Blockchain for COVID-19: Review, Opportunities, and a Trusted Tracking System

Dounia Marbouh, Tayaba Abbasi, Fatema Maasmi, Ilhaam A. Omar, Mazin S. Debe, Khaled Salah, Raja Jayaraman, Samer Ellahham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations

Abstract

The sudden development of the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the limitations in modern healthcare systems to handle public health emergencies. It is evident that adopting innovative technologies such as blockchain can help in effective planning operations and resource deployments. Blockchain technology can play an important role in the healthcare sector, such as improved clinical trial data management by reducing delays in regulatory approvals, and streamline the communication between diverse stakeholders of the supply chain, etc. Moreover, the spread of misinformation has intensely increased during the outbreak, and existing platforms lack the ability to validate the authenticity of data, leading to public panic and irrational behavior. Thus, developing a blockchain-based tracking system is important to ensure that the information received by the public and government agencies is reliable and trustworthy. In this paper, we review various blockchain applications and opportunities in combating the COVID-19 pandemic and develop a tracking system for the COVID-19 data collected from various external sources. We propose, implement, and evaluate a blockchain-based system using Ethereum smart contracts and oracles to track reported data related to the number of new cases, deaths, and recovered cases obtained from trusted sources. We present detailed algorithms that capture the interactions between stakeholders in the network. We present security analysis and the cost incurred by the stakeholders, and we highlight the challenges and future directions of our work. Our work demonstrates that the proposed solution is economically feasible and ensures data integrity, security, transparency, data traceability among stakeholders.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)9895-9911
Number of pages17
JournalArabian Journal for Science and Engineering
Volume45
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Blockchain
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Ethereum
  • Smart contracts
  • Traceability
  • Tracking system
  • Transparency
  • Trusted oracles

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