The COVID-19 crisis has put unprecedented strain on the global supply chain of every product, but most acutely on critical medical supplies. People are dying by seconds because we don't have enough PPEs, ventilators, and hospital beds. Even with the limited supplies, the quality is concerning.
The current supply chain system is long, complicated & inflexible. We have done internal research and found that supplies exist but unable to locate for two reasons:
- It is heavily controlled by third-party distributors, resulting in a lack of communications between supply and demand.
- Lack of trust is the biggest bottleneck preventing this market ramping up quicker, and speed is of the essence in the next few weeks.
That’s why when a crisis or any disruption happens, the system fails to meet the demands and the quality of products, thus the trust is broken.
What it does
From point-to-point integration to ecosystem-level:
1 Decentralizing the Ledger for Transparency & Trust:
A transparent purchasing platform for all stakeholders to access information on supplies, buy and sell supplies at their disposal, and be held accountable for activities and checks.
The real-time peer-to-peer communication provides a more flexible system connecting the supply & demand directly.
Tracking provenance, traceability, and historical procurement for products as they move downstream to the medical facilities with blockchain finality.
Digitize and secure travel document workflows on the blockchain with Smart Contract, where the terms are payable upon receipt, proof of delivery from a logistics carrier, will immediately trigger automatic digital invoicing and payments through the banking system.
2 From cloud-based management systems to smart sensors, the real-time supply chain provides a constant stream of real-time data to increase system efficiency.
It enables greater visibility, agility, and in-the-moment decision-making via AI, machine learning applications and data analysis. The inventory system is drive-by hospital usage data to determinate inventory count, if the product is running too low, you can have auto repurchase on, if overstocked, the supplies are available for repackaging and distribution to nearby medical facilities.
How I built it
Using a white-label enterprise solution, the platform can be built within two weeks.
Many large-scale credible firms offer their BaaS services: Microsoft has a BaaS module on its Azure platform; IBM has its own BaaS which is focused on private consortium blockchains; Amazon offers BaaS services and Oracle offers blockchain cloud hosting as well.
Freemium Subscription Model Authentication and quality is offered to all users (including free members) Add-on services such as Smart Contract with IoT integration, automation, Analysis report, payment solution
Challenges I ran into
Since we do not have a lot of data available around coronavirus, we will use small simple data sets while tracking and collecting quality data for better planning and forecasting in the further to prevent stock-outs or shortages & disruptions.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We already have two venders that are willing to use our platform.
What I learned
- According to the WHO, it is estimated that up to $200 billion worth of counterfeit pharmaceutical products are sold globally every year and 50% of these drugs are purchased online.
- We saw that most hospitals and around half of all providers now use an electronic medical record or EMR system.
What's next for GMedChain
Within the health care field specifically, the goal of supply-chain management is to guarantee the availability of the products needed to treat patients.
The ability to track and manage resources at the ecosystem level can provide greater accuracy and better forecasts on medications and medical supplies, reducing waste from expired and damaged goods, preventing stock-outs, supply-side shortages, delivery time variability, supply-chain disruptions due to natural disasters, political unrest, and many other causes. Its Traceability enhances product safety & inventory allocation.
Blockchain is an enabling technology, which is most effective when coupled with other next-generation technologies such as the IoT, robotic cognitive automation or smart devices. The whole ecosystem can be useful in understanding which products led to successful patient outcomes, projecting future programmatic and budgetary needs, protecting against corruption, and ultimately allowing for an increase in the number of patients served.
It is especially needed in developing countries where no efficient supply chain system is in place and the combination of infrastructure issues could create supply chain dysfunction.
ai, blockchain, data, iot, machine-learning