IBM has launched Rapid Supplier Connect, a blockchain-based supply chain project to link buyers and suppliers of medical equipment globally.
IBM is initiating blockchain projects to support the fight against the pandemic, and this is one of the most recent.
IBM’s Rapid Supplier Connect will be available through August 31, free of charge.
Filling the medical equipment supply chain gap
The goal of IBM’s new initiative is to fill the gap in the supply chain of medical equipment.
Organizations, governments, and hospitals are suffering from a “critical supply shortage.”
The problem, according to IBM, is that they are left with no other choice but to turn to “new, unproven suppliers.”
The capacity of healthcare systems around the world is under an enormous amount of stress.
As the pandemic rages on across the globe, the number of confirmed cases keeps on increasing. Without the adequate supply of equipment in healthcare facilities, the challenge of providing quality medical response only becomes more difficult.
“Identifying and vetting these suppliers can be time-consuming and drains critical resources,” IBM said.
Rapid Supplier Connect links demand to supply
IBM’s project is an urgent response to the problem and utilizes the blockchain in providing the infrastructure for the system.
Rapid Supplier Connect will allow buyers to access a “single transparent source for supplier information,” the announcement says.
The application also creates a “digital identity” for suppliers, including “key procurement information.” The suppliers can also list down product categories that they offer, as well as their existing inventories.
This is done through IBM Sterling’s Supply Chain Business Network. As suppliers post their inventory availability, interested buyers can view them freely.
The information that can be gathered from such interaction is a forecast of potential needs in the future, coordination of other supply sources, and management of inventory demand without latency and inaccuracy.
The transaction that happens outside the blockchain, however, are those that are between the buyers and the suppliers. They will be supported by IBM’s Rapid Supplier Connect team during such transactions.
Interested buyers and suppliers can access the sign-up form for the project through this link.
Other blockchain efforts from IBM
Other efforts from IBM, aside from Rapid Supplier Connect, include the use of their powerful non-distributed computer system.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they used IBM’s supercomputer to simulate how drug compounds respond to the coronavirus.
This is helpful in determining which chemicals have the potential to stop the virus. From their latest announcement, they have found at least 77 matches of chemicals that could be studied further for their effectiveness in stopping the virus.