The Covid-19 pandemic has truly changed the world and how we live our lives. People and businesses have changed their behaviours / business models to adapt to ‘the new normal’ – and these changes could open up a world of new opportunities.
Large historical events are known to inspire innovation – looking back throughout history we often see new innovations linked to problem-solving within an era of challenge. The Covid-19 pandemic is no different; and as we see peoples’ behaviours and business models changing, so too do we see people and businesses adapting to new challenges and embracing new opportunities.
Below we discuss a handful of our favourite innovations from 2020 – 2021. It’s clear to see that despite the challenges of 2020/2021, creativity and innovation are as strong as ever.
- Covid Emergency Ventilator – created in the space of just three days, Dr Rhys Thomas of Glanwili General Hospital invented a special ventilator in March 2020 to help hospitals to cope with the pandemic and the increased requirement for ventilators. This device not only helps patients to breathe, but also cleans the room of viral particles. It is simple and cost-effective to produce, and helps to reduce the reliance on ICU ventilators as well as allowing patients to self-care to some extent, thus reducing the level of nurse resource requirement per patient. Read more about the Covid Emergency Ventilator here: https://www.itv.com/news/wales/2020-03-24/welsh-doctor-designs-ventilator-that-could-save-the-lives-of-thousands-of-coronavirus-patients
- Advances in remote healthcare monitoring / remote patient management – given how contagious the SARS-CoV2 virus has proven to be, it’s unsurprising that advances have been made in IoT / connected healthcare monitoring systems. By introducing more remote healthcare monitoring systems, healthcare providers can reduce their risk of contracting the virus as they reduce their level of exposure to infected patients, while simultaneously increasing their ability to proactively manage patient care. It also allows for home-isolation / home care, reducing strain on hospital capacity and reserving hospital beds / equipment for more severe cases and non-Covid requirements.
- Contact-free / human-free delivery systems – the pandemic has seen an increase in delivery requirements for a variety of businesses. Whether a restaurant focusing solely on takeaway business due to lockdown restrictions, or supermarket grocery deliveries to those in quarantine / who are vulnerable and self-isolating for protection, the requirement for delivery services in the past year has significantly increased. This has led to a wider roll-out of technology that has been teased and tested in recent years: drone delivery / robot delivery services. This technology allows for increased capacity for home-delivery of products, while simultaneously protecting staff by reducing exposure to the public. We can already see this technology being used by Amazon Prime Air and Manna Drone Delivery.
- Apps / websites – it’s incredible how quickly and effectively people managed to develop and release new apps and websites relating to the pandemic and local guidelines / restrictions. One such example would be the Covid Track & Trace Apps to help with close contact management and notification on both a personal and public level. Another example here in Ireland is the phenomenally quick turnaround in creating a website which illustrates a 2km radius from any person’s home address – this was launched mere hours after government restrictions came into place announcing a 2km limit for exercising outside the home during lockdown. This website was subsequently updated when restrictions were updated and the exercise / travel limits extended.
- Innovations in disinfection / sterilizing technology – the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically increased our reliance and requirement for effective sterilizing technology. Any organisation with people coming and going from its premises now needs to have a thorough disinfection strategy in place to prevent the spread of infection onsite and among its staff / patrons. This has resulted in new innovations in sterilizing technology to make hospital-grade sterilizing affordable for all; providing the likes of schools, care homes, gyms and more with the ability to fully disinfect their premises on a frequent basis. Of course we may be biased, but we believe that one of the best innovations in this regard is the Muv-X UV room sterilizer – which was awarded ‘All-Star Innovative Product of the Year 2021’ by the All-Ireland Business Foundation. The Muv-X provides hospital-grade sterilizing at a fraction of the cost of an official piece of hospital equipment. Independently tested, it has proven to be highly effective at completely removing SARS-CoV2 (Covid-19) RNA from various surfaces, all without any chemicals and in a matter of mere minutes.