A recent webinar from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security talked about blockchain’s usefulness in several categories, including the fight against corruption. However, the part that caught our eye is the use of technology in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why does it matter?
We have already covered the use of blockchain technology in healthcare, and using it for tracing vaccinations makes perfect sense. And that apparently is what Brazil plans to do.
Specifically, the country will use a system called the National Health Data Network, or RNDS. Powered by the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain framework, it will keep tabs on anyone who has received a COVID-19 vaccination.
After every injection, the system will receive data regarding who got the vaccine, and upload that data to the blockchain.
Such a setup is said to allow for the greater case and vaccine tracking, data efficiency and clarity. RNDS also includes other patient information, such as treatments and medications received.
The country currently embraces a type of COVID-19 shot which is resulted from a collaboration between the University of Oxford and British pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca – called the Oxford Vaccine. Brazil also currently has its eye on a China-based vaccination called CoronaVac — stemming from collaborative vaccination efforts between the two countries.
On the record
“So the Covid-19 vaccine will already be within our RNDS structure. So, when you get the vaccine you will already hit the RNDS here and we will already know who took it,” said the Ministry of Health’s coordinator of systems development, Elmo Raposo Oliveira.
“RNDS ‘objective is to promote the exchange of information between the points of the Health Care Network, allowing continuity of care in the public and private sectors,” he added.
While blockchain in healthcare is showing a great promise, we still have to see it going mainstream. Tracking COVID-19 vaccinations may be the technology’s pivotal point when it could prove its worth.