They say there are just two types of innovators: accidents and disasters.
They say there are just two types of innovators: accidents and disasters. After becoming famous among cryptocurrencies and creating riches among newcomers, the world finally saw the potential of blockchain during the COVID-19 epidemic. It was a time when industries, enterprises, and the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, recognised the need of simplifying their processes, improving data accuracy, and making the process more visible. This was also an opportunity for the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries to rapidly implement long-awaited advancements in data storage, patient data protection, and, most importantly, supply chain management.
According to Abhesak Sharma's report, COVID-19 accelerated developments in the pharmaceutical business, affecting the dynamics of their operations. He has emphasised that the COVID-19 pandemic aided in three significant aspects:
· The discovery of novel variants,
· Their propagation, and
· Directing resources and pharmaceutical items to more critical locations to battle the pandemic successfully.
Similarly, a report published in Lancet Digital Healthcare emphasised how blockchain-based innovations took the stage by storm and swiftly became the tool for patient data protection, vaccination identification, and supply chain concerns. The significant advantage, however, was the reduction in communication apps between the three components of the pharmaceutical supply chain, namely the producer, healthcare centers/hospitals, and the end user.
Why is this significant, and how has COVID-19 accelerated this process?
The answer is primarily found in the old and obsolete processes that are still used in some parts of the pharma network, where the product is virtually out of sight once it leaves the manufacturer, there is no accountability or traceability, and there is always a danger and a chance that the product has been tampered with during the long process of the overseas voyage or even within the country. Now, blockchain technology has addressed the three significant challenges of the field. As Het Shah indicated, these three phases are decentralisation, transparency, and immutability. This means the partners have complete control over the product's quality, distribution, and integrity.
If you've been paying attention to the pandemic and the pattern it's taken, you'll know that the biggest threat to a community's health is a rogue patient who is either unaware of his COVID-19 infection or purposefully concealing it. In both circumstances, the most essential thing is to track down all connections and decrease the likelihood of the virus spreading further. Blockchain technology has proven to be an excellent tool for tracing contacts, limiting infections, and minimising the risk of additional infection.
This was primarily accomplished through applications that tracked users while maintaining the anonymity of their data via the blockchain's sophisticated design.
Finally, data scientists, software architects, and pharma industry specialists agree that the applications revealed so far at COVID-19 are simply the tip of the iceberg since new and urgent developments drove blockchain technology to take on new responsibilities. End-to-end encryptions, data transmission technologies, and more applications will be developed as technology advances, and better software is produced. This, in turn, will benefit the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.
They have one of the largest node networks and a highly sophisticated link structure. However, this system desperately needs overhaul and modernisation, and COVID-19 has taught today's industry executives that the system is only as good as it needs.
· Sharma, A., Bahl, S., Bagha, A. K., Javaid, M., Shukla, D. K., & Haleem, A. (2022). Blockchain technology and its applications to combat COVID-19 pandemic. Research on Biomedical Engineering, 38(1), 173-180. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42600-020-00106-3
· Ng, W. Y., Tan, T. E., Movva, P. V., Fang, A. H. S., Yeo, K. K., Ho, D., ... & Ting, D. S. W. (2021). Blockchain applications in health care for COVID-19 and beyond: a systematic review. The Lancet Digital Health, 3(12), e819-e829.
· Shah, H., Shah, M., Tanwar, S., & Kumar, N. (2021). Blockchain for COVID-19: a Comprehensive review. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 1-28.
· Guaita Martínez, J. M., Carracedo, P., Gorgues Comas, D., & Siemens, C. H. (2022). An analysis of the blockchain and COVID-19 research landscape using a bibliometric study. Sustainable Technology and Entrepreneurship, 1(1), 100006. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stae.2022.100006
· Fusco, A., Dicuonzo, G., & Tatullo, M. (2020). Blockchain in Healthcare: Insights on COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(19). https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197167