As the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to plague the world, what is most needed is an “all hands on deck” approach. Governments, companies, non-profits, entrepreneurs, and individuals are expected to play different roles in the fight against the virus.
IBM Launches COVID-19 Blockchain Solution
American multinational technology company, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), has launched a blockchain-based solution to combat the medical supply shortage in the face of the unprecedented pandemic.
Dubbed IBM Rapid Supplier Connect, the platform is powered by IBM blockchain. The network, which is designed to improve transparency and verification speed, will connect buyers and suppliers of COVID-19 medical supplies and equipment.
The platform will help both government agencies and healthcare organizations in identifying new manufacturers who are focused on producing essential supplies that can help to combat the shortages in the COVID-19 relief efforts.
Free Access To Rapid Supplier Connect Until August 31
Major suppliers and buyers, including New York’s largest healthcare provider Northwell Health and The Worldwide Supply Chain Federation (TWSCF), have joined the network.
Northwell has over 800 hospitals and health care centers in its system, while TWSCF will onboard more than 200 American suppliers.
Speaking on Northwell Health’s move to join the IBM solution, Phyllis McCready, VP and chief procurement officer at Northwell Health was quoted saying:
“Northwell Health has had adequate supplies to protect patients and our staff during the increase in New York COVID-19 patient cases. It is through creating our own GPOs and supply chain and joining forces with non-traditional suppliers that we have maintained an adequate stockpile of PPE and other equipment and supplies, so we are pleased to join IBM Rapid Supplier Connect.”
According to IBM, Rapid Supplier Connect is currently available to qualified buyers and suppliers in the United States and Canada at no cost until August 31, 2020.
IBM is also collaborating with other companies to facilitate the platform. For instance, the solution complements existing supply chain networks and their payments. However, buyers can utilize the services of a third-party payment system like CDAX at a fee.
Other companies working alongside IBM in the initiative include the national COVID-19 supplies clearinghouse Project N95, Dun & Bradstreet, RapidRatings, KYC SiteScan, Thomson Reuters, and many more.