‘Infectious disease technology’ refers to 1) camera-based detection tools that use thermal imaging and facial recognition, 2) surveillance gadgets (smart wearables), and 3) software platforms that convert data to identify individuals (i.e. to trace contacts and share system-generated insights in real-time). The software tools often include the latest artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities that allow end-to-end, seamless, actionable insights. These detection tools are now being promoted to the masses in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including for implementation in office spaces.
Players often provide the hardware and software in combination, although several operate as pure-play software providers. This report does not cover clinical/medicinal diagnostic methods such as PCR testing, as they are unlikely to be used outside of the healthcare industry.
*Note: Currently, we do not actively cover this industry, but we have identified it as a potential industry to add to our coverage.
Many incumbents and disruptors in the industry offer integrated hardware and software solutions. However, there are still a considerable number of pure-play operators generally breaking down as hardware-only incumbents and software-only disruptors, most of which have capitalized on the emergence of contact tracing and self quarantine activities.
Disruptors in the industry include startups involved in the manufacture and installation of equipment relating to infectious diseases. On the software side, disruptors include companies that specialize in AI and machine learning platforms integrated with surveillance equipment to run contact tracing. These forms of surveillance tech startups have quickly launched new products and websites for the opportunity to sell surveillance tools and platforms to businesses.
Oura is a Finnish health technology company founded in 2013 and is reported to be the world's first wellness ring and app that shows how a user’s body responds to lifestyle changes by analyzing sleep, activity levels, daily rhythms, and physiological responses. The product is priced at around USD 300 per unit. Moreover, according to recent studies done in June 2020, the ring is also able to measure and log data ranging from body temperature to heart rate and respiratory function.
In March 2020, the company started to work with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) on a new study to see if its device can help detect early physiological signs that might indicate the onset of Covid-19. From the study, as of June 2020, researchers suggested that the ring has the ability to identify Covid-19 symptoms up to three days in advance, which has an accuracy reading of around 90%. Additionally, it was reported that the NBA had purchased up to 1,000 rings as its players geared up to restart the season.
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