COVID-19, popularly known as coronavirus, has affected hundreds of thousands of people globally. This human tragedy, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), has claimed over 8,700 lives and there are more than 214,000 confirmed cases across the globe.
The coronavirus is not the first serious pandemic that has claimed several lives and affected the global economy. The SARS epidemic, which outbroke in 2002, affected people worldwide – with 8,000 cases of the virus reported globally and taking away 750 lives.
COVID-19 is no different. However, its impact and consequences are more severe than the 2002 SARS outbreak. The economic consequences are difficult to measure. Fear of coronavirus impact on the global economy has affected global markets, alleviating stock prices and bond yields. Besides, the services industry worldwide is witnessing the impact of the virus – recording reduced consumer spending in retail stores, restaurants, hotels and aviation. Furthermore, the reduction in global economic activities has lowered the demand for oil, leading to a significant drop in oil prices.
Blockchain in action
While it is not practical to expect countries to be fully prepared for such severe incidents, there are solutions to limit the impact – blockchain being the ideal solution.
Tech companies and startups have recognized the potential of blockchain and are building solutions to track supply chain, medical data, and drive global transactions.
Let us explore how companies are leveraging the experience and expertise of enterprise blockchain consultants to build blockchain-driven solutions to combat coronavirus.
Tracking supply chain
Alipay, in union with the Economy and Information Technology Department and the Zhejiang Provincial Health Commission, has launched a blockchain-driven platform to enable users to trace the demand and supply chains of medical supplies – including coronavirus prevention materials like gloves, masks, and other protective gear.
Globally, companies are harnessing the potential of blockchain technology to augment the connectivity in the healthcare industry. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. approved a pilot to leverage blockchain to track shipments and use of medication in North Carolina, Indiana, and Tennessee.
A major challenge for governments, charities, and health organizations during large-scale disasters is the distribution of cross-border payments and donations. The United Nations World Food Program introduced blockchain technology for projects, like distributing financial aid to vendors in Jordan, enabling money transfers for over 10,000 Syrian refugees, and auditing beneficiary spending. This alleviated bank transfer fees by almost 98%.
Xiang Hu Bao – an online mutual aid platform by Ant Financial –is a blockchain-based collective claim-sharing platform with more than 104 million users. Its latest function involves processing coronavirus claims, helping the company to reduce paperwork and mitigate the need for back-and-forth document delivery to clinics.
Another advantage includes the mitigation of the risk of infection from face-to-face contact since the blockchain-powered platform drives transactions without human involvement.
The world is fighting a battle to limit the adverse consequences of COVID-19 outbreak and blockchain can make a significant impact in such a scenario. Blockchain solutions can extend far beyond monitoring healthcare data and enable improvement in the medical supply chain management, food safety and insurance processing, product and vaccine verification to support the global community in its fight against coronavirus.
At Millennial Partners, we offer consultancy for enterprise blockchain, helping global businesses with blockchain integration. Our coherent roadmap and mission-driven solutions together navigate your development journey to offer meaningful business outcomes.
Millennial Partners (millennial.ae) prides itself on serving clients’ most pressing organization transformational needs across people, processes, and technology through its own proprietary frameworks. Our digital transformation offering is most relevant to the increasingly digital enterprise and consumer environments. Our digital transformation roadmaps include incorporating the most cutting-edge technologies and vendors focusing on technologies such as enterprise Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and IoT.
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