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DSFederal CMO John Pi Speaks on Blockchain as a Transformative Public Health Tool

It’s an exciting time in scientific innovation – new technologies have revolutionized our communications, transactions, and decision-making. Blockchain is a prime example of such technology; some blockchain enthusiasts even consider it as one of the most significant inventions since the discovery of the internet. Its application in virtual currency has already revolutionized the currency market.

Blockchain is a specialized information system that is designed specifically to handle open, shared, and immutable ledger-type of record transactions. Over the last 12 years, blockchain technology has slowly evolved and now has features that increase its efficiency, privacy, and security while maintaining the same level of transparency and immutability. This decentralized system of recording data and performing transactions is increasingly being used across many industries, including finance, legal, supply chains, and transportation.

Though many government agencies are pursuing blockchain solutions, misconceptions and doubts about the technology’s maturity and scalability for the public sector remain abundant. We asked DSFederal Chief Medical Officer John Pi, M.D., to weigh in on blockchain as a transformative tool for the public health and healthcare industry:

Blockchain for enterprise is here.

“The ‘Blockchain Boom’ began 12 years ago with the rise of cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Initially, Blockchains were implemented using permissionless nodes – which is what bitcoin was built on – that allows for everyone and anyone to access the platform. In order to validate the authority to make changes to the blockchain records, Proof-of-Work and Consensus Mechanisms were utilized, and these algorithms effectively replaced the traditional central authority -- in other words, middlemen institutions.

The major criticism for blockchain at the time is that it is not scalable and consumes too much energy due to the need for computational power just to prove the node itself. Now, blockchain has evolved to have new features such as permissioned nodes, Smart Contract, Channels, and other hybrid features, the potential use cases for blockchain technology have begun to expand.”

Blockchain brings trust and transparency.

“In any successful business, the most important key ingredient is the trusted relationship. Because of its immutability and auditability of records, Blockchain is capable of delivering that deep trust relationship. Using virtual currency as an example, people would not spend their hard-earned money if they do not trust the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the system.

DSFederal can assist our clients in identifying proper use cases for blockchain technology while assisting our clients in achieving what was previously not possible with conventional systems, such as increasing both transparency and privacy and having greater degree of security and availability at the same time.”

Blockchain’s role in a pandemic era.

“This technology is built on an immutable and auditable ledger-type of information technology – which makes it an ideal tool for strengthening disease surveillance and monitoring effectiveness of vaccines and their adverse events and side effects.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many flaws in our current system of supply chain data tracking on a national and global level. In such a public health emergency, the fact that data is siloed in different systems has proved to be a real detriment in our public health response – from tracking infection numbers to distributing the vaccine, we’ve seen first-hand how our current infrastructure struggles with data sharing and interoperability.

Blockchain would be a revolutionary tool to combat the record keeping and supply chain problems we’re facing. With every intermediary involved in data collection communicating in one place, blockchain empowers the Government on all levels to act rapidly and effectively.”

DSFederal’s commitment to exploring innovative solutions.

DSFederal partners with IBM Blockchain Services as we continue our commitment in addressing Federal health IT challenges and improving the health and safety of our world. DSFederal looks forward to working with IBM, the industry’s leading blockchain provider, to bring together the power of blockchain, data and AI, hybrid cloud, and security technologies to help our government agencies create a healthier, safer world.


About Dr. John Pi

Dr. John Pi has over 27 years of clinical experience including the positions of academic professor, emergency department medical director, and Chief of Staff at academic medical centers, level I trauma centers, and critical care access hospital to include UCLA, MetroHealth, and Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Pi also served as a Supervisory Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and served as a senior law enforcement program manager overseeing tactical medical operations, counterterrorism missions, WMD countermeasures, and cyber intrusion programs for over 20 years.

Currently, he is a member of the National Board of Directors for the InfraGard National Members Alliance and is the Chairperson for the InfraGard National Cross Sector Council Program which is in the process of establishing a Blockchain Cross Sector Council.


About DSFederal

DSFederal is a leader in health IT and data analytics that delivers innovative solutions to improve healthcare delivery and address critical challenges, including cancer surveillance, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and COVID-19 emergency response.

We combine our deep industry expertise with a comprehensive portfolio. We are ISO 9001 certified and CMMI Level 3 for service and development, proving our commitment to consistently high-quality standards and ensuring customer satisfaction.

Our highly experienced professionals serve over 50 different federal

clients on over 80 projects. The DSFederal team is collaborative, innovative, and dedicated to ensuring positive outcomes for our clients. Our people are united by one mission – to improve human life through transformative solutions

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