Over the last few weeks, almost all industries have been impacted by the spread of Covid-19 and the restrictions put in place to limit the transmission of the virus.
The UK’s £36bn health tech sector, which includes firms from startups to global tech players, has rallied to support those on the frontline. According to the Telegraph, healthtech is now the second biggest sub-set of the UK tech sector, after fintech, and there are more than 100 healthtech companies that are valued between £200m and £800m, with the potential to become $1bn businesses.
From a robotics firm that wants to disinfect hospitals, a temporary staffing app that’s providing its services to the NHS for free. And not forgetting testing kits, a key priority focus for the UK government, and one of the more successful ways of curbing the spread of coronavirus.
Bedford-based Mologic, which developed a rapid testing kit for Ebola, has been granted around £1 million from the UK government to develop a rapid diagnostic test for COVID-19. The device allows users to test for exposure to Covid-19 at home or outside of a clinical setting, and provides a result within 10 minutes.
2. Akara Robotics
Dublin-based start-up Akara Robotics is a spin-out of Trinity College Dublin’s robotics lab and has created a robot that kills viruses, bacteria and harmful germs in a much shorter time than the usual cleaning methods. It takes roughly five hours to sterilize a hospital room using standard cleaning practices. Robot Violet can complete the task in about half the time.
3. Biopanda Diagnostics
Biopanda is reportedly in talks with the UK government to supply a simple blood test that could test for COVID-19 antibodies in just 10 minutes.
A drug, alcohol and DNA-testing company based in Warrington, which has developed a testing kit that identifies coronavirus before symptoms appear – key to stopping the spread.
This Cambridge University-based AI start-up has recently turned its attention to helping to combat Covid-19. Healx is now using its AI platform, Healnet, to uncover potential combination treatments for Covid-19 by gathering a detailed analysis of the 8m possible pairs and 10.5bn drug triples stemming from the 4,000 approved drugs.
Patchwork helps hospitals and healthcare facilities to hire temporary staff. It is now helping hospitals across the UK to source clinicians and other medical employees at short notice. Patchwork is making its platform free to NHS Trusts for the next four months. Patchwork said that in April 2020 alone over 10,000 hours of clinical training will be delivered to frontline staff, including modules on managing acutely unwell patients and coping with stresses and trauma of working on the frontline.
Patchwork’s partner Wagestream is also enabling the NHS to pay clinicians instantly, giving doctors to access their wages as soon as they need them to help ease the burden on NHS systems during these difficult times.
9. Intelligent Ultrasound
Software developed by this Abingdon-based firm allows healthcare workers to simulate looking for symptoms of the Covid-19 respiratory disease in patients’ lungs, using a dummy. It has released the upgrade to customers for free and is teaching staff how to use it at the temporary 4,000-bed NHS Nightingale Hospital.
This HIV-test Essex-based manufacturer has been asked by the Government to get ready to ramp up production of home-testing kits for Covid-19 after it had developed a DIY antibody test.