Optimizing Health, Education and Governance Delivery Through Blockchain

Optimizing Health, Education and Governance Delivery Through Blockchain

Indo Isa Benna (Mohammed AlMana College of Health Sciences, Saudi Arabia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5448-6.ch002

Abstract

Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are generating profound transformations in most sectors of the society, including healthcare, education and governance sectors that are uplifting communities out of despair in regions around the world. In these sectors, they are remaking financing and usher in an era of how institutions are structured, functioning and their relationships with their publics. This chapter identifies transformative research papers, White Papers, reports on these themes, and then analyzes their contexts, relevance and contributions to the transformations underway in the selected sectors. Using modified Cornell Notes template, for the healthcare, education and governance sectors data is collected, analyzed and categorized into four approaches to technology adoption: transformation, Substitution, Localization and Single Use. The chapter is organized in four main parts: the introductory, background, focus of the study, and the conclusion part.
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Introduction

The tremendous benefits and solutions the introduction of the Internet brought to the world, has increased the faith of humanity in technology to help solve many of its increasingly complex problems (Mihyun & Kim, 2016; Loveneesh, 2017). Despite technology’s tendencies to discriminate, disrupt, and infiltrate most aspects of institutions, business, and industry, this faith has not wavered. With the rapid urban growth in Asia in the past few decades and the prediction of even more intense and complex urbanization to occur in Africa in the next decades (Abubakar & Dano, 2018; Benna & Benna, 2017), there is increasing pressures on institutions and businesses to find suitable technologies and funding that could meet expected demands for the current and future urbanization growth (Abubakar, 2018; Abubakar & Doan, 2017). It seems that one of such promising, yet disruptive technology is blockchain and possible its related cryptocurrencies will generate the funding. However, both blockchain and its funding systems are still at an early stage of development and require more time to realize their full potentials (Tapscott & Tapscott, 2017a; Wagenaar & Zimakova, 2017).

Much of the hype surrounding blockchain’s potential has been related to the financial services industry. Other urban services, however, such as healthcare, education, water supply, sanitation and governance are facing similar exponential growth challenges (Abubakar, 2017a; Abubakar, 2017b) that blockchain may have the capacity of solving (Uka et al., 2017; Grech & Camilleri, 2017; Wilkinson et al., 2017). Therefore, this chapter seeks to explore how blockchain technology is helping to optimize the current and potential future delivery of healthcare, education and governance services across the world. It seeks to achieve the following objectives:

  • To define blockchain technology and its general application in urban development;

  • Explore the experiences in the adoption of blockchain technology for the delivery of healthcare, education and governance services;

  • To identify research directions for adopting blockchain technology in the delivery of these urban services.

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Background

This section provides the background information about blockchain technology against which the current stage of its application in optimizing urban services is to be explored based on the evidence presented by the hand-on actors in this nascent field. After explaining what it is, what it does and how, its opportunities and challenges, a tooling-up toward the research is set by developing an analytical framework and research methodology outlined before moving into the section of the study focus.

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