China has indicated an interest in using blockchain technology to promote data sharing among medical institutions amid fears of pandemics becoming the norm. The People’s Republic were praised by the WHO for their Covid-19 response; Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauded Beijing’s ‘speed, scale and efficiency’.
Despite this, Chinese authorities are keen to do more to strengthen their epidemic preparedness – a particular concern, of course, is the fragility of the economy in a post-pandemic environment. China have identified blockchain as a key component of their future response strategy.
On June 30th, China’s National Health Commission released a plan detailing how it would leverage its technological capabilities to battle against future pandemics. Blockchain could be used, for example, to enhance data sharing between medical institutions such as hospitals and research centres. Such data sharing, it stressed, would enable authorised access of patient medical data.
“Local health departments should promote the data docking between ‘internet hospitals’ and regional information platforms and medical institutions at all levels, connect online and offline service links, and provide patients with whole process continuous services covering pre diagnosis, during diagnosis and after diagnosis”.
According to the announcement, additional measures are hoped to be implemented such as the electronic certification of doctors, nurses and even medical institutions. These certificates should be integrated into government platforms too, in order to improve government efficiency and services. This comes as local Chinese governments have previously launched their first platform to provide government services.