UK hospitals turn to blockchain to track COVID-19 vaccines

  • Two UK hospitals are taking part in an initiative using blockchain to track covid-19 vaccines.
  • It is critical that the vaccines are kept and stored at the exact required temperatures to maintain their efficacy.
  • The blockchain is a tamper-proof, efficient, and cost-effective record-keeping system.

Two British hospitals are breaking new ground by utilizing distributed ledger technology to fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

The initiative, which is one of the first of its kind in the world, will see the hospitals use blockchain technology to keep an eye on the storage and supply of temperature-sensitive covid-19 vaccines.

The UK recently went into lockdown following a second wave of the virus. More than 3.43 million cases have been officially recorded, with 89,860 patients succumbing to the novel virus.

However, some parts of the world have rolled out vaccination programs to stem the spread of the diseases, and Britain has so far inoculated about 6% of its population.

England performed poorly in curbing the spread of the virus, tracing positive cases, testing, and keeping the economy running. The country is putting a stronger effort into the vaccination program to bring the spread of the virus under control.

Covid-19 vaccines tracked on the blockchain

The two hospitals are using the nascent technology to keep tabs on vaccines and chemotherapy drugs and to monitor the fridges that house covid-19 vaccines.

Everyware, a digital asset tracking and monitoring provider is monitoring the vaccines and other treatments for the National Health Service (NHS). The tech will strengthen record-keeping and data-sharing across several supply chains.

Everyware is working in conjunction with Hedera, a decentralized protocol owned and governed by major companies and education institutions that include Google, IBM, Bowing, Deutsche Telekom, Tata Communication, and University College London.

Stratford-Upon-Avon and Warwick hospitals are taking part in the initial part of the project.

There are several hurdles and challenges encountered in the storage and handling of the vaccines. The vaccines have to be kept at the exact temperature all the time to maintain their efficacy. Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech’s vaccines have to be kept at ultracold temperatures and can only last no more than five days at normal fridge temperatures.

On the other hand, other vaccines such as Moderna Inc.’s don’t require stringent storage conditions.

Everyware Technical Director Tom Screen explained that monitoring the temperature of the refrigeration units is very important, and the data should be easily shared across the entire vaccine supply chain.

Hedera’s distributed ledger technology provides that tamper-proof record-keeping system, making it perfect for recording and validating results efficiently and cost-effectively,” he added.

Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR) is currently trading at $0.068, up 13.4% in the past 24 hours.

“As we begin to prepare the roll-out of these new COVID-19 vaccines, with the specific temperature requirements, we recognize the importance of utilizing their [Everyware] same tracking and monitoring capabilities,” said Steve Clark, Electro BioMedical Engineering Manager at South Wales Warwickshire NHS.

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