10 technology trends emerging during the Covid pandemic
Predictions announced at virtual OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Conference attended by investors, entrepreneurs, executives, officials from 90 nations.
What are the top tech trends we’ll see in our post-COVID world?
Two OurCrowd experts — Labs/02 startup incubator Partner Stav Erez and OurCrowd medical technology analyst Dr. Jonathan Wiesen – made their predictions during the online OurCrowd Pandemic Innovation Conference from Jerusalem on June 22.
Investors, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, corporate executives, government officials and press from more than 90 countries were in virtual attendance as Erez and Wiesen announced the 10 top trends we can expect to see.
“We think this crisis is going to have an impact on many different aspects of society as well as the economy,” said David Sokolic, one of the principals of OurCrowd’s new $100 million Pandemic Innovation Fund.
- Say goodbye to your office
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the business turned virtual. Remote meeting provider Zoom overshot its gross profits forecast by more than 60%, Erez pointed out.
“But tools for remote communication are just part of the virtual revolution that also includes products providing digital solutions.”
TechSee enables service technicians to fix your devices remotely, avoiding the need to enter people’s homes, keeping both parties safe, and cuts waiting times and costs.
Kemtai uses advanced computer vision to create a personalized home fitness experience, including training with a virtual AI coach.
- Diagnostic testing leaves the clinic
“Medical testing has always been performed in healthcare facilities or licensed labs, usually by appointment. Social distancing measures and the fear of infection are changing this,” said Wiesen.
“Diagnostic testing has been freed from the confines of labs and clinics and is beginning to take place in locations that were impossible to imagine– parking lots, open fields, and even drive-throughs.”
Sight Diagnostics makes an AI-based blood diagnostics device that does lab-quality complete blood count (CBC) tests from finger prick samples at the point of care.
MeMed is developing a 15-minute protein measurement test that distinguishes viral from bacterial infections at the point of care.
- Robots learn to teach themselves
“In times of crises, companies must be much more efficient and do more with fewer resources,” said Erez. “Companies that can automate more of their back-end processes will become more efficient and more agile.”
Kaholo is a low-code visual platform for automating IT and DevOps tasks, cutting development time from days to merely hours.
Kryon Systems is developing the robotic process automation (RPA) processes to replace billions of repetitive, manual procedures used in enterprises daily.
- The doctor will see you online
“In the midst of the greatest medical emergency in the last 100 years, most people were cut off from their physicians,” said Wiesen.“Telemedicine, remote connectivity between patients and physicians, has suddenly gone primetime. Using telemedicine, patients can connect with their physicians anytime and from any place.”
TytoCare offers a unique toolset that allows physicians in their offices to perform physical exams on patients in their homes. Data is shared using cloud-based solutions.
DarioHealth, a global provider in remote diabetes monitoring and management, has partnered with MediOrbis in the United States to provide 24/7 virtual services including primary and acute care; chronic disease management for conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and COPD; and specialty consultations or second opinions for more complicated medical concerns.
- Data collaboration goes beyond borders
“To solve the global health threat, scientists needed to share — share knowledge, share samples, share data,” said Erez. “A recent, good example of this was when Chinese and Australian researchers made Covid-19’s genome freely available.” But data sharing goes way beyond the health field.
Otonomo makes valuable car data available to drivers, passengers, and the transportation ecosystem. It has commercial data-sharing agreements with Fiat Chrysler, Daimler, BMW, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, and other automakers.
- It’s all about personal hygiene
“Personal hygiene has long been an important but underrecognized factor in infection control,” said Wiesen. “What’s needed to contain the virus are portable and reliable anti-microbe disinfectant materials.”
RD Pack created a sanitation tunnel that sprays incomers with an Israeli-developed disinfectant solution to provide protection against bacteria and viruses, including corona-type viruses.
- Eating healthily is all important
“TheCovid-19 pandemic has led to the deaths of over 400,000 people around the world, most of whom had ‘background diseases.’ People have begun to realize how important it is to pay attention to day-to-day health. That starts with eating in an organized and healthy way,” said Erez.
Gat Foods last year launched Fruitlift, a real fruit-based ingredient that can replace refined sugars in ready-to-eat cereals.
Yofix sells soy-free, dairy-free pre- and probiotic yogurt alternatives made from oats, legumes, and seeds. The fermented, cultured products contain protein, fiber, calcium, and iron, have no added sugar or preservatives.
- Time to focus on anti-viral drugs
“How do you kill something that’s not alive? This is the greatest struggle that scientists, clinicians, and pharmaceutical companies have with treating viral infections,” said Wiesen.
“Over the same period of time that mankind has developed hundreds of antibiotics, only a handful of successful antiviral drugs for common viral infections have been approved.”
Now the focus will be on different and varied therapeutic options both for COVID as well as other viral infections.
The Israel Institute for Biological Research recently announced that analogs of two drugs for Gaucher’s disease are effective against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19). This research is part of the institute’s project to identify antiviral drugs.
- Cyber threats are growing
“The world has seen a dramatic global increase in cybersecurity threats during the Covid-19 crisis,” said Erez.“When countries are devoting all their resources to fighting a health crisis, such attacks become inevitable. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable networks are also the most critical.”
IXDen provides IoT security solutions for critical infrastructure and protects against malicious breaches seeking to cause functional problems.
CyberMed offers secure solutions for medical devices, telemedicine, remote care, and electronic health record management.
- Vaccines need to be flexible
“To take on future pandemics, vaccines require flexible platforms, so every virus doesn’t need to be created from scratch. They need accelerated timelines, to limit contagion. And they need to be more effective,” said Wiesen.
“Without vaccines that have great efficacy and are simple to produce, society will never return to normal.”
About the Author:
Abigail Klein Leichman is a writer and associate editor at ISRAEL21c. Prior to moving to Israel in 2007, she was a specialty writer and copy editor at a major daily newspaper in New Jersey and has freelanced for a variety of newspapers and periodicals since 1984.
New York Jewish Chamber of Commerce