Blockchain-based Supply Chain Traceability for COVID-19 PPE
preprintposted on 12.11.2020, 16:14 by Ilhaam Omar, Mazin Debe, Raja Jayaraman, Khaled Salah, Mohammed Omar, Junaid Arshad
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted many industries, in particular the healthcare sector exposing systemic vulnerabilities in emergency preparedness, risk mitigation, and supply chain management. A major challenge during the pandemic was related to the increased demand of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) resulting in critical shortages for healthcare and frontline workers. The lack of information visibility combined with the inability to precisely track product movement within the supply chain requires an robust traceability solution. Blockchain technology is a distributed ledger that ensures a transparent,
safe, and secure exchange of data among supply chain stakeholders. The advantages of adopting blockchain technology to manage and track PPE products in the supply chain include decentralized control, security, traceability,
and auditable time-stamped transactions. In this paper, we present a blockchain-based approach using smart contracts to transform PPE supply chain operations. We propose a generic framework using Ethereum smart contracts and
decentralized storage systems to automate the processes and information exchange and present detailed algorithms that capture the interactions among supply chain stakeholders. The smart contract code was developed and tested in Remix environment, and the code is made publicly available on Github. We present detailed cost and security analysis incurred by the stakeholders in the supply chain. Adopting a blockchain-based solution for PPE supply chains is economically viable and provides a streamlined, secure, trusted, and transparent mode of communication among various stakeholders.