A medical services company in Mexico is utilizing blockchain technology to prevent the forgery of COVID-19 test results.
Blockchain for Authentic COVID-19 Results
Medical Devices Supplier, otherwise known as MDS Mexico, launched a COVID-19 testing service that uses blockchain technology, according to a report by local news outlet iProUP. MDS has been conducting COVID-19 in Mexico since May 2020, having performed over 20,000 tests.
With the world still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, countries and companies across the globe are trying to get back to functioning again. The current statistics from the Work Health Organization (WHO) reveal that there have been over 240 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, while 4.8 million deaths have been recorded.
While various governments are gradually lifting restrictions, companies require their employees to carry out COVID-19 tests, with airports also demanding the same requirement from travelers before they fly. However, there have been cases of people producing fake COVID-19 test results, which seems to be prevalent at airports.
Back in February, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol), which is the EU’s Law enforcement agency, revealed that criminals were selling fraudulent COVID-19 test results to passengers. Later in April, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) also said that it traced fake coronavirus certificates in different countries, including Brazil, Afghanistan, France, and Bangladesh.
However, MDS Mexico believes that leveraging blockchain’s immutability could help combat such cases and also guarantee the authenticity of a COVID-19 test certificate. According to the company, the use of the technology protects patients’ personal data, safeguard clinical test results, and prevent the fabrication of coronavirus tests.
A statement on the MDS website reads:
“To avoid falsifying negative results, we began to certify the SARD-CoV-2 detection tests, with blockchain technology, and cryptographic signature, which protects the information in a unique, immutable and unalterable QRCode, which can be verified worldwide.”
In February, Singapore developed a blockchain-based “globally inter-operable standard” called HealthCerts, for the cross-border verification of pre-departure COVID-19 test results.
More Applications of Blockchain Technology
Apart from health, blockchain technology has also been implemented in different sectors such as supply chain management, education, voting, identity security, banking, fashion, among many others.
Maharashtra, a state in India, is reportedly one of the few places that use decentralized ledger technology (DLT) for educational document registration. The Maharashtra State Board of Skill Development (MSBSD) earlier in 2021 developed an Ethereum-based blockchain called LegitDoc, to combat certificate forgery.
Nueva Pescanova, a seafood company based in Spain, is also using IBM’s blockchain-based solution, Food Trust platform, to track seafood products across the supply chain.
IBM Japan also partnered with the Tokyo-based chemicals company Mitsui Chemicals, and Nomura Research Institute (NRI) established a consortium which uses blockchain technology to ensure traceability for plastic material recycling.