How blockchain could optimise supply chains in the healthcare industry

Juan Miguel Pérez and Yasmine Benjelloun

In a recently published article in Forbes, entitled “Five ways Blockchain Can Unblock The Coronavirus Medical Supply Chain”, the author, Nishan Degnarain, successfully highlights how blockchain technology could potentially help solve some of the supply chain problems we are currently facing at a global level.

As the crisis continues and the demand for critical supplies grows, cooperation between governments and the different stakeholders in the healthcare industry is crucial to allow procurement systems to respond to this demand. However, the current systems and tools in place are not able to adequately handle the crisis requirements in a timely manner. In addition, the lack of trust that already exists across the supply chain is made even more evident with the appearance of new vendors. There have been credibility issues regarding suppliers due to cases of forged financial records and the distribution of fake coronavirus treatments.

As stated in the article, “currently there’s no centralized procurement system governed by a central body”. What if there was a government administered ‘standard procurement system’ which could be opened in such situations?

Blockchain technology is arguably the best option for creating a procurement system that is able to address and resolve the issues currently experienced, combining transparency, accountability and auditability to ensure trust for all stakeholders.

At Finboot, we recognise the need to take a cross-sectional approach to the technology.

We have built MARCO, our unique blockchain agnostic enterprise grade SaaS product, to allow enterprises to easily access and use blockchain technologies within their organizations value and supply chains. In regards to the healthcare supply chain, the application of MARCO, our blockchain-powered flagship product, could:

- Facilitate instant and immediate data collection about product requirements and transportation tracking.  

- Respond to credibility challenges by enabling the creation of a transparent ecosystem where every transaction is recorded and the provided information is reliable and cannot be tampered with.

- Allow the digitalisation and certification of financial records through the use of encryption.

- Ensure safe payments through smart contracts.

The potential of blockchain can unlock an array of applications.

COVID-19 is a wakeup call: this virus, and the many others that will surely follow, can be overcome through cooperation and compliance, with Blockchain providing a trust platform to bring down the barriers to global connectivity.