With COVID-19, health startups brace for opportunities
According to reports, a surge in patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic has recently overwhelmed telehealth platforms.
In many ways health startups are better-equipped to address these challenges, however new questions have arisen for these companies to navigate during the pandemic.
For example, will patients, many of whom have had their routine care changed during the coronavirus, see a relapse once the crisis subsides?
To address these challenges tech companies across the globe have been introducing new solutions. Comcast health startup Quil recently unveiled a tool that helps elective surgery patients stay on track until their operations are rescheduled. Additionally, Virta and another diabetes-focused digital health company, Omada, have begun creating special patient groups to keep people informed about how the pandemic might impact their illness.
Even more health startups are set to soon launch in the market, including highly touted wellness program Levels, founded by Sam Corcos, Josh Clemente and Casey Means, MD. The startup looks to pay closer attention to metabolic fitness data as one way to better support individuals who come down with COVID-19.
In the health industry, despite the surge in demand for startups, challenges still persist. For individuals with multiple chronic conditions, or those who’ve had past issues managing aspects of their conditions, hospital closures may be particularly problematic.
Startups are pushing to educate people with chronic conditions about the coronavirus, in particular given that people with certain conditions are at higher risk of developing illness complications.
One example of a company doing this is Clover, which is using an algorithm to pinpoint patients most at risk of infection. The app provide basic information and suggests that patients avoid places where they’d be likely to be exposed.
Quil, which is focused on helping people prepare for elective surgeries like hip replacements, is also working to keep patients on track for when procedures are eventually rescheduled.
This includes having patients continue with the same at-home exercises they’d been doing before their original surgery date, which may provide more time to get ready for the operation.
“We’re keeping them engaged,” said the startup’s CEO Carina Edwards.
Featured Photo Credit: LevelsHealth.com