As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, widespread economic hardship and health risks have affected consumers, businesses, and communities globally. A number of tech initiatives worldwide have surged as a response to the pandemic. Blockchain-based initiatives in particular, have offered disruptive solutions towards recovery, by allowing for more secure health data, streamlined processes and increased traceability of medical goods.
In Italy, the pandemic has had a considerable impact on the economy and society, as shown in the below graph. However Italian blockchain innovators have sought to contribute to alleviate the health sector and economic actors. Through the Italian example, this article illustrates how blockchain-based solutions can help tackle the Covid-19 crisis and mitigate its consequences.
Source: European Economic Forecast – Spring 2020
Increased trust for more efficiency in the health sector
B2LAB: improving trust in sanitization data
Italian Innovative startup B2LAB provides blockchain, Cryptography, Artificial Intelligence based solutions for the digital industry. As a response to the Covid crisis, B2LAB provided free distribution of a Digital Tracking Service of Sanitizations certification (Sanistory). This digital service allows to trace simply and openly sanification processes in buildings. By using smartphones and a QR code framework, any person can read tamper-proof information (bulletins, reports, certificates, photos, etc.) related to sanitizations, enabling for streamlined monitoring of sanitization history.
AB Analitica medical company & EZ Lab: securing the origin and authenticity of diagnostic kits
AB Analitica medical company in collaboration with EZ Lab startup designed and produced a diagnostic kit certified by the Ministry of Health that enables to trace downstream distribution by using blockchain technology. This kit is supplied to laboratories that carry out Covid-related diagnostic and screening tests, and allows to analyze up to 400 samples from nasopharyngeal swabs in one working day. Laboratory operators, by simply reading a QR Code positioned on the package, ensure they are in possession of material in accordance with the law and with certified origin guaranteed by health authorities.
Preparing for post-COVID-19: safe workplaces and economic resilience
InfoCert: securing staff return to the workplace
InfoCert – Tinexta Group, one of the largest European Certificate Authority and participant to the Covid Credentials Initiative, has developed a blockchain-based mobile solution to support companies and organisations in the management of staff return. The mobile solution called Health Checker, is based on a wallet that provides a blockchain-based Digital Identity platform integrating Self-Sovereign Identity with eIDAS regulatory compliance. The Health Checker manages digitally employee certifications related to Covid. At every access to company premises, each employee records exposure to risk factors and certifies the absence of Covid-19 symptoms. The app provides a distributed digital identity with full legal validity and in compliance with privacy regulations. Infocert has already signed agreements with national health facilities that subject employees to testing. The contamination status of employees can thus be certified without endangering their privacy, facilitating the continuity of activity.
Italian government preserving “Made in Italy” brand value with anti-counterfeit solutions
The third most valuable global brand – “Made in Italy” – has been suffering massive losses from counterfeiting. It was estimated in 2016 that Italian retailers and wholesalers had lost €7.9billion in sales to the counterfeit market. In order to preserve the “Made in Italy” brand value, the Italian government recently invested 15 million euros for implementation of anti-counterfeit digital solutions – including blockchain-based ones. A particular focus is made on a joint project with IBM Italy and the artisan community. Indeed, blockchain-based methods for tracking products in the supply chain hold significant potential to prevent counterfeiting materials to enter the market, enabling for increased economic resilience. Read DGen’s comprehensive report on blockchain and counterfeiting in Italy.