Global
07 April 2020

Which MassChallenge Startups Are Developing Solutions to Tackle COVID-19?

Written by Celia Fox

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MassChallenge fosters a community of innovators to work together and solve some of the world’s massive challenges. We can all agree that COVID-19 is a challenge that is impacting our global healthcare system, economy, families, and much more.

We are so proud of our entrepreneurs who have been working around the clock to provide resources and solutions that address the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a list of MassChallenge startups and alumni tackling this issue broken down into the following categories: 

  • Data aggregation and integration 
  • Financial Services
  • Innovative Products for patients and caregivers
  • Operations
  • Preventative Care
  • Telemedicine
  • Virtual Care
  • Other Resources

We intend to continuously update this list as we learn more about startups who are combatting this challenge. If you have a solution addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, we are aggregating them through Innovator Survey to connect your solutions with our partners.

Data aggregation and integration: These startups have tools for tracking and reporting of data that is vital to the COVID-19 response. 

  • 1upHealth - Available Now - 1upHealth is working with 10,000 health systems to implement a FHIR API Platform to advance provider access to electronic health records for COVID-19 patients.
  • AbuErdan - Available Now- AbuErdan is a cloud-based poultry management solution, empowering poultry companies/farmers to maximize their profitability, production and reduce their waste. They are offering a 50% discount for their software during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Aerospec Technologies - Available Upon Demand- Aerospec has expertise in drone application and the drone fleet available to provide emergency services without human contact within cities or municipalities.
  • Flapmax - Available in August- Flapmax created Coral, a unified computing framework for drug discovery and life sciences research which is also the first open-source system to allow an efficient, general-purpose computing architecture to be applied to drug discovery in an interactive manner.
  • kaiosID - Available Now - kaiosID offers a cloud-based traceability solution that will allow identification of counterfeited or stolen masks, pharmaceutical products, and hand sanitizers on the market.
  • Redox - Available Now - Redox has launched a health technology program to deploy digital health apps at various stages in the patient healthcare journey at a quicker rate. 
  • SimpleSense Inc. - Available Now - SimpleSense integrates and shares data between emergency dispatch systems to reduce response time and operator cognitive load. They have adapted their tool to track calls with symptoms relating to COVID-19 so that emergency operations centers can track the spread of the disease within their community.
  • TelosTouch - Available Now- TelosTouch Connect enables financial institutions to build event or product driven digital experiences. Their solution is compliance & cyber security ready, requires no data integrations, and can go live within three weeks delivering insights for thought leadership, increased opportunities and client loyalty.

Financial services: Health and finance are increasingly intertwined. These FinTech startups are working to leverage data science and financial literacy to help businesses and consumers make smart, informed decisions in this time of financial uncertainty. 

  • AlphaSense - Available now – AlphaSense launched a Coronavirus Impact Tracker.
  • Boss Insights - Available Now – Boss Insights is offering free lead qualification services for lenders to support SMBs and commercial businesses. 
  • Cake - Available Now – Cake is facilitating end-of-life planning free of charge. 
  • Catapult - Available Now – Catapult has curated a COVID-19 RFI alongside Google and Principal Financial Group to help companies identify internal vendor preparation procedures.
  • Cognicor - Available Now – Cognicor is providing their Smart Bot chatbot solution free of charge through June.
  • Easy Mortgage Apps LLC - Available Now- Easy Mortgage Apps LLC provides a native app for lenders to white label so consumers can self-service their Forbearance Programs. Consumers can use the mobile app to make payments, receive documents, and manage their default status without losing their home.
  • Edmit - Available Now - Edmit’s Better Off After College Course can help families make smarter borrowing and money-saving decisions.
  • Fincura - Available Now - Fincura is helping commercial lenders by offering to identify existing borrowers that are at-risk, as well as same-day onboarding and training, a white-labeled application portal, and access to their premium-tier product that enables underwriting in less than 5 minutes.
  • Fligoo - Available on Demand - For partners at the frontline of the economic recovery, Fligoo is offering a 100% remote pilot with extremely flexible pricing that can go live within 30 days of the contract.  
  • Golden - Available Now - Golden is offering their remote family financial care service for free to low-income seniors.
  • IderaOS - Available Now- IderaOS offers ListBuy- a transactional-based ecommerce software platform that enables retailers and individuals to create online stores, sell virtually anywhere while accepting all kinds of local payments, and ecommerce delivery to ship to their customers.
  • LifeSite - Available Now – LifeSite is offering LifeSite Plus to all customers through September 2020.
  • Pinkaloo - Available Now - Pinkaloo is a modern charitable giving platform. They are helping banks and employers give back in their communities by powering the charitable donations of their corporate gifts and their employees and customers donations via their white-label charitable giving accounts. 
  • SilverBills - Available Now - SilverBills provides concierge bill management services for older adults using a remote model with specially trained and sensitive account managers using mail, phone, email, text and fax.
  • Stratyfy - Available Mid-April - Stratyfy, which provides interpretable AI products for financial institutions, is offering several free services to help institutions manage the impact of their customers’ changing behaviors, identify at-risk loan requests, and flag loans at higher risk to become delinquent due to the crisis.
  • Summer - Available Now - To help people deal with the financial stress caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Summer is offering temporary access to its student loan optimization tool at no charge. Using Summer, workers who have been impacted financially can enroll in Income Driven Repayment plans that can reduce their monthly payments as low as $0/month.
  • Trust & Will - Available Now - Trust & Will provides an easy, fast, and secure way to set up your estate plan online, which is especially pertinent during these unprecedented times.
  • Zogo Finance - Available Now - Zogo breaks down complicated COVID-19 financial relief plans into bite-sized modules to help users better understand what the government is providing.

