Blockchain-Enabled Contact Tracing Apps Could Have Avoided the Suspension of IPL

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Blockchain-Enabled Contact Tracing Apps Could Have Avoided the Suspension of IPL

With the novel coronavirus, the entire IPL calendar went for a toss. Like it ruined most of our expectations. Amidst the pandemic, it felt so nice to watch IPL from our screens, cheer the players and guess the next wicket. Could blockchain have come to the rescue of the IPL? Let’s find out.

A few matches went well, adding certain positivity and new hope to our lives. But then. The pandemic destroyed the sport and pretty much the entire year. After several players and supporting staff began testing positive for the coronavirus, the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 has been suspended. All those dreams faded away!

“The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect.” the BCCI said – this was heartbreaking, right!

However, in July 2020, we saw international cricket resume with the England and West Indies series, almost after COVID-19 stood live in action. Later, there was another cricket series held between England and Pakistan. Other than England winning both test series, these tournaments have remarkably a common thing known as the ‘biosecure bubble’, or the ‘bio-bubble.’ Since then, the BCCI made it mandatory for the players and staff to use contact-tracing badges and health apps as a precaution to prevent coronavirus outbreak.

A Sneak-Peek into the Contact Tracing

The contact tracing is divided into three stages:

  • Contact identification
  • Contact listing
  • Contact follow-up

Recent technologies leverage Bluetooth (within a six-foot detection range) and Artificial Intelligence (to automate continuous data collection and pursue detailed real-time monitoring). The wearable or accreditation will carry a chip-enabled GPS device to provide Restrata, IPL authorities, and franchises to track and trace individuals at all times.

The contact tracing apps are the potential ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The contact tracing apps are trained in identifying COVID-19 patients, the virus transmission, prevention, and implementation of control measures. The previous versions of contact tracing apps were manual and time-consuming. But with the latest technology, they are smartphone-enabled.

Did the COVID-19 Contact Tracing app did not help the BCCI to handle IPL 2021?

Despite all the precautions implemented to track and trace any suspected COVID-19 case in real-time accurately, the BCCI and the IPL 2021 couldn’t escape from the novel coronavirus. As a result, concerns rose about the safety and security of the players and the staff.

Unfortunately, due to the rage in the cases, players, and other staff testing positive, the IPL has been suspended halfway through. However, The BCCI has started working on digging the information through contact tracing. Due to the health app’s failure to recognize the vulnerabilities, the BCCI has begun manual contact tracing. On the other hand, players are pretty concerned about their information getting out of hand due to the contact tracing applications. 

Given the current scenarios, the BCCI needs to revise the protocols. Isn’t it? Amidst the severe panic in the cricket camp, while scrutinizing the players’ data, it is equally important to keep an eye on the privacy and security of the users. It seems like it is going to be a challenging battle for the authorities, no doubt.

Blockchain-Enabled Contact Tracing Applications: Safe and Secure

Despite all the difficulties, blockchain technology seems to be the potential solution to deal with contact tracing applications. Since blockchain is a decentralized, distributed, and secure technology, it could best work to prevent COVID-19 spread and monitor the patient’s movement to avoid further transmission of the virus. This will break the human-to-human virus transmission chain.

No Manipulation of Data

The contact tracing applications should consider proactive measures like cryptography techniques for the collected information. Since blockchain runs as a distributed technology, the data can be theft-free and shared without any manipulations or modifications. This will also include anonymity while sharing the data across the network. 

Securely Preserves Personal Data

The blockchain-enabled contact tracing apps can monitor an individual’s data securely. It enables the safe and confidential broadcasting of the personal data of the COVID-affected patient. This addresses the primary issue related to privacy concerns. Blockchain technology increases trust, security, and privacy measures in contact tracing apps.

Prevention on the Priority List

Using blockchain technology, preventive measures to avoid the virus spread and break the transmission chain could be taken in real-time. With the blockchain-based contact tracing apps, users who had been in contact with the affected person will be notified. As a result, identified individuals will be recommended to sell-quarantine for 14 days since the last contact.

In the case of infected individuals, they can upload their contact list by initiating a transaction that is validated by all the nodes. After which, the new block is added to the blockchain, and all users of the respective infected person will be notified, eventually asking to go for a test. 

Verification is Easy

Blockchain technology makes the verification process more accessible. It will ensure that the contact tracing users are not faking their data to create panic among the other users. Blockchain has the potential to verify the profile photo, personal data, location, device ID, etc.

Transparency and Traceability

Blockchain-enabled contact tracing apps run on high traceability and transparency features. The technology enables the data to be identified, captured, stored, and shared on a real-time basis. This increases the chances of transparency and traceability instantly.

Cost and Time-Effective

Well, unlike centralized systems, decentralized applications are cost and time-efficient. They could be built and used on a distributed ledger technology that will avoid re-iterations, automates the processing of the data. Thus, it results in cost and time-effective contact tracing app solutions. There will be no middleman involvement that could involve high operational costs.

Conclusion

The blockchain-enabled contact tracing applications enable the safety, security, and privacy of the data. The applications built on the distributed ledger technology involve no single point failures and avoids any other vulnerabilities. No single person holds authority over the data and will not be able to modify or delete any information from the network. Each block on the network will be secured with a unique hash value that maintains the integrity of the data. Unlike third-party applications, there will never be any trust issues on the network regarding the users’ data. To conclude, the distributed and decentralized blockchain technology can collect, store, and share the COVID-19 affected patient data among all the users on the network and overcome the challenges faced due to the centralized systems.

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