WHO launches blockchain platform to fight COVID-19

On March 28 the World Health Organization (WHO) collaborated with major blockchain and technology firms to initiate a distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based platform for sharing data regarding the Coronavirus outbreak. 

The platform, MiPasa, is built on top of Hyperledger Fabric and enables early detection of COVID-19 carriers and infection hotspots. MiPasa has been initiated in collaboration with the technology giants, IBM, Oracle, Hacera and Microsoft. The platform facilitates information exchange between individuals, state authorities and health institutions. The project cross-references siloes location and health data on the platform to obtain world insights while guaranteeing patient privacy, with MiPasa describing the platform as a “verifiable information highway.” 

MiPasa is designed to host a range of publicly accessible analytics tools too. According to the project’s website, “MiPasa can help monitor and foresee local and global epidemiological trends and detect likely asymptomatic carriers by feeding big data on infection routes and occurrences to powerful AI processors around the world.”

Various health institutions are also playing their part in the project — including the U.S., European, Chinese Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Hong Kong Department of Health, the Government of Canada and China’s National Health Commission.

The Coronavirus outbreak has led to the development of many applications using blockchain technology. On March 25, it was reported that the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s Ministry of Community Development (MOCD) is adopting DLT-based solutions for identity verification and the distribution of official documents — allowing clients to safely interact with the MOCD from home.

Blockchain technology has also been regarded as the most effective method through which the U.S.’s stimulus package could be distributed. Some promoters even suggested that the U.S. should consider launching a DLT-based “digital dollar.”

China has integrated blockchain in numerous applications to help its efforts to fight COVID-19, using DLT to track the virus’ spread, medical records, and the distribution of medical supplies and charity donations.