Innovative products for patients and caregivers

  • Air Co. - Available Now - Air Co. is using their technology, which produces ethanol from nothing more than carbon dioxide pulled from the air and hydrogen to produce hand sanitizer. 
  • Beantown Bedding - Available Now - Beantown’s eco-disposable sheets are helping hospitals, field hospitals, and emergency management organizations handle surges and infection control. 
  • Detrapel - Available Now - Detrapel released a disinfectant that is EPA-Approved to kill the COVID-19 virus. 
  • NeuroRescue - Available in 9 months to 1 year - NeuroRescue produces a cooling collar, which can be used to non-invasively treat patients suffering from high fever due to COVID-19.
  • Radian Jeans - Available Now -  Randian Jeans has been working with their manufacturing partners to make non-medical reusable cloth face masks.
  • re:3D - Available Now - re:3D manufactures the world’s largest, industrial 3D printers and is mobilizing its resources to 3D print PPE.
  • Sana Health - Available Soon- Sana is a simple mask and headphones you wear on your head, which uses audio-visual stimulation to promote relaxation. The device has been shown to lower anxiety in extreme circumstances and could help solve the anxiety epidemic that has come with COVID.
  • Savvy Cooperative - Available Now - Savvy’s mission is to elevate the voice of the patient in healthcare, and in response to COVID-19 they have introduced a variety of resources for designing patient-centered solutions.
  • SoaPen Inc - Available Soon- SoaPen is a portable liquid hand soap that teaches kids how to properly wash their hands. They have a buy 3 give 1 model to donate SoaPens to low-income settings. SoaPen is currently working on launching a hand sanitizer with the same model.
  • Sonovia - Available Now - Sonovia is an anti-bacterial fabric startup working on a face mask for protection against COVID-19. 
  • Swoxid - In Development - Swoxid proposes a reusable antiviral mask based on their innovative filter, which combines three important functions: small pore size to filter out viruses; anti-viral gold-silver-copper particles; and sterilization by exposure to UV light, enabling reusability (more than 1000 times).
  • The Ventilator Project - Available April 23, 2020 - The Ventilator Project is rapidly designing, manufacturing, and producing a mass market ventilator specifically to aid victims of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Think Board - Available Now - Think Board creates easily stickable whiteboard films, but during COVID-19 they are using their machines and resources to make face masks.
  • VioLume Inc. - Available in August- VioLume provides on-demand surface decontamination in devices resembling traditional light fixtures using UVC light technology to destroy pathogens. These devices have been proven sufficient to kill other coronaviruses in less than ten minutes and are particularly effective at decontaminating rooms in a range of ambulatory care settings where thorough cleaning between patient visits is challenging.

Operations: These startups are providing services that promote increased operational efficiencies and collaboration within healthcare networks. In the time of COVID, it is more important than ever to make healthcare as streamlined as possible for providers, so that patients can receive the best possible care. 

