The U.S Is Exploring Blockchain To Fight COVID-19

Srimayee Sen Sarma

September 11, 2020

The global pandemic of COVID-19 has impacted the economy of many countries adversely by stagnating the workforce.

While the world awaits a cure or a preventive solution, emerging technologies like blockchain are being experimented with for mitigating the impact of the coronavirus.

The U.S Health Department, for instance, confirmed in late July this year that blockchain is being used to track COVID-19 information within the country.

José L. Arrieta, the Chief Information Officer at the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) first shared this news in an interview with Forbes.

He stated that a blockchain distributed ledger technology was already in use to track information about COVID-19 hospitalizations throughout the nation.

Arrieta claims that this will “allow for faster clinical trials, protect citizens and flatten the curve on this pandemic, so we can recover from this pandemic using blockchain technology, a distributed ledger technology.”

Well known for championing blockchain technology within the government, Arrieta explained how this new system, called HHS Protect, triumphs over any used by the CDC before, “At HHS Protect, every day, every data element we receive is hashed with a time-stamped record of the parsing and curation and sharing of that data element.”

According to Arrieta, this new system is utilizing an enterprise blockchain that is similar to the ones supported by IBM and Hyperledger.

While he refused to divulge any technical specifications, he mentioned that HHS Protect will surely be a “fresh step forward, where thousands of users on the platform are accessing data sets.”

Arrieta also confirmed that this new system would be capable of sharing with the general public “how the results were generated because you have a record that is immutable.”

Is the U.S catching up with China?

Before this move of implementing blockchain to streamline data related to COVID-19, the U.S did not have any major visible use of this emerging technology within the government.

This had led to concerns that the country is falling behind China where blockchain is being experimented with and implemented aggressively.

The U.S utilizing the technology to combat the effects of coronavirus has put the country on the world blockchain map now.

The post-pandemic world is creating an environment that requires moving fast and embracing technologies like blockchain.

If the U.S is not speedy enough in doing the same, the country can stand to risk slipping into potential recession.

Technology enthusiasts believe that blockchain, along with artificial intelligence and internet of things will pave the way for a transparent, hyper-connected world.

Countries like China are already exploring the potential of blockchain by utilizing it in various industries.

Using it to fight against coronavirus is a novel move by the U.S and hopefully, it will help to negate the impacts of the virus successfully.

Sources: Nasdaq, Forbes, Fortune

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About the author
Srimayee Sen Sarma

Contributing Author

Srimayee has over 10 years of experience in creating content. Driven by her passion for writing, She has had her articles published with a byline in newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites. Her other passions include reading, gardening and traveling.

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