A group of U.S. lawmakers has proposed the creation of a blockchain pilot as part of a wider effort to combat infectious fungal diseases.
The proposed legislation came out of the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force, with the legislation being introduced by task force co-chairs Kevin McCarthy and David Schweikert as well as Reps. Martha McSally, Karen Bass and Kyrsten Sinema. The bipartisan bill is aimed at advancing research and treatments around coccidioidomycosis – commonly known as valley fever – among other endemic fungal diseases.
Part of the FORWARD Act, the measure calls for a blockchain pilot aimed at improving the ways in which medical practitioners can share information. The idea is that by improving the speed at which such data is moved, doctors are better equipped to handle potentially life-or-death situations involving infectious diseases.
Valley Fever (Wikimedia Commons)
Schweikert said in a statement:
“Our design for collecting critical clinical data, while protecting patient privacy through the use of blockchain, should become the future of medical research.”
Valley fever is a lung infection caused by a fungus living in soil. Approximately 10,000 cases are reported in the U.S. each year, and most of them originate from Arizona and California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.