Innovation at Work COVID-19

April 1, 2020

Truly, the impact that the coronavirus pandemic is making on the lives of families around the world, not to mention here at home, is unprecedented.  Beyond the fact that people around the globe are ill or dying, we are all dealing with some kind of “new normal”, for at least the foreseeable future, thanks to school closings, overloaded healthcare systems, rising unemployment, financial markets collapsing, threats of bankruptcy, and more. Added to all this, current measures for dealing with COVID-19 can promote social isolation which can lead to loneliness, anxiety, mental instability for many. 

However, as with all large-scale crises, even ones like COVID19, there are not only threats, but also opportunities that often lead to innovations that we could not have even been dreamed of before.  Many companies across the US are rising to the challenge, including several companies that Tampa Bay Wave has the great pleasure of supporting. Below is a list of companies who are already delivering much-needed solutions, as well as some who are further innovating to address the growing needs. These companies cover a wide-variety of industries from health & medical tech, to education & remote learning solutions, to local business solutions, even remote workforce / telecom solutions.

Health & Medical Tech

  • HoyHealth provides accessible and affordable primary healthcare to everyone, everywhere, including access to healthcare professionals, affordable medications and chronic condition management. During the Covid19 emergency, Hoy Health has activated its bilingual telemedicine platform HoyDOC to reach as many underserved medical communities as possible by partnering with National Hispanic Medical Association and their network of over 50,000 medical professionals. These Healthcare professionals will use HoyDOC to provide low cost bilingual telemedical directly to consumers at $45 per consult. To date, Hoy Health has identified over 100 interested physicians across the country providing telemedical support to those who lack healthcare insurance.  Learn more here: https://www.hoyhealth.com  
  • IMMERTEC, a local tech company that won the Tampa Bay Rise of the Rest $100,000 pitch competition last April, provides real-time remote surgical training via virtual reality. Since the COVID19 outbreak, they have seen an uptick in new interest, as well as an acceleration of many existing conversations. It seems the COVID19 crisis has helped to transition IMMERTEC’s technology from a ‘want’ to a ‘need’. With that said, IMMERTEC has pointed out that they are “cautiously navigating this demand to focus on supporting the crisis relief and end and support the crisis relief.”  Learn more at https://immertec.com.
  • Medzoomer is an on-demand prescription delivery service platform that allows the pharmacy and consumer to track ‘chain of custody’ using real-time delivery status updates and open communication between all 3 parties. It operates like the prescription delivery version of a GrubHub or UberEats while being totally HIPAA-compliant and staffed by HIPAA-trained, drug-tested, and background-checked couriers. Because of COVID19, medical professionals need to find a more efficient way to get prescriptions to their patients who cannot, or do not want to, leave their houses.  Unlike mail-order which has a 2-3 day turnaround, Medzoomer can get prescriptions delivered within 2 hours for $6-$7. Also, starting this month, Medzoomer also has a partnership with a national e-prescription platform and savings program, enabling them to scale into any region their service has a presence in. Learn more here: https://www.medzoomer.com
  • NeuroFlow has developed technology that discreetly provides remote patient monitoring and biofeedback to help behavioral health specialists enhance patient engagement in between appointments. In response to COVID19, they quickly spun up a new Coronavirus Risk Assessment tool based on CDC guidelines which measures an individual’s risk for the virus and then, based on their responses, points individuals to appropriate testing centers or provides self-care methods while staying at home. You can read the company’s full COVID19 response here: neuroflow.com/coronavirusresponse
  • Resility Health provides personal stress management solutions to identify and manage the physiological impact of chronic stress using technology paired with evidence-based interventions. The ResilityTM platform combines feedback from wearable biosensors with stress reduction training programs in an engaging mobile experience that promotes adherence and results. In response to the COVID19 epidemic, and the anxiety and stress related to the virus and the impact, it is having on all of our lives. Resility Health has released new products and programs to help families build resilience and promote positive coping skills, including a new free series of guided meditations on our app. It was featured by StartUp Health here. They also have resources for parents whose kids are struggling with anxiety about coronavirus and also with the disruption of their lives due to school closures and inability to socialize with families and friends.

Resility Health is now offering a discount on their Self-Care Toolkit, a gift box curated by therapists full of products that promote self-care (use code TAKE10 for $10 off). 

