Startups

How are tech startups helping fight coronavirus?

Healthtech startups are being corralled by the NHS and the government to point their talents at the COVID-19 pandemic, while other firms are volunteering services to help stymie the spread of the infectious new disease.

It’s an extremely uncertain moment for businesses large and small across the country, perhaps the most uncertain in many of our lifetimes. High-street mainstays are already folding under the new pressures, and the crisis has exposed the difficulties of running just-in-time operating models, such as those seen across the country’s food supply chain.

Inherently risky endeavours such as loss-making technology startups are fraught with difficulties in the best of times, let alone amplified under these strange new conditions.

Nonetheless, there are myriad ways in which nimble startups may be better poised to solve big problems than resource-rich enterprises and governments.

Government applications

A little over a year on from when it was first unveiled, the purpose of the NHSX healthtech initiative is being put to the test. One such project is Techforce 19, a new £500,000 funding pot for ‘innovators’ to find new ways to fight the effects of social distancing, with a focus on mental health support and social care.

The umbrella group has also partnered with other health organisation for a ‘hack from home hackathon’ to tackle the impact of COVID-19 and collaborate on technology to solve problems related to its social and economic effects.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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