Northwell Health, a New York-based healthcare group comprising over 800 hospitals, has joined IBM’s Rapid Supplier Connect network.

IBM’s network is a cloud-based application that uses distributed ledger technology to assist businesses providing coronavirus relief supplies to connect with buyers.

IBM will provide Rapid Supplier Connect free of charge to qualifying suppliers until August 31.

NYC’s largest healthcare organization IBM Blockchain’s network

New York’s largest healthcare group spanning 800 hospitals, Northwell Health, has joined IBM’s blockchain-based network of buyers and sellers of coronavirus relief provisions.

In an interview with Forbes, Northwell health vice president and chief procurement officer, Phyllis McCready, emphasized the challenges faced by healthcare organizations in needing to vet new suppliers amid resource shortages.

“It is through creating our own group purchasing organizations (GPOs) and supply chain, and joining forces with non-traditional suppliers that we have maintained an adequate stockpile of personal protection equipment (PPE) and other equipment and supplies, so we are pleased to join IBM Rapid Supplier Connect," she added.

IBM Blockchain launches COVID-19 relief supplier network

IBM Blockchain has devoted its Rapid Supplier Connect network for assisting and vetting suppliers providing emergency goods needed for coronavirus relief efforts.

The platform includes digital identity services to streamline supplier vetting, and offering emergency supplier onboarding. For buyers, the platform also provides a single platform through which information regarding a supplier can be accessed, including product listings.

“Provider organizations and government agencies face critical supply shortages. In response, they’re often turning to new, unproven suppliers,” states IBM. “Identifying and vetting these suppliers can be time consuming and drains critical resources."

In addition to New York’s largest healthcare provider, IBM’s network is welcoming the Supply Chain Federation — comprising over 200 U.S-based members.

During March, IBM provided its ‘brain of AI’ supercomputer — the most powerful in the world — to researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. There it will process thousands of simulations to predict what drug compounds could prove useful in developing coronavirus treatments.