  • Addapptation - Available Soon - Addapptation has created solutions to help automate company communications and add transparency to sales forecasting.
  • Automation Hero - Available Now - Automation Hero has built an AI platform which enables stakeholders to process the exploding amount of medical forms much faster and at a much higher accuracy, which will decrease waiting times for patients and customers. 
  • BlockMedx - Available Soon - BlockMedx can be used to electronically prescribe and then track COVID-19 testing kits from manufacturer down to individual patients. Outcomes can also be tracked, reported to relevant agencies, and analytics developed to track outbreaks and predict future outbreak areas.
  • Dock Health - Available Now - Dock Health is a HIPAA compliant task management and collaboration platform designed specifically for healthcare.
  • Health Note - Available Now - Health Note launched its platform in Hospitals and Clinics around the country to aid Front Line Healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 by screening, triaging and documenting patient concerns prior to an encounter. 
  • incasa healthcare - Pilot Launching Soon - incasa enables fast, affordable, urgent on-demand care delivered to patients at home. Their optimization/AI suite provides real-time decision support, routing the optimal clinician to each patient, reduces labor cost 30-40% or more, & improves business performance metrics.
  • Inkit - Available Now- Inkit APIs enable businesses & governments to process critical customer communications i.e. healthcare information, bills, checks, notices, and even postcards to raise public awareness for online, touchless delivery options. Inkit's products can be used for critical customer communications during COVID-19.
  • Karuna Health - Available Now - Karuna enables care teams to go fully remote while staying connected to high-risk patients, and is providing tools to boost staff productivity, triage incoming requests, and mitigate risk while communication volume from anxious patients soars.
  • Komed Health - Available Now - Komed is helping doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers deal with the current levels of demand and speed up their information exchange through their secure communication platform.
  • Leitwert - Available in May - The Leitwert system automatically records relevant vital signs measured by wearable medical devices for a complete ward, providing this information immediately to healthcare professionals.
  • MakerHealth - Available Now - MakerHealth has developed a COVID-19 Prototyping Triage Unit in the Cloud OS which helps hospitals respond to medical device challenges, specifically those related to the COVID-19 crisis, by connecting doctors and nurses to engineers trained at MIT via a direct video conference line to collaborate and develop an approach to address the challenges at the frontline of the hospital.
  • MayDay Alarm - Available Soon - Mayday automates emergency dispatch, connecting health care providers to victims in need remotely.
  • MedFlyt - Available Now - MedFlyt is providing online COVID-19 training, and, caregiver and patient screening services through their mobile app.
  • Orbita - Available Now - Orbita has launched a new interactive chatbot and voice assistant specifically to support healthcare organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • PartRunner - Available Now- PartRunner has established an OnDemand No-Contact delivery process and are taking safety measures to minimize person-to-person interactions. They can help deliver ANY type of product from ANY distributor, supplier, business, etc. and want to help companies in industries that are in "High-Need" of deliveries.
  • PatientsVoices, Inc. - Available Now- PulseNow™ is a simple solution that provides employees at all levels with a continuous feedback loop, allowing them to report what they are experiencing across a health system in near real time. State-of-the-art AI technology and customized dashboards quickly identify system hot spots and the improvement priorities that matter most to employees.
  • SIGNUM - Available Soon - SIGNUM is a digital informed consent platform that is creating a custom version for consenting COVID-19 patients that require intubation. This would help protect both patients and medical caregivers by providing social distancing and eliminating redundancy.
  • TREND Community - Available Now - TREND Community’s technology turns anecdotes into evidence by analyzing social media of rare disease communities. They can perform analysis on COVID -19 social discussion groups to understand developments in near real-time.

Preventative and COVID-19 care: As hospitals are overloaded with patients, these startups are making it easier for patients to screen for symptoms and identify potential risk from the safety of their own homes. 

