Using encrypted data and records to track transactions, blockchain technology has been helping the Chinese government and medical agencies in the battle against coronavirus. Between 1-14 February, at least 20 blockchain-based applications were launched to solve the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis.

We’ve discussed before how blockchain can disrupt the healthcare industry and bring clear improvements to the system, so now we’re focusing on how blockchain is helping Chinese authorities fight the coronavirus outbreak. A system for online consultation and screening was launched on February 1st in Xi’an, China. The blockchain system securely manages health records, ensuring interoperability without compromising security and patient privacy. 

Meanwhile in Hangzhou, Vastchain Technology has introduced Access Pass, a program on WeChat that can generate QR codes to enable residents to enter gated communities. The company behind it says that all personal information collected is encrypted and stored in blockchain-based cloud servers. Once the epidemic is over, the original data will be eliminated. Blockchain technology was also applied in the official daily updates about the epidemic in Jinan, Shandong Province. Local authorities say blockchain makes information on the platform tamper-proof and traceable. It achieves precise collection of epidemic data and dispels rumors, helping citizens to cope with the epidemic in a positive and reasonable way.

Improving the allocation and donation of relief supplies

Since the start of the outbreak, which has now (February 21st) claimed the lives of more than 2,236 people and caused over 75,685 infections in mainland China alone, the management, allocation and donation of relief supplies have been a challenge. Up until now, when blockchain comes to the rescue. Led by the Zhejiang Provincial Health Commission and the Economy and Information Technology Department, the information platform launched by Alipay on its mobile app enables the review, recording and tracking of demand, supplies and logistics of epidemic prevention materials. Supplies involve multiple parties from donors and recipients to delivery and warehousing. Alipay officials say that the entire process of record and verification by each party is tamper-proof, enabling anyone to track the process.

Using Modex BCDB to cure the healthcare industry’s shortcomings

Coming back to the healthcare industry, it’s worth mentioning that our solution, Modex BCDB (Blockchain Database), can eliminate many deficiencies from the system. Modex BCDB is a new take on blockchain technology which removes the need to invest resources in blockchain training and facilitates fast adoption of the technology in businesses. The solution proposed by Modex is a middleware that fuses a blockchain with a database to create a structure which is easy to use and understand by developers with no prior knowledge in blockchain development. 

As a result, any developer who knows to work with a database system can operate with our solution, without needing to change their programming style or learn blockchain. Through our blockchain component, Modex BCDB is able to transform with minimal changes any type of database into a decentralized database which holds the same valuable characteristics inherent to blockchain technology: transparency, increased security, data immutability, and integrity.

Advantages of using Modex BCDB in healthcare

Every entry in the system is recorded on the blockchain. Also, the platform will keep track of any modification made, together with a timestamp and the identity of the user who made it. Implementing Modex BCDB also brings the following advantages:

Smart Data Access. The read operations can be done by accessing the database components directly. They can also be performed through optimized blockchain core queries to obtain records with confirmed and valid integrity check. All write operations are blockchain transactions which store references to database records location and payload hashes for integrity checks.

Record versioning. All data records are stored together with their historical versions since their creation. Every read operation can be done with a version parameter attached. This instructs the system which record version to retrieve to its caller. Record deletion is happening only at the database level, the actual blockchain references to records and records hashes are never lost. The delete operation is also marked in the blockchain trail of historical versions.

Security Permissions & Data Sharing. Traditional database engines provide access to users who can operate the data but there is no exchange mechanism between these users to access or share data between them. The Modex BCDB core engine allows data exchange between its system users. The process takes place at the record write level. Each record write request is associated with a security parameter which instructs the system what is the record visibility in regards to other system users.

Data Encryption. Data stored within network nodes can be encrypted or not. It is a matter of configuration and business requirements which data makes sense to be encrypted and which data should remain unencrypted. The encryption mechanism allows configurations to instruct the system to encrypt entire entity records or just particular fields within a record.
File Storage – File API. Our solution accepts regular file upload and offers developer interfaces for file retrieval as well. The data storage mechanism is designed to split the file in chunks and distribute them all over the network to ensure file availability, but also to increase the data retrieval speed.