The coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has underscored the useful application of blockchain technology for contact tracing and medical records management, but the People's Republic of China is already a step ahead and thinking about what could be another major outbreak or even a new pandemic. According to a bulletin circulated by the National Health Commission in late June, Chinese public officials are seeking to improve sharing of crucial medical information through blockchain networks.

When devastating situations such as the dangerous spread of COVID-19 happen, there is an important need to examine all kinds of medical data. Patient records are a key piece of the health research puzzle, and this is what the NHC is looking to improve. Using the term "internet hospitals," NHC officials envision a future where they can easily monitor and evaluate conditions at regional health center by logging into a blockchain network.

In order to get a clear picture of how a major infectious disease is affecting patient populations, information gathering should start before a diagnosis is made, and this could be recorded on a blockchain record similar to a cryptocurrency wallet. Information sharing is a process that the Chinese government has previously insisted upon, and officials believe that the best strategy in this regard would be to rely on blockchain technology.

It would not be unreasonable to assume that China will likely implement the aforementioned proposal in the near future. The PRC has been aggressively pursuing a national goal of becoming a global leader in blockchain technology development and practical implementation.

Other governments that have looked towards blockchain solutions during the pandemic include the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is working on a solution to quickly identify supply and demand for medical supplies in regions where medical issues are quickly multiplying. The European Union considered a blockchain system for contact tracing that takes advantage of Bluetooth functionality on smartphones and other mobile devices. As can be imagined, this kind of tracing system is not easy to deploy because of privacy concerns; there needs to be a firm guarantee by governments that collected data will only be used for medical purposes.