Blockchain is bound to make the Healthcare industry more efficient, and supply chain management a lot easier. In the event of the global health crisis such as the COVID-19 outbreak, the impacts of how the products are being used can be ever-lasting and can also lead to betterment. Blockchain supply management also provides hope for a more reliable, transparent and efficient system of Healthcare management.

If you are also looking to embrace the power of Blockchain technology in your Healthcare enterprise, then we at Debut Infotech are avid to assist you. Debut Infotech is a reputed organization in Blockchain space having delivered numerous blockchain solutions to date. For a free consultation, drop a line at info@debutinfotech.com or call us at 1-703-537-5009.

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Daljit Singh Director - Operations

At Debut, Daljit and his team of consultants are focused on working with regulators, startups and large financial services organizations to design and build Blockchain based business networks. 

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