From Robots to AI Drugs, Here Are Six Tech Startups Fighting Coronavirus

Some daft technology is being suggested to help fight the spread of coronavirus, out of a facepalm-inducing information bot from Times Square to personalised facial masks that claim to assist you unlock your smart phone.

However there are scores of technology startups initiating health jobs to genuinely help combat the virus,” Covid-19, that has spread to six continents and has triggered over 85,000 cases of respiratory disease and 3,000 deaths.

Many have been in China, in which the’Little Peanut’ delivery robot is currently serving meals to quarantined travelers and Shenzhen’s DJI drones are providing health information. Guangzhou agritech firm XAG has taken on a broad scale disinfectant spray performance.

European startups are doing their part, nevertheless, offering up clinic robots, high-tech logistics and artificial intelligence vaccine machines into the cause. So who are you?

AI Drug Discovery:

1 startup with enormous capacity to stem the coronavirus catastrophe is British unicorn BenevolentAI. The business, that has banked $292m in financing since it was set up in 2013, is notorious for building artificially intelligent systems that the aid find medication to treat chronic ailments.

Only months into the outbreak, the London-based startup managed to utilize its own predictive tools to indicate a ton of potentially useful drugs. These include baricitinib, a medication currently approved for rheumatoid arthritis, which might lower the capacity of the virus to infect cells.

“It is the first time we have switched our strategies toward an infectious disorder,” BenevolentAI chief executive Joanna Shields, informed Sifted.

"Clearly epidemics need rapid machines and responses excel in quickly developing conditions. Given the rising number of instances of disease and the immediate need for a treatment, we concentrated our study on approved medication that had passed rigorous security testing and may be given to patients immediately."

BenevolentAI is just one of at least a hundred companies to have signed a Wellcome Trust toast calling researchers, journals and funders to discuss data and findings applicable to coronavirus.

Hospital Robots To The Rescue:

Hospitals in China are also being aided by European robots in the likes of UVD Robots, a spin-out of startup Blue Ocean Robotics.

Produced in Odense, these self-driving disinfection robots utilize ultraviolet light to disinfect and kill germs and viruses autonomously, controlling the spread of coronavirus. The startup, which has sold the 60,000 apparatus into over 40 nations, is currently sending countless droids to Chinese hospitals after an arrangement with medical provider Sunay Healthcare Supply.

"Our robot uses innovative algorithms and unique sensors to cover all surfaces with the ideal quantity of [virus-killing] lighting," Claus Risager, chief executive at Blue Ocean Robotics, informed Sifted. "Together with our information, users can view exactly which rooms are cleared for which germs and viruses"

Blue Ocean Robotics, that shut its latest $12m funding around in December 2019, believes its’robot venture mill’ business model was crucial to its success – using a prospective acquisition even today on the cards.

Su Yan, chief executive in Sunay Healthcare Supply stated the Danish bot could help over 2,000 hospitals.

Protective Cloths From Nanoparticles:

Elsewhere, Israeli startup Sonovia is gambling that its nanoparticle-infused cloth can protect local people if utilized in medical masks, protective garments and hospital substances like dresses and bedding.

The Tel Aviv-based company started developing germs resistant cloth from Bar-Ilan University at 2013. Now it’s sent a brand new anti-pathogen, antibacterial material, over to labs at China for testing by partners such as Shanghai’s Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Though other innovators from the stadium generally use silver in their alternatives, Sonovia uses lower-cost, metal-oxide nanoparticles from nitric oxide and aluminum oxide. It has run studies which indicate its substances are powerful.

"The technology relies upon a physical phenomenon called cavitation," explained Dr. Jason Migdal, a scientist in Sonovia, in a recent interview. "Sound waves create cavities, many air voids, that upon their implosion produce nanoparticles of metal oxides and high-velocity jet flows in the liquid itself which induce the nanoparticles on the surface of the cloth"

The startup says it’s sufficient cloth stored to make between 5,000 and 10,000 masks instantly.

Sending Vital Supplies:

It is not only developing medication which is hard, but getting them to people in need. In the aftermath of coronavirus, Switzerland’s SkyCell has booked out over 200 additional transport pallets to ship 46 tons of drug to China (worth $233m).

Medicine is notoriously prone to environmental modifications, therefore SkyCell containers utilize a blend of hardware, software and large information to keep a steady temperature of two °-8°C and 15°C-25°C for over 160 hours. All these will also be capable to automatically recharge at a trendy surroundings and possess a failure rate of 0.1percent (50x greater than the market average).

"In a crisis there's not any space for any flaws and direct product launch is essential," says creator Richard Ettl. "SkyCell allows expedited delivery without reloading in the airport, which saves precious time, particularly in emergency situations."

SkyCell already ships pharmaceuticals across 90 countries, such as Brazil, India and China, and boasts a huge average pre-tax earnings growth rate of 350 percent.

Connecting Schoolkids And Scientists:

And lastly, software pioneers will also be opening up their programs to better connect individuals. Launched in 2013, UK firm Century Tech is assisting kids in China reach the books even while their colleges are closed.

The startup, which has increased $8.9m thus far, is partnering with over 30 colleges to provide its artificial intelligence-powered, personalised online learning solutions. It’s especially targeted schools in Hong Kong and China that utilize the British program (where there are over 200).

At one college in Hong Kong, 300 pupils have replied 25,000 questions in only six times and, normally, each college is using the stage to provide 565 artificial intelligence-powered lessons weekly.

“When severe disruption happens, from natural disasters to outbreaks of illness, schooling has traditionally radically suffered. We’re increasingly offering our system free of charge to in-need communities, for example Allied refugees displaced in the Middle East,” Priya Lakhani OBE, founder and chief executive of Century Tech, informed Sifted.

Meanwhile, the Amsterdam-based Castor has provided free access to the information capture platform to encourage non-profit COVID19 research jobs. Castor’s chief executive Derk Arts expects that, by ensuring investigators catch standardised information, clinical information from all over the world is readily aggregated.

"Coronavirus is just one of the few events where this may really do the job," Arts advised Sifted.
"When I go out and create the platform free for cancer study, the researcher will continue to be reluctant in sharing their information because everybody is still stuck on the pressure to release and to generate scientific papers in high impact journals. An epidemic in this way unexpectedly makes people perceive,'it is not about mepersonally, it is not about my scientific section, it is about stopping the' outbreak'. Such things where everybody is aligned are a terrific way to get everyone to find the worth of standardised data"