As coronavirus quickly spreads around the world, startups decided to take different initiatives and develop array applications and web services to help people track the virus, check for symptoms and offer advice on ways to help prevent COVID-19 and today we will see what they came up with. Some pivots are intended as temporary changes, moulded to ride out the lockdown, others expect the innovations to find value beyond the immediate crisis.
Startups that work on COVID-19 projects
1. Archangel Imaging
Originally set up to do large-scale monitoring of remote areas (e.g. at sea), it’s now working to offer fever detection cameras to government, hospitals, businesses and the police.
2. Hobs 3D
This 3-D printing studio normally makes large life-like models of construction blueprints; now, it’s printing thousands of visors to provide NHS workers with PPE. It’s one of many in this space worldwide responding to the urgent demand, as outlined in this spreadsheet.
Originally set up to help the discovery of drugs for Alzheimer’s, this Oxford-born startup has now developed a low-cost stratification tool that will help test whether individuals are asymptomatic to Covid-19.
4. Finland’s Oura ring
Testing whether their smart rings could accurately detect Covid-19 transmission.
Developed by Tyto Care, this remote examination device enables patients quarantined in hospitals or isolated at home to perform clinic-quality self-examinations, and then connects them with physicians who can assess symptoms from a safe distance.
Startup has introduced its new Orbita COVID-19 Virtual Assistant, a chatbot that can offer easier access to coronavirus-specific question-answering and screening tools.
It touts its new COVID-19 Telehealth Screening with Biomedical Monitoring app as a way to help prevent 911 systems from being overwhelmed nationwide, and enable paramedics care for more patients in less time as the COVID-19 pandemic expands.
App enables patients to receive real-time wait-time reporting of their medical providers, in theory helping to prevent the spread of the virus by enabling patients to avoid long waits in medical waiting rooms, thereby limiting exposure risks.
9. Blue Spark Technologies
Launched TempTraq, a single-use, disposable temperature monitor in the form of a soft patch that continuously monitors and records axillary temperature and wirelessly transmits real-time data for up to 72 hours. Once placed on a patient, clinicians can remotely monitor temperatures with little-to-no direct contact, helping eliminate potential cross-contamination from shared temperature measurement devices.
Binah.ai’s video-based app removes the need for wearables and provides vital signs measurements such as heart rate, heart rate variability, mental stress, oxygen saturation, respiration rate and more – all with medical-grade accuracy. Binah.ai’s app countless use cases span over a wide range of fields such as telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, primary care, preventive medicine, nursing homes, and life insurance. With their series of non-invasive, video-based health and wellness monitoring solutions, Binah.ai gives an unparalleled advantage in health analytics as its technology transforms any device equipped with a simple camera into a medical-grade healthcare gadget. Patients who are feeling ill can schedule an appointment with a doctor through video, allowing them to remain at home while they may be contagious, instead of interacting with other patients and medical staff at a local facility.
This Tel Aviv-based startup is reimagining global health monitoring. CU-BX® has developed a contact-free sensing platform that provides highly accurate physiological measurements within a multitude of environments. Backed by extensive clinical data, CU-BX® proprietary optic-based sensors monitor key biometric parameters such as respiratory rate, heart rate variability, and breathing patterns with medical-grade accuracy. Proprietary sensors are embedded throughout the environment into electronic devices or vehicles, and seamlessly monitor vital signs of any known person who is in range. CU-BX® sensing solutions are intrinsically hygienic, providing additional protection against the spread of infection and disease.
It is a globally operating remote vitals monitoring platform designed to bring healthcare to home. HealthBeats provides users with medical devices to self-monitor themselves on a regular basis and to have their results transmitted in real time to care providers for proactive care management. Their hope is to streamline data collection and automate some of the processes to increase speed and efficiency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. HealthBeats allows the immediate implementation of automated vital signs tracking, such tracking temperature and blood oxygen/heart rate twice a day with alerts sent out in real-time for any missed or threshold readings.
Koniku claims that the most advanced piece of technology on the planet is wetware. They merge biological neurons with silicon technology complete with odor sensing, classification, and real biological learning. With its contactless odor surveillance system, it has found applicability within airport security.
Biomeme’s platform transforms your smartphone into a mobile lab for advanced DNA diagnostics and real-time disease surveillance. The system includes a docking station for real-time PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), a mobile app to control the system and analyze results, and targeted test kits for preparing samples and identifying pathogens or diseases by their specific DNA or RNA signatures. The cutting edge platform performs to the gold standard used by the world’s most advanced central labs but requires no lab equipment or special experience to use. The low-cost, user-friendly system enables mobile testing at the point-of-need for health care, such as in mobile clinics, for disease tracking and home use.
Biomeme SARS-CoV-2 tests allow the detection of the RNA of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 which causes the COVID-19. The two novel coronavirus RNA targets are multiplexed together with Biomeme’s RNA extraction and RT-PCR control (MS2). Each order contains your exogenous positive controls and everything is shelf-stable (15-30C).
