A Mask Inventory System on Blockchain is Being Deployed to Fight Coronavirus in Taiwan

A Mask Inventory System on Blockchain is Being Deployed to Fight Coronavirus in Taiwan

by February 15, 2020

Taiwan’s concern in response to the 2019-nCoV Coronavirus outbreak has forced its local authorities to strictly ration the distribution of surgical masks and alleviate manpower shortages in repackaging bulk supplies through the help of volunteers. To facilitate this daunting logistical process, authorities created two open projects in a collaboration with the private sector, involving the likes of SaaS-blockchain enterprise FiO.

With only 4 million surgical masks stockpiled for a population of 23 million, Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has implemented a strict rationing system, allocating a mere 2.6 million masks for residents. To receive a maximum of two masks per week, residents need to sign up for a tracking system and present their National Health Insurance (NHI) cards upon purchase at one of Taiwan’s 6000 affiliated drugstores.

Teaming up with Taiwan’s Google Developers Group (GDG), FiO staff volunteered to help the local authorities and the GDG build a mask inventory system and logistical infrastructure that tracks the distribution and quantities of masks to the drugstores. FiO has indicated that it intends to create an AI-driven blockchain for the inventory system if given the go-ahead. This will make the system’s data records immutable, cut costs and reduce the need for human labor.

FiO further showcased its platform’s flexibility and speed by assisting Taiwanese residents to volunteer in helping inundated pharmacies, the majority of them small “mom-and-pop” stores, repackage large quantities of government-issued masks into dual-pack rations for consumers. FiO senior engineer Joe Huang helped create a map-based filtering system, which identifies nearby pharmacies carrying stock, within only 2 hours.

FiO’s quick and vital technical contribution to the containment of the coronavirus is one of many practical applications that the SaaS company’s versatile blockchain platform has to offer. Developed in partnership with IBM, FiO uses its Hyperledger Fabric modular blockchain framework to create Middleware technology that connects conventional operating systems and databases with network-based applications. This allows FiO customers to build problem-solving blockchain applications in a very short time with little to no technical skills.

According to the company, FiO plans to roll out similar solutions in Hong Kong and Singapore to help the public and restore confidence in its local authorities’ ability to protect them from the coronavirus.


Featured image credit: Unsplash