Northwell Joins IBM’S Blockchain Network to Improve COVID-19 Combating StrategyAuthor: Jimmy AkiLast Updated: 27 April 2020 Northwell Health, New York’s biggest healthcare conglomerate, has committed to be a part of IBM’s growing blockchain network.According to several reports, the healthcare firm announced that it would be joining IBM’s Rapid Supplier Connect network in a bid to help combat the coronavirus and its ravaging effects in New York City. The network itself is a blockchain and cloud-based application that is helping to connect businesses that are providing coronavirus relief with some of their suppliers.IBM has committed to providing the service free of charge to its qualifying members until August 31, and it would appear that Northwell plans to take advantage of that.In an interview with Forbes, the group hinted that this new move towards blockchain would help it to coordinate the distribution of relief materials and other provisions that are necessary to tackle the coronavirus in New York City.Northwell to Capitalize on Blockchain to Improve Testing CapabilitiesIndustry news source Cointelegraph also noted a press statement from the firm, where Phyllis McCready, the firm’s Vice President, and Chief Procurement Officer, explained that many hospitals had shown a lack of an adequate strategy to help screen equipment suppliers. This is combined with the fact that they don’t seem to have the right equipment.McCready described Northwell’s move to partner with non-traditional dealers through blockchain technology as the reason that the healthcare group has kept a reasonable stock of Personal Protection Equipment. He maintains that from all indications, they’re so far on the right path to beating the pandemic. Blockchain could help accelerate the process even further.New York State (and the city in particular) has been in the epicenter of the coronavirus in the USA. The state now has more confirmed cases than any other country in the world by far – including China, which was ground zero for the pandemic.Official reports confirmed that New York State had tested 730,656 people for the coronavirus. Of these, they’ve managed to find 282,143 positive cases, while 22,009 have died of the virus at press time.IBM Battles COVID-19 with Blockchain TechnologyIBM is just one of many large tech companies that are doing their part to help amid the coronavirus infection. Amongst other things, the firm’s blockchain division has devoted its Rapid Supplier Connect network for assisting and vetting suppliers providing emergency goods needed for coronavirus relief efforts.In addition to the important feature of linking su[pliers with buyers, the IBM app also offers a digital identity service to help with supplier vetting. How does this help the cause? For one, it helps prospective buyers (hospitals, governments, NGOs, private individuals) to streamline the list to the kind of supplier that matches their standards.ROBack in March, IBM provided the “most powerful” computer in the world to help in the research for a COVID-19 vaccine, with its AI technology.