Government organizations have begun to study blockchain technology, as it is the most transparent, flexible and can provide a high degree of security. Some federal agencies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Treasury Department, are already using distributed registry technology. Others are just beginning to explore its potential for further implementation. The authorities see many examples of successful applications of the technology, and here are some of them.
FDA officials were looking for an effective method to track information about the H1N1 swine flu virus, which began to spread in 2017. Using blockchain in this case proved to be the most convenient way.
Henry Francis, Deputy Director of Data Intelligence, Evaluation and Informatics Research at the Medicines Evaluation and Research Center, has created a decentralized service that provides real-time, encrypted information from multiple sources. Francis said that the application is one of the first large scale use of the blockchain in the government. Recently, the interest of other departments in technology has been growing.
At the moment, the FDA is exploring the possibility of applying the technology to track and control the safety of food products in the U.S. food system, as well as increasing transparency of drug supply chains.
The Treasury Department has also decided to apply the blockchain to track mobile devices and manage software licenses. The agency is also exploring the use of technology to improve grant-making processes in collaboration with the National Science Foundation.
According to Craig Fisher, the project manager, the first tests of the blockchain were promising, but proved that the agency needed to study the technology in more detail in order to manage it effectively in the future. The Ministry of Health and Social Services also began using the blockchain to improve wholesale purchasing power, as well as reduce reporting burdens, costs for industry partners and improve control of supplier transactions.
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