The use of vaccination certificates has become mandatory for international travelers in this late COVID-19 phase.
The involvement of blockchain in healthcare can benefit the field in more ways than one and can be used to optimize the process of vaccine certification too.
International travel was one of the most affected sectors when the pandemic first broke out and spread through different parts of the globe. The images of grounded planes in airports around the world became a common sight on the internet during that phase. Since then, international air travel, although restricted and staggered to an extent, has started again. The surprisingly brisk emergence and use of COVID-19 vaccinations have further allowed countries to ease travel restrictions.
In recent months, nearly all governments have made COVID passports or vaccination certificates a compulsion for individuals coming into their country. As the name suggests, such documents will have the confirmation of individuals being inoculated against the virus. As one can expect, the creation of such digital verification documents and their authentication in real-time are major logistical challenges for immigration authorities everywhere. Such problems can be resolved to a great extent with blockchain tools. Blockchain-based systems can be used for the distribution of vaccines around the world. Additionally, the involvement of blockchain in healthcare can be extended to help global authorities with immunity verification-related tasks too. Here’s how blockchain can simplify the process of digitizing vaccine verification for travelers:
Immigration authorities in a country will need to verify vaccination records once they are attained digitally from international travelers. The use of blockchain systems can streamline this process for everyone involved. Firstly, the individuals who wish to travel abroad will need to get their jab from a certified hospital or clinic. After administering the vaccine, the hospital will create a digital certificate to confirm the jab. The digital record of this certificate, possessed by the individual, will be held in a distributed ledger node created for the purpose. Then, the certificate will be linked with the individual's ID documents—passport, driver's license, and others. During verification, the authorities can access a globalized vaccine database to trace the certificate of the traveler. The blockchain API allows authorities to validate the information before the traveler is granted permission to fly into the concerned foreign country.
One of the lesser-known facts in healthcare is that the maintenance of health records is a costly affair for healthcare centers. The addition of vaccination-related record-keeping to this scenario will only pile on more financial burden on hospitals and clinics. Using smart contracts, a blockchain-based application can reduce these expenses.
Generally, hospitals employ workers to process the health records. Smart contracts can be configured to carry out the process much more quickly and reliably. In addition to the savings made from using such a system instead of several workers, hospitals can also rely on them for the data security and privacy of the vaccination records. Smart contracts, like any blockchain tool, do not allow users to manipulate the data stored in them. COVID vaccination records for as many patients as possible can be maintained in blockchain systems without the risk of the information being tampered with by external elements.
As with other applications of blockchain in healthcare, this one also exhibits the efficiency that can make the process of digital vaccine verification much faster and error-free. Countries and organizations looking to use the concept of vaccination certificates must employ the technology for the same to save time and money.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.