The sudden emergence and rapid but uncontrolled worldwide spread of the Corona virus shows us the failure of existing healthcare surveillance systems to timely handle public health emergencies.
Though improvements in healthcare surveillance have been realised, these still fall short in preventing pandemonium. Lack of necessary steps taken to ensure containment and tracking of the virus have aggravated the situation.
Blockchain technology is increasingly been mentioned as a tool to assist with various aspects of containing the outbreak. Could the use of blockchain in the health care industry help to prevent future pandemics?
Outdated health surveillance systems
Preventing, and controlling diseases that have epidemic potential is a major public health activity. Many surveillance systems are used to track potential new diseases and control existing diseases. Though governments are doing everything in their power
to contain the spread of the Corona virus, their fight is hampered by difficulties in the timely sharing of information with local and international health enforcement agencies on the ground.
Unfortunately, many of these systems are outdated, hard to access, or inaccurate. China’s current disease surveillance system for instance is an updated version of a system that is five decades old. And there is the privacy and security issue when using
centralised healthcare surveillance systems. Time however is of the essence when dealing with outbreaks of this sort of deadly diseases.
Epidemiologists who study how diseases spread, are being faced with the task of gathering, verifying and cleaning data in an efficient manner.
Privacy and security issues, language barriers, the sheer distance between the geographical location of an outbreak, cultural differences, and many other factors are issues that slow the transmission and exchange of necessary information.
Non-optimal data management
There is the data management issue. Containing the Corona…