March 12, 2021 3:04:34 am
In a year’s time, state and central government hospitals may be able to get an assurance of the authenticity and quality of medicines procured in bulk using the Government e-Marketplace (GeM). This is because the portal aims to make blockchain technology in ensuring traceability of these medicines from the point of supply to their final destination, as per its chief executive officer.
“We have successfully tested this in a Proof of Concept (PoC) in the UP Medical Supply Corporation and the Director General of Armed Forces Medical Services. Now, based on the learnings, in my opinion in the next week we will make the bid document,” said GeM CEO Talleen Kumar during a media briefing Wednesday.
“We will float that and, in a transparent bidding process, we will bring in a system integrator to develop a blockchain as part of … the digital supply chain infrastructure so that any state or entity, if it wants to procure a medicine, can use this blockchain,” he added.
According to Kumar, the finalisation in the request for proposal (RFP) process will take about three months, while the implementation is likely to take “at least” nine months. “We’re looking at (rolling this out) one year from now, but the good thing is that we’ve done the PoC and, from that, we’ve learnt what challenges are there while onboarding a buyer.”
Blockchain is a ledger technology that allows data storage in many servers in a decentralised manner and viewed nearly in real-time by anyone with access.
Kumar said this technology in will give buyers the “comfort” of knowing that the medicines they are procuring are from the same supplier that they had placed the order with and that there was no tampering with its quality. “In case of a medicine, even though it may not be spurious, it may be rendered ineffective if the proper temperature controls are not met.”
“Blockchain technology has the capacity to do both — to give you traceability … it also tells you whether, on the way, the temperature control limits set (to maintain the quality of the medicines) were followed. Through the internet of things (IoT), this data also comes in the ledger,” he added.
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