Key problems have been communicating, tracking and tracing of those that are infected and its related impact to economic activity.
Distributed Ledger Technologies allow for cloud based high throughput transactions with the advantages of blockchain based data security. Various protocols and platforms are available but as an example Aurigraph has the capability of 100 thousand transactions per second +. In addition its payload can be as small as 20mb which indicates its portability to mobile edge devices and low bandwidth requirements for data communication and transmission. In developing countries such ZA many borders were shut down thus resulting in landlocked countries experiences dire challenges of transport of food and goods as well as interstate travel. A decentralized identity using DLT would have enabled a digital flag that could be easily shared using a QR code and allow exchange between various stakeholders. The QR code would act as an Immunity Passport for individuals that have recovered from C19 or been vaccinated against future infection. The additional benefit would accrue that track and trace of each distributed identity for an individual in a specific area or country would be online in real-time. Thus even if a truck driver enters a country and is asymptomatic but using a wearable we could track his temperature change and have 1st responders intercepting the trucker and at the same time having access to his full journey and stops. This would communicate further spread of C19 to others he or she have had encounters with . Furthermore in quarantine the same would apply using a mobile phone or a wearable device costing less than 20 USD an individual could be track and traced in real time with monitoring of his or her temperature or O2 levels. Now consider this against many countries paying billions of dollars for hotels and other accommodation to quarantine potential travelers. The same digital identity would create a unique digital data vault per citizen with self sovereignty and be used in the future for citizen records and electronic health records exchange. The same decentralized identity would be used for tracking additional vaccine jabs and post pandemic can be used for multiple purposes.
The cost of DLT licensing would be minimal and the payload data decentralized with in built immutability adding additional benefit and curbing opportunities for corruption. In communicating beds availability or PPE access in many developing countries with immature health information systems Aurigraph as a an example would have been an excellent toolkit for C19 task force operations. Ambulance crews using a simple Qr code would be able to identify nearest bed availability in real time per patient and allow for regional proactive management. This could be extended to staff as well.
The keep it simple with quick deployment can yield quick results and allow for proactive communications and 1 platform can be used for multiple purposes.
Who will take these actions?
The DLT is cloud based so multiple stakeholders from the first responders, the disaster management teams, to hospitals and vaccine providers would all have access to single secure portal for tracking and tracing as well as real time command and control which is crucial in facilitating communications.
What are the projected costs?
These solutions exists already and are minimal in costs. The primary cost would be cloud services and the services implementation of these solutions. As they are secure cloud based can be easily bespoked per country requirements. These portals are typically offered as transaction as a service so the costs would be a few cents per citizen and based on payload storage requirements per decentralized identity.
These solutions are available immediately and can be deployed in hours per country. As long as there is a mobile network or internet access it can be deployed in minutes. The track and trace can be in sub seconds in communication between stakeholders.
About the author(s)
Sulieman is a management consultant with 35 years in the ICT industry with multiple roles as a CIO and solutions architectect and digital evangelist. Currently researching the role of DLT and AI in curbing fraud in supply chain management.
Subbu Jois is the founder of Aurigraph with 30 years in the ICT industry. He has been involved in multiple roles internationally from solutions development and systems design and new age digital innovation. He has been a pioneer in Distributed Ledger Technologies and its application potential in multiple industries and changing the future smart application landscape.