This week's newsletter is dedicated around the covid crisis and the recent surge of covid cases that has hit many countries and India. We are going to cover some innovative startups who are bringing technologies at a rapid pace to deal with the pandemic. As per reports published by WHO:
“Globally there have been 146,841,882 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 3,104,743 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 25 April 2021, a total of 933,824,012 vaccine doses have been administered.”
With the recent surge in form of wave 2, India is now facing one of the biggest challenges in 100 years to deal with the medical emergency. With the central government and states working hard to combat the challenges, support are coming from the global fraternity. Though there is a sharp increase in cases, there are positive news from the country where vaccination drives are opening for everyone who is 18 or above from May 1. Dealing with such major vaccination drives that have to deal with 100 Cr requires immense planning and execution of such activities using systems that collaborates and sends data real time. Below chart gives a perspective of the current wave and how the current situation in India as published in Google:
When it comes to the existing fight, Digital Health has a significant role to play. We are listing down some of the innovations that Government and startups are consistently bringing in to fight the current crisis.
Arogya Setu App – This was a platform that was an initiative of Govt of India and had played a significant role in contact tracing of people and alerting people from covid patients within a vicinity. With simple information from the users of the app it tells the risks of getting Covid 19 for the user. Some other popular features involved self assessment, getting covid 19 updates from local and national cases, e-pass integrations for movements during local lockdowns are some popular features. With its API open other applications can integrate with the Arogya Setu app for its data and features. As per reports Arogya setu was used by more than 100 million people during wave 1 last year within the first 40 days of launch.
This definitely tells us that the market is open for app based innovations if the innovation is meaningful and serves the need of the hour.
RT-PCR App – Another Government initiative was to create an app that allows collection centers technicians to enter details of the samples being collected for Covid 19 RT-PCR test
Co-Win Portal and App – India announces Covid vaccination for people over 18 years as previously people with over 45 years were only getting the Covid shots. Co-Win Portal and App is another initiative of the Government to run the vaccination program with ease. All the user needs to do is schedule an appointment for the vaccination based on their valid identity and mobile number. Once booked, the app simply gives you an appointment receipt which you can digitally carry to the allotted vaccination center. Indian citizens over 18 can now book the vaccination starting april 28.
Startups ecosystem is rising as well with their innovations. Below are some of the lists:
Pharmeasy recently entered the unicorn club at $1.5 billion valuation
With Pharmeasy, we have seen recent startup funding of worth $350 Mn around healthcare delivery platforms. Right from ordering medicines, healthcare products, or ordering lab tests; you get your medical needs fulfilled from home.
Pharmeasy also stepped up by launching covid 19 vaccination drive
How AI BOT has been silently playing their part in covid assessments
Microsoft is helping with this challenge by offering its Healthcare Bot service powered by Microsoft Azure to organizations on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response to help screen patients for potential infection and care.
For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just released a COVID-19 assessment bot that can quickly assess the symptoms and risk factors for people worried about infection, provide information and suggest a next course of action such as contacting a medical provider or, for those who do not need in-person medical care, managing the illness safely at home.
Some Positive News:
CEOs of 40 US companies create global task force to help India fight COVID-19
Tech Giants like Google, Microsoft and Amazon came forward to help deal with the current crisis
With the recent surge in cases, Google, Microsoft and Amazon have come forward to help deal with the crisis. While Google’s Sundar Pichai has announced a relief fund of Rs 135 Cr, Satya Nadela from Microsoft has also announced supporting relief efforts by purchase of critical oxygen concentration devices. Similarly, Amazon has joined hands with ACT Grants, Temasek Foundation, Pune Platform for COVID-19 Response (PPCR) and other partners to urgently airlift over 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 BiPAP machines from Singapore.
Corporates and Sports fraternity across India are donating to fight with the ongoing pandemic
Paytm, CRED launch initiatives to fight shortage of oxygen
“Paytm said it will match donations made by users on its platform, rupee for rupee, while CRED is enabling its users to donate their CRED coins towards buying oxygen concentrators for healthcare organisations.”
Sports fraternity donates to fight Covid-19 pandemic
Startups working on Covid -
Gurugram-based startup O2cure innovates with air purifier to neutralize coronavirus, donates 200+ corona neutralizers to covid patients and hospitals
NIRAMAI, a Bengaluru based AI-powered startup known for providing breast cancer solutions for hospitals and diagnostic centres, has recently developed an AI-enabled solution for automatic detection of Fever and COVID19 respiratory symptoms. It is aimed towards enabling automated screening of groups of people to detect likely COVID19 infected people by checking for fever plus associated respiratory diseases. This solution uses NIRAMAI’s most awarded novel AI solution called Thermalytix™ (Artificial Intelligence Algorithms over thermal images). The above solution can be monitored automatically by a simply skilled health-worker, thus reducing the pressure on clinical testing at public places.
Qure.AI is a startup based in India leverage AI imaging in less than a minute, to scan an X-ray for signs of tuberculosis, Covid-19 and 27 other conditions.
We will continuously write and share digital health impact stories that we are following on the current covid crisis. If you have your thoughts and wish to share your story of digital health innovation, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.