Developed a smartphone-sized genetic analyzer for infection detection in the doctor’s office in less than 15 minutes, thanks to patent-pending optical, contactless heating technology. Genomtec technology offers fast, inexpensive and reliable molecular diagnostic testing. The device works independently and automatically, it is enough to apply a drop of biological material to the reaction card and then place it in the analyzer. The test results can then get directly sent to an email address or fed into the medical records of the patient. Thanks to its ease of use and its automated diagnostic approach, Genomtec is able to effectively fight complications that result from viral infections, such as COVID-19.
Bat-Call is a startup that focuses on respiratory and cardiovascular diagnosis through chest sound and machine learning classification. They developed a wide range of devices to use in different settings. Their latest invention is a vest that patients can wear to collect sound samples from various angles and which get wirelessly communicate to doctors for an accurate diagnosis. Another device they developed is called CompuSteth, which is a digital Stethoscope that enables doctors to use them at patient’s bedside, the device is able to detect inaudible sounds, analyze them and visually present them to doctors, thus making the diagnosis faster and more precise.
BreathResearch’s mission is to revolutionize respiratory monitoring and management by enabling early detection and treatment of respiratory attacks and exacerbations. Their dual-sensor spirometer can measure and track lung flow volumes and lung sounds to provide screening and monitoring at a clinic or at home via Telehealth. Breathsearch converts airwaves generated from a person’s breathing into sound waves, thereby allowing them to analyze one’s breath with acoustic analytics and artificial intelligence. Their predictive analytics can be deployed either standalone or integrated into other respiratory devices and equipment and be applied individually as well as tracked nationally and globally to identify people and areas in need of attention and treatment.
BlueDot protects people around the world from infectious diseases, leveraging human and artificial intelligence. The startup has developed a patented global early warning system to track and predict the spread of dangerous infectious diseases. BlueDot benefits from a strong track record and reputation built off of repeated success stories, including predicting the spread of Zika into the Miami area Florida 6 months before the first case got detected. BlueDot can help governments to protect their citizens, hospitals to protect their staff and patients, and businesses to protect their employees and customers.
The Sickweather app is the world’s first real-time map of human health. It uses social listening to track reported illnesses and symptoms and delivers an overview of all illnesses that are going around in your community – like the flu.Thanks to its patented algorithm, Sickweather can analyze social sentiment data to generate a flu forecast and deliver daily SickScore. The app can minimize stock-outs, supporting the effective distribution of vaccines, over-the-counter medication, and disinfectants, serving different geographic areas at the right time.
20. K Health
K Health is a free primary care app with which millions of users get healthcare at 90% lower costs than usual. Digital tools, such as K Health’s app, can help in preventing major strains on health care systems. K Health offers free virtual primary care, addressing the key questions to analyze symptoms that would speak for infection with COVID-19. Their app allows patients to directly connect with doctors and to discuss potential risks as well as to create a treatment plan.
Leveraging its customizable, artificial intelligence-enabled platform, which integrates into any Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, GYANT creates easy to navigate and enjoyable experiences for patients that equate to cost and time savings, whilst improving the patient conversion rates for health systems. GYANT’s unique combination of deep intelligence, physician oversight, and a human-driven, empathetic approach allows health systems to solve traditional complex care issues, ensuring that patients receive the right care – anytime and anywhere, increasing engagement, trust, and loyalty along their entire healthcare journey.
GYANT has developed clinical protocols that can be incorporated into a company’s software and that can serve as an initial check for Coronavirus infections.
Infermedica is a health AI company that improves the diagnostic process, using the most advanced reasoning technology for medical diagnosis. Their goal is to increase healthcare accessibility, minimize the rate of misdiagnosis and streamline costs of providing quality care. Their core product is a triage platform that uses AI to perform a preliminary diagnostic interview on patients. Helping patients to quickly assess their risk of suffering from coronavirus, then providing recommendations on the next steps is how Infermedica can help. Infermedica’s teams have now begun working on COVID-19 triage-oriented screening protocol, including it in all their platforms. The basis for the protocol will be the official guidelines established by WHO, CDC, and other key sources. The COVID-19 screening protocol will first be deployed to Symptomate, then to the other platforms including Symptom Checker, Call Center Triage and Infermedica API. Infermedica is also considering a standalone HTML widget that can easily be embedded into existing websites or apps. These products will be offered for free to their existing clients as well as to the general public.
23. Buoy Health
Buoy builds a free digital health tool that helps people from the moment they get sick to start their health care on the right foot. Started by a team of doctors and computer scientists working at the Harvard Innovation Laboratory in Boston MA, Buoy was developed in direct response to the downward spiral we’ve all faced when we attempt to self-diagnose our symptoms online. Buoy leverages artificial intelligence-powered by advanced machine learning and proprietary granular data – to resemble an exchange you would have with your favorite doctor – to provide consumers with real-time, accurate analysis of their symptoms and help them easily and quickly embark on the right path to getting better. Buoy Health started collecting information about COVID-19 after January 25, 2020, when there were only two confirmed cases in the United States. Buoy updated its algorithm to screen for symptoms and risk factors related to COVID-19. To customers, they provide advice for the next steps and methods for self-triage. They recently partnered with HealthMap, an outbreak tracking system, to help identify hotspots of disease based on Buoy’s own data.
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