It’s been nearly two years since the first cases of coronavirus appeared in Wuhan, China. Within a few months, the entire world began to feel its effects. But most of us believed that the pandemic would now be history, especially once vaccines became available. Unfortunately, with each new variant of the coronavirus, it’s become apparent that COVID isn’t leaving anytime soon. Understanding this, it’s easy to feel disheartened and frustrated. Thankfully, that’s not the case for everyone. In fact, many are committed to developing innovative solutions for COVID and its impact. These companies are helping to fight COVID, and they deserve some attention.
Over the past many months, several companies helping to fight COVID have emerged to the forefront. Using various technologies, these businesses have developed better ways to track, monitor, and prevent the spread of the infection. Others have created innovative solutions for COVID diagnosis and management. (Read more about one such innovative solution–the COVID breathalyzer–in this Bold story.) It goes without saying that the goal would be complete elimination of the virus itself. But despite the absence of such an option, these bold businesses have not thrown in the towel. With this in mind, the following are some notable companies helping to fight COVID today that are worth mentioning.
- BlueDot – Based in Canada, BlueDot has been one of the companies helping to fight COVID from the beginning. In 2013, it created a global warning system for global infection disease risks. As a result, it was the first to warn its customers of the outbreak in Wuhan. It also predicted the global spread as well as emerging epicenters in Brazil and India. By anticipating risk ahead of time, BlueDot’s innovative solutions for COVID spread have saved the lives of thousands.
- AIDoc – Based in Tel Aviv, this business’s innovative solutions for COVID involve enhanced CT scanning abilities. The system basically serves as a triage system for reviewing CT scans that contain lung images. Each CT is screened using AI, and those with suspicious findings for COVID changes are flagged for radiologist review. Recognized as one of the major companies helping to fight COVID, AIDoc has received FDA support as well.
- Airspace Systems – One of the challenges in preventing the spread of the coronavirus has been compliance with facemask wearing and social distancing. But Airspace Systems developed an innovative solution for COVID policy monitoring through the use of drones. Drones capture aggregate data images to identify those not wearing masks and those clustered in groups. This data is then provided to communities and governments to guide public health messages, cleaning crews, and policy-making.
- Cotiviti – Based in Atlanta, Cotiviti is another one of the companies helping to fight COVID through outbreak tracking. In essence, the software collects data from emergency rooms, radiology centers, and billing codes to identify cases. It can then use analytics to map out emerging outbreaks as well as areas where mitigation efforts are working. These forecasts can similarly be used to guide policy-making and decision-making about population health.
- VIDA Diagnostics – This Iowa-based firm has been one of the companies helping to fight COVID from the start. Their product, called LungPrint, uses medical data, CT images, and automated analysis to define COVID risk. By collecting large amounts of data, it can now better predict those who will be most affected by an infection and detect them earlier. This allows for better outcomes since treatment can be employed earlier.
- ZOE – One of the early innovative solutions for COVID tracking and diagnosis involved ZOE. Researchers in Boston and London launched an AI-based diagnostic tool that predicted COVID diagnoses based on symptoms. Patients reported symptoms and also their subsequent testing results. Based on positive and negative testing outcomes, ZOE has been able to refine diagnosis and better tracking the infection’s spread.
- Spark Beyond – Based in New York, several governments have recognized Spark Beyond as one of the companies helping to fight COVID. Described as a massive hypothesis machine, the business’ predictive analytic technologies evaluate thousands of potential hypotheses about the disease. Given that the company operates now on 4 continents, it boasts anonymous patient data from multiple governments. This has allowed it to help guide policies concerning both COVID restrictions and reopenings.
- Diagnostic Robotics – Also based in Israel, this company offers innovative solutions for COVID monitoring. Using predictive analytical epidemiological mapping, it offers a digital triage system. Patients with COVID can be monitored or ask questions. Providers can receive alerts, And communities can benefit from data reports and population mapping. All of this helps systems make better decisions about patients and areas with symptomatic populations.
- Apixio – One of the more challenging aspects involving healthcare data involves coordinating data from incompatible data sources. Poor interoperability is common in healthcare. But Apixio is one of the companies helping to fight COVID by improving these barriers. Using AI and machine learning, its software gathers unstructured data like doctors’ notes to identify at-risk patients. It is also involved in vaccination efficiency, adverse event monitoring and more.
- Benevolent AI – One of the more interesting approaches to the pandemic has been researching existing therapies that might help. Benevolent AI offers these types of innovative solutions for COVID management. Using automated language tools and AI, it searches biological data and research articles for such opportunities. As a result, the company has been able to identify a few existing drugs that can be repurposed for managing COVID.
Seeing the Pandemic as an Opportunity
The companies helping to fight COVID listed above offer tremendous inspiration. Through a variety of innovative solutions for COVID tracking, diagnosis, and management, they are making a difference. Understandably, the persistence of the pandemic, as well as continued restrictions and illness, are worrisome. But the best and brightest businesses are leverage knowledge and technology as a means to persevere and promote hope. Human ingenuity and an entrepreneurial spirit is certain to win out eventually. And based in current efforts, it’s likely these victories will be sooner rather than later.