For the past number of months, our global community has been focused on combating COVID-19. During this time of uncertainty, entrepreneurs have adapted to pandemic-focused innovation. To highlight the incredible efforts of those working to help society acclimate to our new environment and improve the current state of the pandemic, OurCrowd hosted its Pandemic Innovation Conference on June 22nd. The world is different now, and every new era comes with its own set of trends. In the segment “Top 10 Pandemic Tech Trends” Labs/02 Partner Stav Erez and OurCrowd Medical Advisory Board Member Dr. Jonathan Wiesen discussed the top 10 tech trends affecting society in light of the pandemic.
- Say Goodbye To Your Office: The Virtual Becomes Real
The future of work and remote technologies is one of the first things that comes to mind following the COVID-19 pandemic. With the distancing protocols, people have turned to remote communication platforms, but that’s just part of the virtual revolution. We’ve also seen an uptick in use of products providing digital solutions, such as TechSee, a startup that helps engineers manage network troubles remotely, avoiding the need to enter people’s homes, keeping both parties safe. Another area that’s had to adapt to a virtual reality is fitness. Thanks to programs like Kemtai, which uses advanced computer vision to create a personalized home fitness experience, users are able to exercise at home and it’s as if a trainer were right there in the room.
- Beyond the PCR Drive-through: Diagnostic Testing Becomes Real Time
Medical testing has always been a serious endeavor performed by appointment in healthcare facilities or licensed labs. Social distancing measures and the fear of infection have caused medical appointments to move to large outdoor areas such as parking lots and open fields. Startups such as Sight Diagnostics, a point-of-care and complete blood count company, and MeMed, which developed technology to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections, are paving the way for “fast food” medical testing.
- Automation Leaps Ahead to Discovery: Robots Learn To Teach Themselves
During the OurCrowd Global Investor Summit a few months ago, we predicted that anything that can be automated, will be automated. We had no idea then just how quickly the automation trend would take off! This growth rate is largely due to the pandemic and the need for companies to be more efficient with fewer resources. The more companies are able to automate, the more efficient and agile the processes will become. For example, Kaholo is a startup that allows them to do just that through low-code visual platform for automating IT and DevOps tasks. RPA, Robotic Process Automation, is about to replace the billions of repetitive, manual procedures that normally consume a lot of human attention and time. Additionally, companies like Kryon are spearheading this revolution by developing the RPA processes that don’t require any human intervention.
- The Doctor Will See You Now – Online
Just like the other office buildings, brick-and-mortar medical clinics have been relatively shuttered throughout the global lockdown. In the midst of the greatest medical emergency in the last 100 years, most people were cut off from their physicians — at least in person. Telemedicine enabled a remote connectivity between patients and physicians from any location at any time. TytoCare provides a cache of tools that allow physicians in their offices to perform physical exams on patients in their homes and global provider Dario Health has partnered with MediOrbis to provide 24/7 coverage and monitoring of their patients.
- No Borders, No Walls: Data Collaboration Becomes Huge
Although countries shut their borders and restricted travel, the distance between Tel Aviv, San-Francisco and Shanghai has never felt shorter. To solve the global health threat, scientists needed to share: share knowledge, share samples, share data. data.world is building a platform that will revolutionize the way individuals and organizations are working with data by increasing global accessibility and understanding of its catalogued data.
- Microbes Beware – Innovation Will Wipe You Out
Personal hygiene has long been an important but under-recognized factor in infection control. Due to the pandemic, public perception of personal hygiene has changed tremendously and people wearing masks and wiping down their seat at a restaurant is considered “safe” and “responsible,” not a germ nut. While personal protective equipment is a start, what’s really needed to contain the virus are portable and reliable anti-microbe disinfectant materials, such as those used by SaNOtize, which help individuals disinfect their upper respiratory tracts, nasal passages, and hands. These materials will play a crucial role in our everyday life for the foreseeable future.
- Eating Healthy Becomes Life or Death
In light of the pandemic, there has been an increase in the average person’s attention to their day-to-day health. Healthy habits starts with eating in an organized and healthy way. Tovala is the first company to regularly deliver easy-to-prepare, high-quality, personalized meal kits that fit different dietary requirements. Another accelerating trend in the health food tech sector is plant-based dietary alternatives. Ripple has found a way to employ proprietary clean protein technology to create a great-tasting, nutritional alternative to dairy.
- The Antiviral Revolution Takes Center Stage
How do you kill something that’s not alive? This is the greatest struggle that scientists, clinicians and pharmaceutical companies have with treating viral infections and is one of the reasons that while hundreds of antibiotics have been developed, there are only a handful of successful, approved antiviral drugs for common viral infections. We at OurCrowd have been assessing and evaluating many different and varied therapeutic options both for COVID as well as other viral infections to rid humanity of that nuisance once and for all.
- The New Reality Brings New Cyber Threats
Gil Shwed, CheckPoint’s CEO, recently warned of the worldwide increase in cybersecurity threats during the COVID-19 crisis as a second pandemic, a “cyber pandemic.” IXDen, the leading provider of IoT security solutions for critical infrastructure, protects against malicious breaches seeking to cause functional problems. Similarly, CyberMed is a startup focusing on intelligent detection, prevention, and revision solution for medical devices. CyberMed is working to help protect the already strained healthcare sector, which encompasses connected medical devices along with a network of patient records at risk through cyber attacks.
- Designer Vaccines Are Getting Ready for the Next Target
Vaccines are considered one of the greatest medical innovations of all time. But we have seen how they fall short when they’re not perfectly tailored to a particular strain of virus. To take on future pandemics, vaccines require flexible platforms, so every virus doesn’t need to be created from scratch. MigVax, one of the leading vaccine startups, is taking an innovative and revolutionary approach to creating a vaccine platform, which will be crucial for fighting COVID-19 as well as any future virus that we face.
In this rapidly changing new world, we expect these trends to continue to evolve and look forward to keeping you updated as new trends emerge.
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