three Below-the-Radar Improvements Taking up Covid-19’s Most Daunting Challenges

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3 Under-the-Radar Innovations Taking on Covid-19's Most Daunting Challenges

October
17, 2020

5 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

The pandemic has presented a number of challenges to virtually every industry, but the medical community in particular has been drained from the overwhelming number of cases. To meet the stressful demands of the pandemic, thousands of medical startups and companies have once again turned their attention to developing new products capable of solving the most difficult problems. Others have addressed the less emerging but critical challenges that stand in the way of the global struggle to restore normalcy.

Whether it's testing or protecting the medical staff who are valiantly fighting to save lives, the public and private sectors are working together on the front lines of the pandemic. Here are three companies to watch out for that are giving a boost in both the overlooked areas and the areas most valued in medical technology during Covid-19.

Hunt for Covid-19 infections

Testing for COVID-19 has proven to be a tedious task in many countries, especially in countries that lack the resources to keep up with the growing number of potential infections. Getting testing has now become an increasingly important must as the coronavirus resurfaces rapidly across Europe, the UK and governments, preparing for new lockdown measures, as well as their contact, tracing and isolation practices.

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Lockdowns, however, put the entertainment and hospitality industries in a position they simply cannot tolerate much longer, as many are unemployed and struggling to make ends meet under the government-imposed deadlocks. A few days ago, Parisian restaurant and bar workers marched in a kind of mock burial as a symbolic allusion to their lost livelihoods and frustrations. You are not alone. Tour operators, organizers, and related business owners around the world have lost billions in revenue – not to mention air travel revenue that has been lost due to border closings and the decline in demand for commercial flights. However, two European companies could offer temporary remedies to these economic problems.

GeneMe, managed by the consulting firm Nex.D based in Poland, developed its test solution "FRANKD", which is supposed to deliver accurate results within 30 minutes. GeneMe recently partnered with Virgin Atlantic to pre-flight all of the airline's employees. The next logical step is likely to be passengers, as demonstrated by the recent launch of a task force in the UK that will determine how the voyage will resume.

The test only takes an estimated 90 seconds compared to the standard PCR test, which takes an hour and a half to analyze. GeneMe fuses DNA polymerase with the NeqSSB protein, which helps the company's laboratories produce enzymes, which in turn refines the testing process. In the non-medical arena, the company's process enables tests to be specific and scalable for the masses.

Not far south of the Polish border, the new Vienna test kit testFRWD from Vienna, which was founded by the DJ and music festival powerhouse Hennes Weiss and the serial entrepreneur Veit-Ander Aichbichler, wants to reopen the tourism, culture and event industry to customers by a hyper-accurate test solution. The company's do-it-yourself mouthwash test, which it claims is 99 percent accurate, makes it easier for individuals to test themselves for COVID at home with a simple gargle test. This method allows multiple tests to be performed at the same time, reducing the local administrative burden for health systems around the world.

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Ultimately, the goal is for event goers, travelers, and others to purchase test kits from local retailers or get one from the promoters, test themselves, and then send them to a local laboratory via a cooperating courier.

Protective measures

Health professionals continue to ride out of the storm in health facilities around the world, waiting for relief. Many hospitals continue to struggle to manage limited resources against increasing patient volumes, as reported in the Harvard Business Review. Those in facilities with resource constraints also suffered from serious health risks. A UC Berkeley study estimated that "at least 35% of medical workers and other key workers in California who tested positive for COVID-19 were infected while working under shortages". In the midst of the crisis, saving waste has become critical.

Texas Medical Center Supply has embraced the challenges of supply and put them on its shoulders by bringing attention to PPE related to Covid. Texas Medical's campaign is centered around a suite of advanced technical and non-technological devices that administrators can use to monitor potential medical crises and protect employees. These developments include the AI-controlled resource management solution, with which administrators can react earlier to infections of the medical staff, as well as PPE technologies such as the glove dispenser and the SaniCart disinfection cabin, which control and monitor resources and protect the staff.

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Texas Medical is working to refurbish public spaces beyond the confines of medical supply rooms. The drone, known as the "SaniDrone", is designed to spray public venues and other spaces. Similarly, the company's UV disinfection vehicle, the Germsrover Pro, disinfects a number of different confined indoor and outdoor spaces. Only time will tell just how much some of the more advanced products are in demand as medical institutions struggle to manage more basic resources.

Whether you're battling bottlenecks or keeping pace with increasing testing requirements, the battle to fight the coronavirus seems to be on the up. With the help of innovations from all over the world, however, the slope becomes a little flatter. They say a dog is man's best friend. Medtech Innovation may have temporarily stolen the title during the pandemic.