Blockchain is being used in the fight against Covid-19, the novel disease that emanated from China’s Wuhan in December last year and has spread to almost every territory in the world. As at the time of writing, 98, 387 people have died from the disease, and a 1, 633, 083 others have been infected.
Governments and other organizations are scrambling to fight off the disease, and blockchain is aiding these efforts. Universities, the medical, and the private sectors are harnessing the power of blockchain to fight the virus.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways:
Blockchain for Monitoring Coronavirus Data
Hashlog is a blockchain-based data visualization tool by blockchain applications developer, Acoer. Via Hashlog, people can understand and follow the global spread and impact of the virus easily. It combines information and data from a large set of publicly available data, including the World Health Organization’s.
Hashlog maintains an updated catalog of the total number of infections worldwide, deaths from the disease, cases per country, as well as trends on Google based on interest and region. Thanks to the immutable nature of blockchain, data shared cannot be manipulated or altered in any way. The tool is automated such that data is updated automatically, and researchers and scientists can have a dynamic dashboard to guide them in their work.
Blockchain for Contract Tracing
Pennsylvania’s Villanova University Department of Electrical And Computer Engineering is developing a platform to fight against the Coronavirus by utilizing a trio of blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and internet of things (IoT) technologies to assist healthcare facilities track coronavirus cases globally.
The system relies on a private blockchain accessible by healthcare facilities all over the world to publish Covid-19’s test results among doctors on a transparent, secure, and immutable ledger. IoT and AI are used to conduct surveillance on public spaces where people would originally gather, but which would be high-risk for now. Any such gathering triggers alerts over the blockchain.
These alerts will assist health care providers in making more informed and strategic decisions on how to allocate medical resources that are already in short supply.
Hasshi Sudler, an adjunct professor at the university’s department, told Coindesk: “Medical institutions, whether they know each other or not, whether they trust each other or not, can exchange information about who they know that is infected and to maintain contact with who is infected, over the blockchain.”
Blockchain for Social Distancing
Spherity is a Berlin-based startup that has developed a decentralized identity system that helps Covid-19 patients get medication while maintaining social distance. Through the Spherity prototype, patients can share their digital fingerprints and know-your-customer (KYC) credentials with doctors in a user-friendly cloud-based and blockchain ecosystem.
Once their patient’s KYC’s credentials are matched with their health records, they can be issued with an electronic prescription with which they can access medication.
In another case of blockchain assisting the enforcing of social distancing, the Honduran government has deployed a blockchain based app to track and manage social distancing and lockdown orders. The country’s emergency response unit, together with the Inter-American Development Bank, tech startup Emerge, tech company Penta Network have come together to launch a program called Civitas, which will help in managing telemedicine as well as the permission for people to leave their houses for specific errands.
If someone feels sick, they will engage with healthcare professionals from the National University of Honduras to determine if the symptoms are for Covid-19. Then, people with symptoms suspected to be related to the virus are directed to healthcare facilities that exclusively deals with it, reducing exposure to vulnerable populations in the region’s other hospitals.
Blockchain for Covid-19 research
About 6000 Ethereum miners are contributing to Stanford University’s Folding@home distributed computing Project. This project pools together GPU power from across the world to search for a cure for Covid-19.
These miners Belong to CoreWeave, the largest US Ethereum mining pool. And now, they are redirecting the processing power of more than 6000 specialized computers towards the project.
Folding@home is a long-standing Research project Dedicated to finding cures for diseases from Alzheimer’s to Ebola and recently, Coronavirus. It aims to do this by connecting thousands of computers from the globe to form one big distributed supercomputer for the research of a cure for the disease. CoreWeave’s GPU machines, which are designed to perform repetitive calculations, double the power of the distributed network.