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Blockchain could play a strategic role in future digital Healthcare, and it may work to improve COVID19-safe clinical practice.

On 12 December 2017, UNGA proclaimed 12 December as International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) by resolution, making it an official UN-designated day. Since then, the day has become the annual rallying point for the growing global movement for Health for All.

According to uhc2030, UHC Day wants to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage. Every year on 12.12, UHC advocates raise their voices in order to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, to call on leaders to make larger and smarter investments in health. It also reminds the world that Health for All is imperative to create the world we want.

Health Coverage day

UHC Day Campaign on 12 December 2020 will mark one year since the first cases of COVID-19 were reported. UHC Day Campaign 2020 must remind the world that health for all is not a long-term wish, but an urgent priority to end this crisis and emerge stronger. Considering this global challenge that we are currently facing, the theme and main narrative of campaigns this year will be: “HEALTH FOR ALL: PROTECT EVERYONE. To end this crisis and build a safer and healthier future, we must invest in health systems that protect us all — now.”

According to NCBI, blockchain applied to the health sector can offer new opportunities to improve several activities associated with the prevention and control of pathologies and, therefore, better clinical risk management in the context of a pandemic emergency like the current one. The sudden appearance and the rapid and uncontrolled diffusion around the world of Coronavirus has shown us not only the failure of existent healthcare surveillance systems in promptly managing the public health emergency, but also an evident lack of advanced predictive systems based on the sharing of clinical data on a large scale, able to prevent or at least lessen emergencies of such magnitude.

Moreover, smart contracts based on blockchain technology can also be used to automatize auditing processes, improve the supply chain management of pharmaceutical products and verify their quality and compliance with current regulations.

Different studies suggest the application of blockchain in the health sector mainly for sharing and better management of patients’ data, electronic health records (EHR) and, if less frequently, the supply chain management of medical devices and drugs, the management of drug prescriptions, to improve the scientific research and for the development of precision medicine.

According to Medical Futurist youtube channel, in healthcare, there is a massive opportunity for the blockchain revolution in order to lead digital transformation. There are three ways how blockchain will change healthcare:

1) Health records: 

Electronic medical records are the backbone of every modern healthcare system. But your medical records grow longer and become more complex with each visit to your doctor. And since every hospital and every doctor’s office has a different way of storing them, and It’s not easy for healthcare providers to obtain them. There are some companies that aim to solve this problem. The goal is to give patients authority over their entire medical history and to provide a one stop access to it for patients while inherently bringing data security to the field as well.

2) Supply chains:

The pharmaceutical industry has one of the highest standards for product safety and security. For instance, supply chain management with blockchain can be monitored transparently. This can greatly reduce time delays and human mistakes.

3) Genomic market:

Some companies are building blockchain platforms to enable people to share genomic data safely and securely. Blockchain is the best technology to solve data securely issues. These companies aim to use blockchain technology to enhance data protection, and enable buyers to efficiently acquire genomic data. These companies aim to use blockchain technology to disrupt healthcare.

Blockchain and covid19

According to World Economic Forum, tackling COVID-19 will require the first-ever deployment of blockchain in the global distribution of a vaccine.

Blockchain offers an immutable, decentralized database that can help all parties be sure that vaccine supplies are being stored and handled properly.

While it is still unclear how long it will take until the vaccines are accessible for every last one of us, it is most certain that their supply chain must be closely monitored. Particularly for the COVID-19 vaccine which the whole world needs desperately, proof of proper storage recorded on the blockchain is indeed priceless.

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