Blockchain technologies could play a major role in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic - and aid the global recovery - by tracing interactions with people diagnosed with the disease while preserving their privacy and security.
So says a new paper from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Blockchain, which gathered evidence from experts around the world and includes a strong emphasis on healthcare.
As the fall-out from the UK’s Government’s U-turn on the track and trace app continues, it makes the case that the decentralised, autonomous and self-sovereign identity features of blockchain can make a positive difference in the healthcare sector.
The publication says that blockchain could also enable the health services to protect patients’ electronic records, and could be used for tracking and controlling the use of vaccinations, prescriptions, other infections and medical records.
The APPG proposes that every national government should set up an emergency taskforce on medical data to start planning and implementing blockchain initiatives to help cope with a future wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This would come with legislation around which stakeholders could mobilise, the creation of self-sovereign identities and citizen owned health records, and pilots for the use of blockchain.
The report concludes: "The current global health crisis is a turning point for our entire socio-economy and way of life. It has demonstrated problems in our systems for innovation, procurement supply-chains, data governance, and our entire technology infrastructure and society.
"Blockchain has become the new multi-purpose technology - not only an urgent tool in the fight against Covi-19 pandemic, but also to unleash trade, investment, and future finance for the economy."