The COVID-19 crisis led to a massive collapse of our medical systems, global supply chains, financial setups, and more. It actually revealed that all these systems, especially the global supply chains lack connectivity and data exchange. Revival from the COVID-19 inflicted impact is very challenging and for developing future resiliency we need to depend on systems that are transparent, interoperable and connected. That is where blockchain technology is making a very strong use case and even global organizations have started to recognize blockchain as a panacea to challenges we are facing in the post-COVID 19 era.
Let’s take a look at the 2020 Deloitte Blockchain Survey. Deloitte polled senior executives of some global organizations in 202 to understand how they see blockchain as a part of their organization’s digital strategy. The results were quite impressive as over 55% of the senior executives deemed that blockchain technology is critical and place it in the top 5 strategic priorities of their organization. This was a sharp increase from 43% when the same set of the senior executive polls of 2018 (the pre-COVID) era.
Which blockchain-driven processes can help fight post-COVID era issues?
It now seems that the pandemic is acting as a catalyst to the adoption of blockchain. Here is how blockchain can find its use to fight COVID and COVID related issues:
Blockchain for Clinical trial management
COVID-19 has put excessive pressure on clinical trials. Multiple vaccinations are being developed and tested to demonstrate their efficiency, track their side effects, and much more.
These clinical trials are conducted in four phases but Phase III is the most challenging and resource-demanding. That’s because it involves the participation of a large number of trial participants. To make sure this phase of clinical trial operates well, is fair and transparent enough and all the results are properly recorded with complete privacy, it requires blockchain-driven solutions that are cost-effective, anonymous, secure, and immutable.
Blockchain for Medical supply Chain
The COVID-19 crisis interrupted the global medical supply chain. It led to the shutdown of many supporting factories and created an insatiable demand for products like PPE kits, K-95 masks, and more. Due to the increased demand, pressure to secure these supplies from unknown sources increased. As a result, low-quality, counterfeit medical products paved their way into the market.
Blockchain platforms like VeChain proved that the technology can play a critical role in ensuring that the medical supplies are originating from a credible and reliable source.
Blockchain for outbreak tracking
COVID-19 era has seen the outbreak of data tampering and fake information spreads. All this contributes to chaos causing both economic damage and psychological distress. Blockchain can solve the fraudulent data issue by storing facts on blockchain making it easy to track trustable data. As a result, government bodies, businesses, medical systems can have access to the actual data and they can act accordingly.
How can blockchain accelerate business post-COVID-19?
Covid-19 brought businesses to a halt due to social distancing. Now that normalcy has started to return and businesses have started to reopen the focus of the organizations is to adopt measures where employees, clients, and every business participant can interact in a carefree manner to accelerate the business. Here is how blockchain can help it:
Blockchain for contact tracing
As people have started to travel for business purposes, employees have returned to workplaces, it has become important to trace with who they came in contact with. Using blockchain-driven tracing techniques ensures privacy and immutability of contact data.
It can alert users if they have come in contact with COVID infected patient or have entered a COVID zone. This will ensure anyone in the organization who has had come in contact with a COVID patient stays identified and isolated to avoid the spread.
Blockchain for hacker combat
According to World Economic Forum’s report, hackers are trying to spread malware by using coronavirus maps. They impersonate the interactive maps and ask users sensitive personal and financial details. This data is then sold on the deep web. Generally, workplaces are a target for these kinds of malware attackers.
By using interactive maps powered by blockchain technology, users can make sure no data leaks to hackers happen. This will ensure data security and privacy during the post-COVID era.
Supply chain focused blockchain solutions
Global supply chain organizations had put across the challenges they faced during COVID-19 in front of the World Economic Forum. In response to these challenges, WEF worked with its international blockchain community and developed a supply chain-focused Blockchain Deployment Toolkit. The toolkit is designed to support both individuals and organizations. They can use the tools, resources, and blockchain expertise of organizations that built the toolkit to develop customized solutions to overcome business challenges.
Organizations like Abu Dhabi Digital Authority in the UAE have already trialed these toolkits.
Wrapping it up
Blockchain holds a lot of potentials to make sure supply chains, organizations, medical systems, and more work in a data-driven organized fashion. Not only can blockchain help overcome the challenges, but it can also increase the efficiency of existing systems by eliminating manual work and bypassing intermediaries. All this would lead to enhanced decision-making, more precise planning, and lower operational costs.
But an organization might face five key challenges to implement blockchain for the post-COVID issues. These are identifying the right blockchain, privacy, interoperability with other blockchain systems, and the scalability to meet the business growth demands. It is very crucial to ensure that these challenges remain taken care of before the actual implementation of the blockchain solution.