Elina Cadouri, founder and COO of credential verification specialist DOCK, spoke to Health Tech World about how blockchain technology can facilitate the release of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Dock is a platform designed to provide a simple solution for businesses and developers to build, manage and present digital credentials that are instantly verifiable using blockchain technology.
A blockchain is a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems on the blockchain.
Dock uses cryptography to issue tamper-proof credentials that are instantly verifiable and owned by the recipient. The credentials can then be anchored on blockchain for time-specific data and audit trails.
Cadouri believes that the technology can be utilised to support the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine.
She said: “If you think about the challenges of distribution; this will require coordinating and tracking on a global level that has never been done before.
“This involves tracking between billions of people with many different distributors, different governments, with healthcare workers administering and coordinating along the supply chain. Essentially, it’s a massive coordination and tracking problem.
“What blockchain can enable is coordinating those efforts in a way that does not require one centralised database, or one company to be at the centre of it. And so, it enables all these unrelated parties to ensure vaccines are being distributed as they’re intended, and to whom they’re intended.
“I think the idea of all these records of patients and companies being stored in one big database will scare a lot of people. But with blockchain, it enables this to be done in a highly secure way, where only certain recipients or certain people who would need access would be able to have it.
“For example, if you got vaccinated and it is recorded on the blockchain, it doesn’t mean that the whole world can see, it would mean that you are able to allow access to a certain party. This could play a really big role in getting businesses to reopen, schools to reopen and people being able to travel on flights.”
Cadouri also touched on the potential growth of blockchain technology within healthcare post-COVID-19.
“With other vaccines like the flu shot it could be extremely useful, as well with storing general healthcare records so an individual is able to own records and be able to share them with who they want, when they want, but in a very secure way.
“There is going to be a learning curve of how to use this technology and there’s going to be hesitation with what information is going out there, and who’s going to see it. But I think there’s also a lot of people who, especially in a crisis like this, see the major benefits of blockchain.”