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Welcome and Opening Statements

Meeting recording/transcript

In attendance:

  • Rich Bloch (recording)
  • Alexander Poston
  • Alfonso Govela
  • Alicia
  • Alonzo Sexton
  • Bill Gleim
  • Brian Behlendorf
  • Chang
  • David Boswell
  • Deb B
  • Erika Beerbower
  • Deniz Coskun
  • Gigo Joseph
  • Guillermo Diaz (VaNeMa)
  • Heather Flannery
  • Jim Mason
  • johnwalker
  • Kent gmt+8
  • laura
  • Quantum Materials
  • Pete Harris
  • Tomomi Yamano 
  • Raveesh
  • Wendy Charles


  • If you’re new to the group, please…

    • Introduce yourself

    • Tell us where you're geographically located

    • Share with us your interests in healthcare in general, and blockchain technologies in specific

    • Consider posting your contact information in our HC-SIG Membership Directory
    • Questions? Review our HC-SIG FAQ for answers

Special Topic: Conquering COVID-19 Using Blockchain Technologies

How can blockchain technologies have a positive impact on the identification, prevention, and management of this pandemic?

  • How might innovative blockchain technologies--including DLTs, SSI, and cryptocurrencies/tokens--solutions help to:
    • Slow the progression of this deadly virus
    • Manage life-saving logistics networks and medical supply chains with improved throughputs and efficiencies
    • Serve as a means for more timely and more accurate healthcare communications model across communities, states, provinces, and countries
  • Status and funding/support around the world:
    • Switzerland/EU
      • A special report from Deniz Coskun, Chair of the HC-SIG Patient Subgroup
        • States (CH, EU) were/are late taking precautions - closing down institutions; reason:worries of economic slow down - result: bigger slow down
        • EU/nation-wide information flow was/is not managed efficiently
        • Apparently the healthcare system has not sufficient infrastructure:
          • No integrated information collection, evaluation and distribution governance, strategy
          • Hospitals are consolidated - smalls to one big hub - bottlenecks of centralization
          • Tests are not available
        • Payer, Insurances are not prepared for a possible pandemic incident 

Quick update/observations regarding this topic:Thoughts on Solution with DLT could be: because it is very distributed landscape with privacy, security issues, needed data and process integration

        • Pandemic Management
          • Stakeholder management with established emergency & recovery management in: virus test, supply chain and hospitalization - many infected but not tested - infected infects others
          • Mobilization and recruitment of additional resources (armed forces supply chain and hospitals, civil support organizations, NGO`s)
          • Information management: collection of information (which information, identification emergency spots, actions to be taken and taken), evaluation of the 65+ population and resources, 
          • Organisation social emergency actions against epidemic not closing down every social support (education, all facilities like open playgrounds)

        • Solution Management
          • Vaccine R&D - Clinical Trial: Our PoC
          • Supply Chain of existing Drugs (Influenza Vaccines: who has what, to where to deliver)

        • Funding
          • EU has offered various funds
          • Hospitals have consolidation needs - data and process

    •  Mexico
    • Canada
      • Canadian 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rapid Research Funding Opportunity. On March 19, 2020, the honourable Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Minister of Health, announced an additional investment of $25M to the Canadian 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Rapid Research competition. This additional funding is a portion of the $275M dedicated for COVID-19 research as announced by the Prime Minister on March 11, 2020. With this investment, CIHR will be able to fund an additional 49 grants, which brings the total number of grants funded to 96 and a total investment of $52.6M
    •  Ireland
  • Status and funding/support In the US:

    • Brigham and Women's Emergency Department
    • National Cancer Institute (NCI) Funding Opportunities for Small Businesses (SBIRs/STTRs). Updated MAR 18. The NCI participates in the NIH-issued SBIR and an STTR Omnibus grant solicitation for small businesses, which allow small businesses to submit researcher-initiated projects that are within NIH’s mission. 
    • National Institute of Health (NIH) Funding Opportunities. Urgent Competitive Revision to Existing NIH Grants and Cooperative Agreements (Urgent Supplement - Clinical Trial Optional) recently updated through "Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Availability of Administrative Supplements and Revision Supplements on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)." Additional details available here.

    • Additional COVID-19 Funding Opportunities
    •  US Government Funding Support
      • Recent US Government spending package for COVID-19 includes the following:
        • $500 million for an emergency telehealth waiver. The bill would waive certain Medicare restrictions for telehealth, including that a Medicare beneficiary can use telehealth services even if they aren’t in a rural community. “This provision would also allow beneficiaries to receive care from physicians and other practitioners in their homes,” a summary of the package said
        • $2.2 billion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help state and local health agencies. The funding would include a provision to reimburse state or local costs for corona virus response and preparedness activities from Jan. 20 to the end of this supplemental
        • Nearly $1 billion to buy drugs and medical supplies. This procurement will include $500 million for drugs, masks and personal protective equipment that can be distributed to state and local health agencies in areas that are in shortage. It also includes funding for increasing the supply of biocontainment beds, which are secured areas used for patients with highly contagious diseases
        • More than $3 billion to support the research and development of vaccines, diagnostics and other treatments for the corona virus. Any vaccine or diagnostic developed via taxpayer funds must also “be available for purchase by the federal government at a fair and reasonable price,” the summary said. The bill also enables the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure any vaccine or diagnostic can be affordable in the commercial market, but doesn’t elaborate on how.
      • An additional US Government COVID-19 relief package recently signed, called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, offers the following:
        • Increases (6.2%) in state-managed Medicaid funding. Intended to help offset the costs to providers for delaying high-margin procedures in favor of COVID-19 checkups
        • Free COVID-19 testing. Available to both private and government healthcare programs.
        • Family and sick leave benefits. Up to two weeks of paid sick leave. Employers with less than 500 employees will be required to provide more comprehensive paid sick leave and family leave benefits related to COVID-19. 
        • Unemployment and food security funding. States will receive grants to bolster funding for unemployment insurance, and the bill allocates more funding to food security programs for low-income women and children, seniors and students while schools are closed.

Next Meeting

  • Scheduled for Friday, 2020.04.03, 0700 Pacific Time

  • Discussion: topics to add to agenda?


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