Learn more here: https://resilityhealth.com 

  • SynsorMed is a telehealth company offering a fully reimbursable remote patient monitoring (RPM) and chronic care management (CCM) solution for healthcare care organizations. Their technology provides doctors with valuable intel on patients who exhibit fever and flu-like symptoms.  Due to COVID-19, many primary care and specialty practices have had to limit the number of patients they see in person. Fortunately, recent regulation changes allow doctors who use telehealth solutions the same compensation as if it were a face to face visit, thus the recent COVID19 outbreak is expected to lead to increased interest from healthcare professionals who treat patients with chronic care conditions. Learn more here:  http://www.synsormed.com 
  • Therapy Assisted Online (TAO) Connect provides a suite of online tools for client education, interaction, accountability, and progress assessment to facilitate highly effective mental health treatment. The TAO platform integrates HIPAA compliant video conferencing with online tools that increases access by allowing effective treatment for mild to moderate clients. The tools in TAO can be used independently and as an adjunct to traditional therapy.  Most of TAO Connect’s customers are universities, all of whom had to quickly close down their campuses and move to online. TAO has helped them use their suite of products to accomplish this. TAO has also made some modifications so that groups and supervision could be conducted using the TAO platform as well as individual sessions. In addition, TAO is seeing an uptick in inbound calls from universities interested in getting TAO. PLUS, TAO has also added a session on coping with the coronavirus free on their web site and made a library of mindfulness meditation exercises publicly available.  Learn more here: https://www.taoconnect.org 

SecureTech (Health Information)

  • SPHER is a solution that monitors the access to Protected Health Information (PHI) within healthcare clinical applications.  In the days following the gradual COVID-19 lock-down and sheltering-in-place orders by States across the country, SPHER’s systems have documented a corresponding drop inpatient visits and activity.  The volume of patients visiting physicians and healthcare groups are down from peak levels by as much as 25 to 30%. However, SPHER has also observed a significant uptick in incidents of Employee Snooping.  This is a case where an employee at a healthcare facility is looking at a co-worker or family members’ record to determine the reason for the office visit. The Department of Health & Human Services and Office of Civil Rights warned medical groups a few weeks ago to be on the look-out for such HIPAA violation activities.  The temptation to “know” why someone is visiting a physician these days has proven to be a bit too much. SPHER technology specifically monitors and identifies this type of activity, thus protecting the reputation of the healthcare group, and the patient’s right to privacy. Learn more here: https://www.spherinc.com 

Telecomm (Remote Workforce Solutions)

  • Phonism provides a cloud-based device management solution for telecom and IoT devices. With COVID-19’s pressure for people to work remotely, the communications industry has been overwhelmed with new requests for modern & business communications solutions for their workforce.  Phonism has seen an increase in requests from customers for the ability to support and manage different types of telecom devices for remote workers. They are positioned well to provide solid business continuity solutions as the workforce as we know it shifts and changes in these unpredictable times.   Learn more here: phonism.com 

Education/Remote Learning Tech (University-level & K-12) 

  • Knack is an online tutoring app that helps both students receive (obviously) tutoring, but also connects tutors with employers. In response to COVID, colleges and universities have been forced to push classes online in order to finish their semesters, creating a wide range of complications. Fostering stronger student-to-student & faculty-to-student connections in a period of ‘social distancing’ can be critical to overcoming the detrimental effects that are threatening student success, along with mental health, particularly for those who also have to balance school with work, family, and other obligations. Thanks to Knack’s technology that is designed to augment and reimagine the virtual student experience, they are seeing increased interest, including recent coverage by Forbes (on March 27,2020). Knack is also working with college and university tutoring centers to help move them online as well.  Learn more here: https://www.joinknack.com  
  • Immersed Games is a tech company that harnesses the engaging power of video games to create a next-generation STEM learning platform. Educators are facing an unprecedented situation as the country’s K-12 learners move remote. Teachers are seeking engaging remote experiences that will still provide quality learning to their students. Immersed Games’ signature product, Tyto Online, is a video game for middle school students that teaches science content and skills. Since the COVID19 outbreak, they have seen a 30x increase in sign-ups in recent weeks. To support educators and families during this time, Immersed Games has made the product free for the next couple months.  Learn more here: http://www.immersedgames.com 
  • We Craft Box is a subscription box for children ages 3-9 that delivers crafts to your door without all of the stress.  Over the past few weeks, since the COVID19 outbreak, We Craft Box has seen an increase in sales and have adjusted their shipping schedule to meet the demands of families stuck at home. While they have always shipped daily from their single box shop, We Craft Box is now shipping daily to new subscribers as well. They have also increased product variety and inventory in our single box shop as well as have taken the steps to prepare in case there is further supply chain disruption or restrictions so they can continue delivering creativity to their families. Learn more here:  https://www.wecraftbox.com 

Local Business Support

  • MyArea Network is a marketing and community platform that helps businesses connect with local customers.  70% of MyArea Network’s customers are in local hospitality, one of the industries most impacted by the COVID-19 situation.  They adapted quickly and pivoted much of their business model to not only support themselves but to better support their customer base, developing almost overnight a new digital voucher program where people can purchase vouchers to businesses to drive immediate revenue to them.  Vouchers can be used now or in the future. In addition, MyArea Network has seen other businesses reach out to purchase vouchers in bulk to give them out to their staff or donate them to others in need.  Learn more here: http://myareanetwork.com