Irish Medical Aid Project Puts “Baby on the Blockchain” in Tanzania For First Time Ever
Irish AID:Tech and Dutch PharmAccess recently collaborated together to form a blockchain project that would help them to fairly distribute charitable donations. This medical aid project aimed to help vulnerable women with their medical information to make their healthcare as easy and accurate as possible. Recently, according to a report on July 25th, a baby was added to the ledger, which was a first for the blockchain.
AID:Tech was founded by Joseph Thompson, who is presently the CEO. His decision to launch this project was in effort to help with the distribution of aid, which seems to be largely due to the fraud and disorganization he has personally seen in charity.
Thompson participated in the Marathon de Sables back in 2009. This race is located in the Sahara Desert, and he managed to raise over $100,000 for his performance. He decided to give his winnings to a charity, with whom he followed up later to see what his donation had done for them. However, much to his dismay, the charity confessed that the donation had been “lost,” instead of being distributed to the groups that they help.
This kind of performance from a charitable organization led Thompson to take action, hoping to prevent this problem from happening again. He collaborated with Niall Dennehy, who already had plenty of success in the technological field. Out of their partnership, AID:Tech was founded. Their goal was simple – to get charitable donations to the intended beneficiary.
AID:Tech was the first project of its kind to provide international aid with the use of blockchain technology, which started in December 2015. The first of many successful deliveries was for Syrian refugees that were making a place for themselves in Lebanon. Even though they have had success, they have also been a target for fraud, though their safeguards in the system were able to determine the lack of validity.
Since the twosome established their effort for regulation of the charitable industry, many other investors have become interested. Some private investors that have gotten involved include Techstars, Enterprise Ireland, and SGI Innovate. It has also elicited the attention of an individual investor – Jason Calacanis.
In 2017, the United Nations named AID:Tech one of the ten Sustainable Development Goal Pioneers. Even with all of this attention, the biggest effort that has been recognized by the public is their partnership with PharmAccess and the birth of babies.
By partnering with PharmAccess, the company has the ability to get charitable donations to pregnant women in Tanzania, and to use their blockchain to ensure that they get the necessary care. Every pregnant woman is provided with a digital ID, which tells anyone that accesses the platform that they need pregnancy vitamins. It also records the woman’s progress on the blockchain, logging every medical record from the first doctor’s appointment to the day the baby is born.
Right now, this system is one of the best ways for mothers to have the post-natal care that they need as well. Users have access to medication, and all of their details are available for follow-up appointments.
The project is still fairly new, but they managed to have their first birth on the blockchain on July 13th this year. The next two births on the blockchain were recorded on July 19th, 2018.
Still Room for Progress
As this project grows, the founders are keeping up with the advancements needed for the blockchain. Blockchain is still young itself, and the scalability in a medical perspective has not been tested substantially. With this traceability, AID:Tech is the easiest and most secure way to document their medical experience in a universally accessible way.
Even with the challenges along the way, the pilot projects that AID:Tech has taken on are proving to be a helpful way to get charitable donations to the right place.