  • Aidar Health - Available May 15, 2020 - Aidar’s MouthLab Mobile Monitoring System can help predict signs of an infection and progression early enough to intervene and provide appropriate care at home.
  • BlueBonnet Mask - Available Now - MC alumns AdaptaFit & GoldMensBoxx teamed up to create the new company that locally makes handmade masks out of Austin, TX. 
  • Buoy Health - Available Now - Buoy has incorporated COVID symptom screening questions into their broader AI health assistant, which helps triage people across six risk levels and connects them to the most appropriate program, provider, telemedicine solution, testing center, etc. On the back end, Buoy can text users through follow up and share aggregated population data by zip code for hot spot tracking.
  • Byteflies - Available October 1, 2020 - Byteflies is a med tech company that provides B2B-services to enable lean development of wearable health applications. They are currently working to develop smart health patches for people suffering from chronic diseases.
  • CareSignal - Available Now - CareSignal created COVID Companion, a free program designed to improve community health literacy and preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Dyad Medical - Available in May - Dyad Medical creates software to automate echocardiography image and video analysis for determination of cardiac functions in emergency settings, permitting rapid diagnosis and triage of patients.
  • Keva Health - Available Soon- Keva Health created a continuous monitoring platform for physicians and patients with various respiratory illnesses. Asthma patients suffering from COVID-19 can use the platform to enter their symptoms and track them, in addition to tracking their asthma in between visits to the doctor.
  • Letos - In Development - Letos created an in-seat contact-free sensor solution that enables the reconstruction of physiological parameters such as heart and respiratory rates from a BCG signal. 
  • lightScience - Available Soon- Using IoT, machine learning, and cloud computing, lightScience is on a mission to disrupt the medical laboratory industry. They are bringing professional blood tests into the comfort of the home, and during the pandemic, lightScience has pivoted from rare diseases to SARS-CoV-2 testing.
  • Marx Biotechnology - Available in 3 months to 1 year- Marx Biotechnology will be able to diagnose and monitor for the early onset and progression of COVID-19 with a quick, accurate, and efficient blood test by monitoring functions on the molecular level that change when COVID -19 infects a living host.
  • MicroQuin - Available in 18 to 24 Months - MicroQuin is a late-stage, pre-clinical biotechnology company with therapeutics that have proven efficacy against all breast, ovarian, uterine, lung and colon cancers. They have preliminary data that a drug for Influenza A works on SARS in the same manner but have not done testing at this point.
  • Neurolex Laboratories - Recruiting Participants for Study - Neurolex uses voice data to diagnose shortness-of-breath symptoms in COVID-19 along with temperature readings. They are launching an initiative to collect your voices with a goal to be able to triage, screen and monitor the COVID-19 virus.
  • Pison Technology, Inc. - Available Now- Pison's wrist-wearable sensor enables healthcare workers to interact with smartphones, tablets, and Windows-based computers without having to physically touch a touchscreen, keyboard, or mouse, thereby eliminating both the need to remove glove PPE, and the potential contamination of these surfaces.
  • UDoTest - Available Soon - UDoTest’s B2B at-home disease testing software platform can help to screen for COVID-19.
  • Veta Health - Available April 27, 2020 - Veta Health enables effective patient self-management outside of the healthcare facility, providing clinicians with transparency and the digital workflow tools necessary to provide care to their patients in nontraditional settings.
  • Vigilant Technologies - Available Now- Vigilant automates symptom tracking for COIVD-19 and temperature so that employers can maintain a safe working environment when employees return to work.

Telemedicine: These startups are addressing how we provide care at home by creating devices and platforms that allow care to be given and received remotely.

  • Eleos Health - Available Now - Eleos is an AI-driven digital mental health platform providing community-based clinics telehealth solutions that allow them to connect to clients securely while reducing burnout and tracking outcomes and quality of care.
  • GYANT - Available Now - The GYANT virtual assistant engages patients via chat and provides options to learn about COVID-19 topics and/or perform a virtual screening, then routes triaged patients to the appropriate telehealth, nurseline or physical facilities for testing and treatment.
  • Lighter - Available Now - Lighter is creating personalized nutrition programs and delivering medically tailored groceries to at risk individuals, helping them stay at home, away from potential infection and keep them well fed.
  • Limbix - Available Now - Limbix is creating prescription digital therapeutics to enable doctors to prescribe digital, evidence-based, therapeutic interventions specifically for adolescent mental health. They released a version of their product for adolescent depression to meet a growing need for digital mental health treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Lumindx - Available Soon - LuminDx uses computer vision and AI to help dermatologists and other physicians with skin disease images of variable quality be consistent to ensure doctors can accurately help patients remotely solve their skin health issues remotely.
  • Moving Analytics - Available Now - Moving Analytics offers remote home-based cardiac rehabilitation for patients who can no longer access these services at hospitals. 
  • Nutrimedy - Available Now - Nutrimedy is offering remote nutrition monitoring and support during the international health crisis.
  • Tembo.Health - Available Now - Tembo Health is a telemedicine practice that partners with nursing homes to provide residents with the care they need in hard to access specialties like psychiatry and cardiology. In response to the COVID-19, they are working on several initiatives which allow nursing home residents to stay safe, healthy and connected.
  • Valera Health - Available Now - Valera Health has a personalized tele-mental health service to support those who may need someone to talk to and provide care to those who may benefit from long-term therapy or medication management.

