Coronavirus – Can Blockchain be the Answer to Contain Similar Future Outbreaks?
Coronavirus, the latest health crisis has by date claimed more than 1115 lives in mainland China as attested by the government, with incoming reports of more getting infected. Not declared a pandemic yet, there have been confirmed reports of multiple patients in different geographies.
This is not the first time that a virus outbreak has taken a toll in certain demography or across continents. Over the years, we have had to deal with similar outbreaks such as the H1N1, SARS, Ebola, myriad forms of the flu virus, etc.
In cases of outbreaks, the primary concerns remain to be containment and tracking of the virus. Lack of necessary steps taken to ensure both increases the risk aggravating the situation. Luckily we have the Blockchain technology that can not only help in keeping track of the virus and outbreak activity but also offer a platform where governments, medical professionals, health organizations, media, and all the concerned parties can update each other of the situation and prevent worsening of the same.
DLT for Virus Outbreak Tracking
Over the recent years, people have come up with multiple use cases and applications of Blockchain technology, and the present outbreak of the Coronavirus has made experts believe that the same can be used to track the virus activity as well. Implemented, it will add a new chapter in the healthcare use case of the technology.
Utilizing Blockchain, one can develop a tracker app connected to a distributed network that will help in tracking the virus, through live authenticated updates from concerned authorities. The tracker will be a Blockchain backed app the dashboard of which will be directly connected to the public ledger, so that the scientists, medical professionals, researchers, media professionals can gather information about how the virus is spreading and ensure real-time tracking. The tracker will provide authentic data from medical organizations that are in charge of containing and researching on the outbreak.
In emergencies like these, there are bulks of incoming data, with not many hands on deck to manage the same. With the use of Blockchain, data collection will become automated and immutability of the ledger makes it impossible to alter any of the records.
The dashboard will enable users to see all the data and trends on the virus in real-time including all information about confirmed cases of infected, death toll, recoveries, etc.
According to experts, Blockchain in healthcare and especially in cases such as a virus outbreak can offer computational trust and a platform for recording and exchange of consistent and factual information between multiple parties. With easy access to such data, the containment of the outbreak becomes manageable and is of great help to the health authorities as well.
The Corona Update
The first case of Coronavirus was found in the Wuhan region of China that lead to an outbreak of severe respiratory illness. It has come to light, that the initial virus might have spread from the seafood-animal market in the region. As the number of infected kept growing, at present the virus is being transmitted from one person to another.
Presently, the authorities are trying their best to contain the virus as it has shown the potential of turning into a pandemic and that’s where Blockchain can help. In the future, the existence of such a network, specifically to track contagious viruses, can be a great help to the healthcare community and the public as well.