Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

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March 26, 2020 | Tom Ballard

Start-ups, others develop novel approaches to helping address COVID-19 pandemic

As a communication source for information on technology, innovation and entrepreneurship or TIE, we are monitoring our regular news outlets to share ways in which start-ups and more established companies are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and also developing new tools to help. Here is our first set of some examples outside our East Tennessee region that we thought would be of interest.

  • IBM and its subsidiary, The Weather Channel, have created an online map that tracks the spread of U.S. coronavirus cases. The new map, which debuted nationwide on Wednesday after a few days of testing, shows a state-by-state and county-by-county breakdown of confirmed COVID-19 cases and related deaths. Click here to learn more.
  • Validic, a Durham-based mobile health data firm, is now offering a way to track symptoms in real-time and remotely. The systemmonitors a person’s body temperature, difficulty breathing, cough frequency and oxygen saturation on a dashboard, with patients submitting health data via secure text or email message. Click here to learn more about the system.
  • Austin-based health tech start-up Everlywellis poised to be the first U.S. company to begin sending out at-home COVID-19 tests, a milestone in the company’s round-the-clock efforts over the past week or so to provide more testing options. Read more in Austin Inno.
  • Speaking of Austin, the city is home to a virtual incubator with an intriguing name – PandemicTech– that was launched in 2016. It is now ramping-up efforts to use technology to confront infectious disease threats like COVID-19. Read more about the efforts in this article from Crunchbase News.
  • MobileSmith Health, a developer of apps designed to improve healthcare, has launched two COVID Response Mobile Appsto support hospitals in their operations. One version is aimed at enhancing communications between hospital patients and the community. It provides real-time mobile access to a system’s virtual or telehealth assessment and screening tools, COVID-19 updates, hospital and clinic access points and hours, and nearest testing locations. The second app supports internal user groups and forums for managing staff and deploying a faster, more coordinated response to the crisis, and creates and coordinates reference libraries for sharing video and other content, among other things. Learn more at this link.
  • As cities work to get information to their residents, one start-up in Massachusetts is stepping up to the plate to use its technology. Soofa, a six-year old company behind smart benches and signs that display advertisements and information to those walking by, is partnering with cities in the Boston area to post messages about the coronavirus. Click here to learn more.
  • Tampa Bay Inno reports that four local companies, all within the telehealth and edtech sectors, have seen a viral increase in business and interest in their digital resources products. Click here to learn more.
  • Calendly, the Atlanta-based meeting scheduling software company, is offering integrations with Zoom and GoToMeeting free of chargethrough June 30. According to this article in hypepotamus, the company made the decision to offer the previously Premier Tier options to help remote workers manage their schedules during the crisis. The company will continue to offer customers the option to use Google Hangouts/Meet for free as well.
  • Research Triangle Park-based BioMedomics has developed a new test for rapidly detecting COVID-19 and is now seeking U. S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization. Named the COVID-19 IgM-IgG Rapid Test, it is an immunoassay that can yield results from a blood sample in 15 minutes at the point of care. It uses proprietary antibodies to detect two proteins, immunoglobulin M and G, that are produced by the body’s immune response to the virus. Learn more here.
  • Could one of the positives out of the coronavirus pandemic be the breakthrough that telehealth advocates have wanted? One major step was the recent decision by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to permit Medicare patients to have access to telehealth. Prior to the change, Medicare patients were limited in their coverage when they used telehealth and would previously only receive coverage for routine services in certain circumstances. Another is a partnership like this one between TeleHealth Services and Banyan Medical Systems to provide “tech-enabled” supplemental staff for hospitals.

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