Virtual care: In a time when many are confined to their homes and isolated from their communities, how do we maintain connections? These startups help us interact virtually with loved ones and continue to participate in outside activities within the home. 

  • Cutii-Careclever - Available in Early May - Cutii has created a robotic companion which allows seniors to stay in touch with their loved ones and assist them to participate in daily activities. 
  • DynamiCare Health - Available Now - DynamiCare is offering free daily virtual recovery meetings, which are open to the public.
  • ianacare - Available Now - The free ianacare app can be used to create localized personal support teams for those most impacted, such as elderly neighbors, individuals with confirmed cases of COVID-19, and medical professionals on the frontlines.
  • Ompractice - Available Now - Ompractice is a platform for live online yoga via two-way video. They are accelerating working with insurers and companies looking to provide remote yoga as a benefit for their employees.
  • Pillo Health - Available Now - Through Pillo virtual health assistants, users can complete COVID-19 in-home self-assessments, get up-to-date information on COVID-19 with responses generated from the CDC, and complete two-way video calls with doctors and family caregivers through a simple voice-activated command.
  • Rendever - Available Now - Rendever’s VR technology is helping overcome social isolation in seniors through the power of shared experiences. They have recently added a voice communication feature, allowing participants in physically separate locations to openly communicate. 
  • Sayge Link - Beta Version Available - Sayge Link is a digital platform connecting women with shared experiences. They have expanded topics to include two dedicated COIVD-19 categories (one for general issues and one for healthcare workers).
  • Skip the Small Talk - Available Now - Skip the Small Talk is offering virtual sessions to combat loneliness during social isolation.
  • Sukhi Project - Available Now- Sukhi Project is offering free virtual guided workplace meditation and wellness sessions.
  • XRHealth - Available Now - XR Health has created the first VR telehealth support groups for people in isolation due to COVID-19. The groups are tailored to patients with a variety of conditions. 

Other Resources

  • AppGrease - Available Soon - AppGrease indirectly helps with any COVID-19 solution that involves a mobile app by helping get the app onto more phones.
  • ATX KIT - Available Now - a food bundle of 10+ different items from ten different Austin entrepreneurs as a way to make it easier and safer to buy local.
  • Cadence - Available Now - Cadence is an events platform that supports live or virtual events, focused on audience engagement at company events, customer engagement at conferences and connecting people at networking events. A new feature enables companies to engage with their audience in interactive educational, advisory, research, or promotional activities leading to improved engagement, deeper insights, and better participation.
  • Claira - Available Now - Claira has developed a competency matching platform where firms and workers are matched instantly. Currently, they are matching 30 million unemployed workers with the surging demand in healthcare, transport and technology jobs.
  • CONBODY - Available Now - CONBODY is offering their prison-style group fitness classes virtually. 
  • ForagerOne - Available Now - ForagerOne developed and launched a platform for academic institutions to host virtual poster sessions to stimulate collaboration.
  • GoPeer - Available Now - GoPeer is offering free online K-12 tutoring from vetted college students who attend top-tier universities.
  • Invent Boston - Available Now - Invent Boston produces a simple analog timer that shows visual thinkers--kids, people with autism--how long to wash their hands so it's fun and they want to. 
  • JobGet - Available Now - JobGet launched an Instant Placement Initiative, an effort to help connect hourly workers who have been laid off in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic with new job opportunities at essential businesses.
  • JoyTunes - Available Now - JoyTunes is reinventing the way to learn, play, and experience music, making it possible for anyone to learn to play a musical instrument. They have made their Piano Maestro app free during this challenging time.
  • National Medical Capabilities - Available Now- National Medica Capabilities is working with hospitals across the US to determine their medical device needs, staff capabilities, and hospital capacity and then providing this information to public and private entities. 

This post was last updated on May 21, 2019. 

 

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