The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) has development a new blockchain-based platform to track critical COVID-19 hospitalization data. The news was confirmed yesterday by the HHS Chief Information Officer, Jose Arrieta, in an interview with Forbes news outlet.
According to Arrieta, the new blockchain platform will allow for faster clinical trials, protect citizens, and flatten the curve on the pandemic. He added that the blockchain technology will play key role in the recovery from this pandemic.
According to the report, Arrieta had earlier in the week noted that, HHS Protect, a blockchain-based data authenticating platform, is more comprehensive than what was previously provided by the CDC. He said the platform ensures that every data element received is hashed with a time-stamped record of the parcing, curation, and sharing of that element. Arrieta added that the blockchain will ensure that the data for COVID-19 hospitalization is accurate and traceable.
The HHS chief also noted that the blockchain system being used with HHS Protect is an enterprise version similar to those supported by the Hyperledger organization and companies such as IBM. He said it is different from the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains. Arrieta stated that “The blockchain HHS uses is not the blockchain of the anarchists and disruptors, but rather as a fresh step forward where thousands of users on the platform are accessing data sets.”
According to Arrieta HHS Protect coordinates data from 6,200 hospitals across the U.S. The data include numbers of ventilators, hospital beds, emergency room admittance and discharge, lab test, warehouse implications, and nursing home data. He added that the application of the blockchain technology in HHS Protect will enable the government to share with the general public how the results were generated since the record is immutable.
Governments and private sectors are increasingly looking at different use cases of the blockchain to fight the pandemic. It was reported earlier this month that a South Korean NGO is planning to launch a blockchain healthcare platform to handle pandemics.