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US researchers propose an IOTA based solution to combat COVID-19



  • A research paper published by the IEEE proposes an IOTA-based solution to combat the spread of COVID-19.
  • CoviReader uses the IOTA tangle to establish a decentralized health information exchange system.

A few days ago, Dominik Schiener made an exciting revelation about a possible implementation of IOTA Identity at an AMA meeting. The co-founder of the IOTA Foundation stated that they are in discussions with partners and government agencies in the United States to implement a vaccination passport solution.

Last week, a paper outlining such a use case was published on the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) website. Titled “Using IOTA and QR Code Technology to Control Epidemic Diseases across the U.S.,” the research was presented at a conference held Jan. 30 as part of a series of workshops and presentations at an annual event hosted by the IEEE.

The IEEE is an institute of great importance to the adoption of new tools in the government sector. The institution is responsible for evaluating innovative projects or technologies that it can recommend for implementation in the U.S. government.

When making evaluations, the IEEE takes into consideration multiple criteria. For example, there must be an entity that is responsible for the unique development of that project, as is the case with the IOTA Foundation. In the past, the IEEE determined that Ethereum was not yet ready to be adopted by the US public sector.

How the IOTA based solution could work

Presented by 4 researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the solution is called CoviReader. Its main objective is to combat the spread of COVID-19 and other future pandemics.

CoviReader: a decentralized healthcare management system that shares user’s data anonymously. The system is built on the IOTA tangle platform and provides users detailed, unchangeable, and easy access to their personal information. CoviReader handles authentication, confidentiality, transparency and data sharing (with crucial considerations when revising confidential information).

The CoviReader would allow its users to interact with the database, called FIREBASE, via an application. As the paper states, the CoviReader will enable information to be shared between the government, health authorities, and the general public on IOTA Tangle’s “transparent” ledger. The release states:

(…) whenever users makes their information accessible on the tangle, all kind of data are re-collected from administrative to medical insights, allowing physicians and medical personnel to focus on what matters most (i.e., providing effective, quality patient care), and states to focus on how the situation progresses.

Users’ information will be anonymized after being verified and added to the IOTA Tangle. The system will also implement a QR code for issuing personal identification cards. Thus, states the paper, the “data identification” is no longer in the hands of a third party and streamlining registration processes, tracking, assistance and security for the authorities. The research concludes:

 IOTA’s tangle, along with the MAM communication protocol, provides fee-less, stable, and highly scalable data sharing among users. Finally, our model and proposed solution (CoviReader) offers a mechanism for the government and CDC in collaboration with state, local health departments, public health, health care provides, etc., to monitor the development of COVID-19 disease in the US.

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