Healthcare companies innovate to address the challenges of new medical scenarios.
Entrepreneurs work daily to provide innovative products and services to the world through their businesses. Some products and services are green, and some are focused on health and wellness, while others are work-oriented, or fulfill other needs. Currently, companies large and small are being called upon to change direction for the good of the country and supply goods and services to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.
For example, distilleries and perfume companies are converting their manufacturing platforms to assist with the making of antibacterial hand sanitizers. One distillery in Kentucky is reportedly already manufacturing a private brand for their employees and would expand the operation for distribution nationally. Clothing manufacturers and independent designers with sewing machines are being asked by the State of New York to make masks for healthcare workers. An urgent call has gone out to anyone with a sewing machine to start making masks.
But what of the health and wellness technology industry? Companies with wearables are offering home fitness videos while corporate wellness programs are struggling to keep their homebound employees engaged and well—mentally, physically and fiscally. Is that enough?
One tech company, Kinsa, has been tracking the flu throughout the U.S. using their digital thermometers and is currently working with the CDC on a mapping program for COVID-19 through temporary fluctuations. When asked about this technology by NPR, “This is very, very exciting,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University. “This is 21st Century disease surveillance, and we’ve been rooted in the mid-20th century with something very labor intensive.”
Recently, a minority owned startup called Envision2bWell, Inc., a SaaS model, holistic digital health and wellness company, announced its collaboration with Validic, the leading platform for personal health data and remote patient monitoring. The Envision2bWell platform integrates wearables, in-home clinical, health, and nutrition devices using Validic’s data connectivity platform. Envision2bWell is the first Validic client to access high-frequency data showing activity metrics from multiple devices at a rate of up to one reading per minute through the Envision2bWell platform.
The challenge today is monitoring physical and mental health while sequestered. This new technology can track wellbeing through heart rate. As research continues to demonstrate the value of being active throughout the day and raising one’s heart rate regularly, data that better illustrates an individual’s activity is paramount to staying healthy. With high-frequency data via Validic, also known as time-series or intraday data, Envision2bWell can use a person’s activities throughout the day to provide consistent, precise feedback with frequencies of 5-15 minutes. Why is heart rate important now?
Heart rate is the leading indicator of hypertension and while staying healthy is vital during this time, protecting those at higher risk to COVID-19 is of equal importance. Data from China and Italy show higher risk of COVID-19 infections and complications in people with high blood pressure or hypertension. People with high blood pressure are also slightly more likely to die from the coronavirus with a risk that’s about 6% higher than the overall population.
Continuous blood pressure tracking for those with high blood pressure coupled with access to information, education, connectivity with loved ones and TeleWellness360 experts through the Envision2bWell platform is yet another way technology and innovation can help curb the tide of illness and/or death.
Innovation in times of crisis has always been a way of combating challenge. Entrepreneurs look for a solution to every challenge that confronts them in business and in their personal lives.
Today, we are facing a crisis not seen since the 1800s. Minority founded and owned companies like Kinsa and Envision2bWell, Inc. are stepping up with new integrations, collaborations and innovations in the face of COVID-19, which will no doubt give individuals, local and state governments, and healthcare companies and providers access to 21st-century disease surveillance technology.