The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has received a $4 million donation of USD Coin (USDC) from Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin for accelerating the development of a pandemic detection tool.
Vitalik and Shiba Inu working together to detect pandemic
The donation, which is around 5.3 million Australian Dollars (AUD), is under Burterin’s “moonshot anti-COVID effort” called Balvi Filantropic Fund. Notably, the memecoin project, Shiba Inu collaborates with Buterin for the fund.
#Ethereum co-founder @VitalikButerin has gifted UNSW $5.3 million in #cryptocurrency to support the development of a #pandemic detection tool designed by @KirbyInstitute's Prof Raina MacIntyre.https://t.co/aYYhI1iQwR pic.twitter.com/Gy0l1xejel
— Kirby Institute, UNSW (@KirbyInstitute) May 12, 2022
The funds will go toward the development of the AI-powered EPIWATCH tool, which is based on the Shiba Inu Open-Source Intelligence (OISNT) and uses open-source data to build early pandemic warning indicators.
The pandemic detection tool, developed by Kirby Institute professor and biosecurity research head Raina MacIntyre, searches millions of publicly available web data items, including social media and news headlines, for any abnormalities that could indicate rising health concerns.
Buterin underlined the significance of decentralized and open data sharing to accelerate pandemic detection by stating:
“Open analysis of public data is an excellent alternative to more intrusive forms of monitoring, which are also often only available to governments and other high bidders but closed to the public.”
The funding will go to the OSINT Initiative, which UNSW’s Kirby Institute leads. Earlier this month, the Balvi Filantropic Fund released its first round of funding for several projects and organizations working on COVID-19 and pandemic prevention technology.
Blockchain applications in the health sector
This is not the first time Blockchain has helped the world to face real-life challenges. For a number of reasons, Blockchain is becoming highly important in healthcare. For example, it allows confidential information to be securely transferred without needing to copy it, which can help decrease medical record errors.
In January, a Singaporean healthcare services company Zuellig Pharma employed a blockchain-based system to monitor COVID-19 vaccinations to stop practitioners from delivering expired pieces.