With the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declaring COVID-19 an international pandemic, nations have increased their efforts to "flatten the curve" of the crisis by imposing unprecedented controls on citizens to slow the spread of the virus and, thus, save lives and relieve overburdened healthcare systems.
As the global problem wore on, large corporations called on the expertise of those in the startup community to join the fight. In this blog post, let's consider several successful startup initiatives in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eliminating Vaccine Waste
Cyrus Massoumi recognized that there was a problem with the lack of accessibility of COVID-19 vaccines for Americans. He then made it his mission to reduce vaccine waste as much as possible through an online platform. According to Dr. B reviews, this platform was crucial in ensuring those needing life-saving doses received the appropriate resources.
An algorithm would prioritize applications on the Dr.B site and assign them a placeholder status in the risk group. When a nearby clinic had extra vaccines, the platform automatically notified the next candidate in line.
Raising Money To Feed the Frontline
Throughout the pandemic, headlines called out the bravery of the world's front-line workers. From doctors to nurses to retail workers and grocery store employees, these ones continued to work tirelessly to keep the world running at the expense of their safety.
However, while these ones were working for the world's expense, nobody was taking care of them. Recognizing this, a restaurant maintenance startup began raising funds to purchase food from local restaurants to feed front-line workers and patients. Out-of-work restaurant employees also supported the startup's mission and helped to deliver the food. The initiative has since proven an excellent way to help small businesses, pay contract delivery workers, and, most importantly, provide firsthand comfort to those experiencing the crisis.
Sourcing Oxygen For Those in Need
Back in 2020, a foundation in Bengaluru, India, launched a 'FeedMycity' initiative. The result was that 58 lakh meals were made available to stranded migrant workers. In light of the pandemic, the same foundation is now working to provide free oxygen concentrators to those in need until they can find a hospital bed, access doctors, or recover completely. The foundation would provide these cylinders for 5 to 10 days before being reused on the next patient.
The initiative, which began in Bangalore and Mumbai, intends to expand to other cities as they work to procure oxygen concentrators in bulk. To help implement the project, they collaborated with a well-known health tech platform.
Finding the Root Cause of the Problem
In preparation for the second and third waves of the coronavirus, hospitals took a proactive stance in gathering as many resources as possible.
As a result, a medical startup in Canada developed a wearable, wireless, single-use monitor that allows clinicians to remotely access critical information about a COVID-19 patient's cardiovascular state via Bluetooth. Additionally, a major metals and mining conglomerate recently decided to provide the startup with additional funds to help scale production for future deployment in the United States.
Supporting Mental Health
People of all backgrounds felt the effects of the crisis and the resulting isolation. Many struggled with mental health throughout the pandemic, whether it was a result of friends and family becoming ill, finding oneself unemployed or feeling more alone as businesses closed and the government issued a stay-at-home order.
One Canada-based startup supported clients through proven mental therapies available on online platforms. The same company also launched a special COVID-19 support service to provide users advice from a team of clinical psychologists through Q&A videos, quick reads, and resilience-building exercises. The company has also collaborated with the local government to provide free online therapy to anyone in need.
Even before the coronavirus shook the world, one startup promoted a wearable device that alerts visually impaired people to obstacles directly in their path. The same startup has shifted its focus and resources to combating COVID-19 by launching a pedestrian navigation app.
The product's Social Distancing Mode uses historical pedestrian foot traffic data to advise users to avoid congested areas. The app also generates "timed routes" that begin and end at one's home (for exercise or shopping) and warns of COVID-related risks. It also includes voluntary survey tools to aid in tracking the virus's spread.
Tracking Vehicles With Life-Saving Supplies
On the other side of the world, an Indian company released a homegrown mapping platform to make it easier to track vehicles transporting oxygen, vaccines, and other medical infrastructure.
The company stated that it would provide free GPS tracking systems to such vehicles in the country, helping to ensure life-saving supplies made it where people needed them the most.
It is no secret that countries worldwide suffer financially, with many analysts reporting a single-digit economic contraction this year. Moreover, despite the federal government's unprecedented relief efforts, accessing those benefits remains difficult.
One startup that used artificial intelligence to predict court outcomes recently launched a new COVID-19 tool to assist individuals and businesses in determining the programs and credits to which they are entitled. The navigator, frequently updated to assist users in making relevant and timely decisions, provides direct links outlining contact information, eligibility criteria, and the application process.
Coming Out of The Covid-19 Pandemic Together
Startups from across the planet have come together in the battle against COVID-19, giving us no doubt that even small efforts can go a long way.