The COVID-19 pandemic has affected countries, communities, businesses, and individuals in all sorts of ways, from companies and nonessential establishments closing down to employees suddenly shifting to a remote work setup to carry on with their daily lives and routine as they try to protect themselves from the virus.
Undoubtedly, technology has become increasingly important in people’s daily lives, for it serves as a way to stay connected, continue functioning, and respond to the health crisis.
Whether it’s schools switching to online learning or doctors opening their doors to teleconsultations, digitization during this time is inevitable.
Because of the pandemic, businesses are forced to adapt and reassess their recovery plans. Then comes blockchain technology to accelerate post-crisis digital transformation and help solve problems in the existing system.
Let’s have a look at the role of digital technology in response to the difficulties brought about by COVID-19 and how blockchain can aid during such a crisis.
Help improve contact tracing
In virus outbreaks like COVID-19, one of the best and fastest ways to prevent its further spread is by doing contact tracing. However, there’s a thin line between data gathering and protection of the privacy of people under monitoring.
Blockchain technology can be utilized to collect and monitor patient data and their movement. Their identities are protected since blockchain has no central authority, and users have control over their personal information.
With this, persons under monitoring or investigation can selectively share only the vital data related to the coronavirus.
They can be assured that the information they provide will not be shared elsewhere.
Donation tracking and allocation
Blockchain can provide assistance in the financial sector and non-government organizations raising and distributing funds by enhancing transparency when it comes to health budgets and donations, preventing corruption and economic disasters.
One of the biggest concerns in a crisis like this is that the millions donated for public use may not be used or distributed as intended.
Digital payment platforms can create blockchain-based solutions that can help organizations function more transparently by tracking donations and allocation. With blockchain capabilities, donors can see where their money goes and whether it is put into good use.
They can receive verification that their contributions have been donated or used for other essential needs, such as relief goods or protective equipment.
Verification of authentic equipment and other goods
Speaking of relief goods and protective equipment, the government must buy protective equipment from companies that have credible standing in the industry to avoid counterfeit or defective goods.
Blockchain technology can’t avoid intentional fraudulence. However, a possible solution to steer clear from purchasing faulty rapid testing kits or masks is installing chips to products where a blockchain system can be used to verify if the goods are exchanged during transport, heightening the safety against fraud.
If the supplier installs a counterfeit chip or if the packaging is broken, it will be read as a fake product.
Securing supply chain management
Blockchain technology has already proven its uses and success in supply chain management systems in several industries. In a health crisis, it can serve its purpose in tracking and tracing medical supply chains.
The unprecedented demand for medical supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted global supply chains, with users purchasing supplies without a clear understanding of its origin and quality.
Blockchain-based platforms can connect all stakeholders in a supply chain for maximum security and transparency.
It enables reviewing, recording, and tracking of the demand, supplies, and the logistics of materials in the medical products ecosystem. With blockchain, medical supply chains can be refined effectively and securely. It also allows assurance that doctors and patients can gain access to safe and quality medical tools whenever they need it.
Verification of sources to protect authors’ rights and ward off fake news
In times of crisis and uncertainty, fear-mongering, misinformation, and fake news can actively spread. It is crucial to take immediate action against this and correct false information to prevent public panic.
For instance, a media channel may use a video that reports the dramatic situation in a particular state, but the footage used may have been filmed in a different country.
This could happen without proper verification of the source. The possible solution is using blockchain’s unique hash value coding system that will be generated from every digital medium.
Advanced payment systems
Since people are mostly at home, there has been an increased use in digital wallets and online payment systems to continue purchasing necessities even when lockdowns and quarantines are in place. Moreover, e-wallets have been a useful tool for making fast and quick donations to various organizations.
In the same vein, cryptocurrencies are seeing an increased value during this time. Bitcoin can aid the coronavirus crisis by allowing consumers to replace cash with tokens, going from speculative investments to payments. Merchants that accept cryptos can generate sales. Check this out for more info on the latest Bitcoin SV news.
Summing it up
Another pandemic or global health crisis can happen again in the future. Hopefully, the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic can push for a more streamlined and advanced approach to such crises with the help of new digital tools and blockchain technology.
While blockchain technology can’t prevent the rise of new viruses, it can be useful and valuable in other aspects, as mentioned above, especially in the supply chain. Knowing its benefits as a reliable, transparent, and secure system, blockchain investments are expected to rise once the novel coronavirus pandemic blows over.