Guru Gyan
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Guru Gyan

When Blockchain Technology Meets COVID-19 Vaccines…

This technology is helping hospitals keep track of the vaccines.

What’s New?

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, which is part of the government-run National Health Service and administers four hospitals in central England are using blockchain technology to keep track of the story and temperature of the COVID-19 vaccines. This is the first such initiative in the entire world.

How Does It Work?

Asset-monitoring company Everyware will offer software to track the temperature of the vaccines around the clock. The distributed ledger technology of Hedera will offer the NHS with a tamperproof and efficient record of the data.

The technical director at Everyware, Tom Screen, told CNBC that the sensors would monitor the temperature of refrigerators that are storing the vaccines. It will then transmit the data to its own cloud platform where it will be encrypted and then passed on to Hedera’s blockchain network.

The Importance

Since the vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna must be kept at -70 degree Celsius until close to the time they are to be used, tracking the status and handling of vaccine doses is crucial. That’s where blockchain technology comes into play. When they are tracked accurately, it helps the hospital in reducing cases in which medicines had to be discarded because staff were not certain they had been maintained at the correct temperature, Tom told Fortune.

The other thing to note here is that Hedera’s Hashgraph digital ledger does not use the same kind of blockchain that is used by Bitcoin and Ethereum. It uses a mathematical system called a directed acyclic graph, which does not require nodes in the network that stores the digital ledger to solve complex mathematical puzzles as in cryptocurrency-based blockchains. But why does this matter? Because this system offers a very low fixed cost per piece of information added to the blockchain — just 1/100th of a U.S penny, and it can handle millions of data entries quickly.

As blockchain technology assures the safe delivery of vaccines to people at a cheaper price, we could see more companies adopting this technology in the future for seamless distribution of vaccines.

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