Technologies of Promising Startups fighting Coronavirus
The abrupt emergence and spread of a novel Coronavirus at a surprisingly rapid pace once again remind us of the power of infectious diseases. Amidst the chaos created by this pandemic, the one thing that has caught the eyes of the world is the potential of innovation and technology to handle health emergencies especially those that have been developed by startups all around the world.
Few of the promising startups that are developing solutions to fight the pandemic are given below.
These startups are providing solutions in all facets such as diagnostics, preventive & supportive systems, and side-effects mitigation using the power of AI, biotech, or data.
Lunit, a South Korean medical software company has developed artificial intelligence programs that can diagnose lung diseases using X-ray images.
The best thing is that the company’s software is free and can be accessed online. Currently, the hospitals in South Korea as well as in Brazil can use the software for 20 cases per day for AI diagnosis.
Such AI-based technologies & innovations have helped immensely in flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases in South Korea.
The kit can give results in 58 minutes and takes only one hour and 20 minutes to batch testing 100 samples in a single batch.
Unima is a Mexico based startup that is developing an ultra-low-cost diagnostic test for Covid-19. The use of just a paper strip and a Smartphone for the test makes it not only cost-effective but also quite portable and suitable for point of need diagnostics. There is no need for any lab equipment for performing the test. Its hyper cost-effectiveness and portability put Unima in the league of most promising startups fighting COVID 19.
DarwinAI, a Canadian startup provides an open-source AI tool to help detect COVID -19 via x-ray analysis. Called as COVID-Net, this tool has been trained to recognize images using 5,941 chest x-rays of 2,839 patients.
A portable and easy to use diagnostic test kit for COVID -19 has been developed by Biolinker, a startup based in Brazil in partnership with Institute for Tropical Medicine (IMT) of the University of São Paulo (USP) and TOVEM Biotech. It uses an isothermal PCR approach along with an innovative detection system.
Omini diagnostic technology is based on the detection of the electrochemical signals from antibody-antigen interactions. The technology is portable, affordable, easy to use and can be utilized to develop tests for COVID-19.
It’s one of the promising Indian startups that builds and customizes Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). It is using a DAAS (Drone as a Service) business model and operates through an app platform. Garuda Aerospace provides an automated disinfecting method for sanitizing hospitals, public places & tall buildings.
CK100 is their flagship product that uses a patented autopilot technology, equipped with fuel-efficient motors and advanced flight controller system. Thus the drones can be deployed for 12 hours on a daily basis. A thermal detection system is also provided seeing the current COVID-19 situation.
Smart Separations (UK)
Smart Separations have developed a fast-acting unique antimicrobial coating that can destroy viruses and pathogens. Called as Vira Teq coating, it can be applied cost-effectively & quickly in the form of stickers to reduce the risk of infection. A few of the advantages of this coating are that it does not degrade with time, sticks to most of the surfaces like metal, ceramics, and fabrics, and is eco-friendly, unlike heavy metal-based alternatives.
Based at Jaipur (India), Aha 3D is one of the prominent startups engaged in the manufacturing of 3D printers in India. In its contribution to fighting COVID 19, it has come up with a reusable 3D printed mask called the AceMask. The advantage of this mask is that you don’t have to discard the entire mask after use but only the filters can be replaced.
The power of data in beating COVID 19 is now being realized in all strategies including tracking & tracing and even in testing. Davex, a France-based startup is an international online data exchange platform that has created a COVID-19 Data Exchange initiative. It is available for free to companies and organizations that need to exchange non-personal data for studies about the coronavirus in order to mitigate its negative impact on the economy.
Atlant 3D Nanosytems
This Denmark based startup has developed a unique microfluidic technology for its 3D printed design that can aid in designing rapid COVID testing solutions along with immunity testing.
This US-based startup is on a mission to leverage its software and engineering team to help scale 3D Printing activities for medical supplies. AstroPrint has released an app to support crowd 3D printing efforts for producing materials such as ventilators and face shields. Most of the AstroPrint team is based in Malaga, Spain.
Side Effect Mitigation
This biotech firm is working on its exosome isolation platform to support an exosome-based therapy that would help to prevent lung fibrosis. The benefit of this therapy based solution is that it has the potential to significantly reduce the number of patients who become critically ill from lung complications. Thus it would indirectly help hospitals by helping to free up hospital resources for those who need them badly.
MicroX Labs is building a solution that is portable and able to detect cellular & infectious markers in patients suffering from COVID 19. Due to its portability, it can be deployed in homes along with hospitals.
This Germany based startup has developed ADVOS, a multi-organ dialysis device for kidney, lungs & liver. Since organ failure is the most common cause of death in COVID 19 patients, this technology is a perfect fit for patients who need supportive solutions during treatment.
Nocca Robotics is an India-based IIT Kanpur-incubated start-up that has developed an ICU-grade ventilator especially to handle COVID patients. According to the startup, this ventilator costs less than one-tenth of the cost of a high-end imported ventilator. The ventilator contains ultraviolet filter chambers, to kill the virus that comes along with the exhaled air. Thus, apart from being suitable for COVID patients, it helps to safeguard nurses and doctors from the exhaled air from COVID affected patients.
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