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COVID-19 Impacts MedTech Industry

Mounir Jamil

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COVID-19 Impacts TechMed Industry

Inside Telecom takes a look into some of the possible effects of the Covid-19 crisis mainly on the MedTech industry, and the implications of it impact for years to come. Make no mistake, that the Covid-19 pandemic is definitely a game changer for businesses across sectors.

Elective procedures have taken a severe toll due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The effects are hard hitting and deeply threaten innovation. Conformis – custom orthopedics implant maker – had to let go nearly one third of its employees due to the volume of elective procedures dwindling down to half. Conformis was lucky however as they were able to secure a $4.7 million Paycheck Protection Program loan to bring back most of the employees who were laid off.

Moving forward, there will be new steps and protocols in place to protect elective procedures to make sure they aren’t harmed in the process. These types of surgeries are still in demand – even if the demand isn’t as high or if the priority has shifted.

For companies that have robust diagnostic components such as Abbott Laboratories, the picture is a bit brighter. Abbott possesses immense diagnostic capabilities due to their acquisition of Alere a couple of years back. Abbott Laboratories have also developed four Covid-19 diagnostics. However, the picture isn’t as bright for Dublin-based Medtronic, who have reported that US weekly revenue has declined about 60% year over year on average.

When word came out that there is a shortage of ventilators, the automotive industry leaped into overdrive to help produce the technologies. President Trump even ensured that these ventilators would be put in the national stockpile via the Defense Production Act. However, will this be the last we see of the collaboration between the MedTech industry and the automotive one? It is very probable that a door has been opened for future collaboration between the two industries once we reach the other side of the pandemic.

How do you conduct social-distancing in the healthcare industry during the time of the pandemic? Well the answer is quite simple: Telemedicine. Most elements of social distancing are here to stay, we already know the handshake is long gone. So, you’re going to have to have something that can help in cutting down on the time taken for a patient’s routine checkup.

MD+DI News Editor Amanda Pedersen earlier reported that Jason Mills, a MedTech industry analyst at Canaccord Genuity shared his conclusions from three recent physician surveys across the structural heart, stroke/venous thromboembolism and robotic surgery fields. One of the key takeaways is that an overwhelming majority of doctors have swiftly embraced telemedicine during the crisis.

Testing has become crucial and will only become more important moving forward. There is still a shortage of tests for Covid-19, even while the FDA is granting and approving emergency use authorization for many firms. The pandemic is changing all of that, and we will soon witness several more diagnostic companies increase production and build testing capabilities. So, intense discussion surrounding these testing capabilities is to be expected. There will be more home tests as social distancing continues to gain popularity.

Junior social media strategist with a degree in business. Passionate about technology, film, music and video games.

MedTech

Transparent smart mask allows emotional expression

Mounir Jamil

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Transparent Smart Mask allows Emotion Expression

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, face masks have become an essential part of daily life. However, the masks that we use have stolen a profound way of connecting with others. A person’s facial expression is one of the most important aspects of communication. The typical fabric or paper masks end up concealing our identities and facial reactions (or at least half of them). We are losing valuable personal connections with others because we can’t understand their intentions or see their facial expressions when they smile, frown or laugh.

The answer to this problem? The LEAF mask, the first transparent smart mask that is FDA registered. It has N-99 standard air filtering abilities in addition to a self-purifying feature thanks to a built in UV-C light. The mask protects you and your loved ones while enabling you to convey emotions and expressions; it’s as close to normal as we can get right now.

The LEAF mask’s most defining feature is definitely its transparent design. The unibody is covered in transparent and medical-grade silicon that provides a universal fit, and ensures your face isn’t visually covered by an opaque mask. This is accomplished via the transparent smart mask filters that are located around the chin, which keeps your nose, mouth and cheeks visible to people around you – making the mask more communication-friendly and allowing others to read your lips or facial expressions while talking to them.

The LEAF transparent smart mask also sports an antifogging feature, preventing your mask from becoming cloudy on the inside whenever you take a breath. This means it also allows your smartphones facial-unlock feature to work without taking your mask off. It’s the world’s first transparent mask that has high-quality N99+ HEPA\HEPA-Carbon filters fitted into the lower chin section. Another impressive feature is the self-purifying function, which is made possible with the built-in UV-C light. The LEAF comes in 3 different options: Leaf HEPA, Leaf UV, and Leaf PRO.

The LEAF mask is available in 4 different sizes made to fit children as well as adults. With its transparent structure, the LEAF mask is challenging the status quo of opaque fabric and plastic masks. Especially with disposable masks becoming a threat to the environment, LEAF offers the right solution. A reusable and high-quality mask with long-lasting filters.

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MedTech

Microsoft online courses for the unemployed

Adnan Kayyali

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Microsoft online courses for the unemployed

Microsoft online courses have been created on LinkedIn in support of those hit hardest by the pandemic. The pandemic has caused widespread devastation to worldwide economies, affecting different parts of the world in varying degrees. One thing is for sure, worldwide unemployment hasn’t been this high since The Great Depression.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), it is projected that the economic and labour crisis brought about by the pandemic may see around 25 million additional people unemployed worldwide.

What’s more, they estimate that some 436 million businesses in sectors such as retail, manufacturing, wholesale, hospitality and others are at high risk of “serious disruption”. Some businesses and jobs may bounce back after the pandemic, but there will most certainly be permanent changes to the post-Coronavirus job landscape.

“This is no longer only a global health crisis, it is also a major labor market and economic crisis that is having a huge impact on people.” Said Director-General of ILO, Guy Ryder.

“For millions of workers, no income means no food, no security and no future” he later continued. “As the pandemic and the jobs crisis evolve, the need to protect the most vulnerable becomes even more urgent.”

In response to the crisis, we are seeing tech companies push relief efforts on their own platforms, assisting severely affected communities through various means. Efforts like information platforms, live maps, updated news, and even platforms to ease distribution of medical resources worldwide, have become invaluable tools.

Microsoft online courses are meant to boost efforts in education, with the company distributing $20 million in donations to numerous NGOs, aimed at aiding those impacted by unemployment.

Using its own tool, LinkedIn Learning Paths was designed with tutorials to kickstart a person’s career in 10 fields currently in high-demand, according to LinkedIn’s data. These jobs will offer livable wages with promising future prospects.

The jobs listed include: digital marketer, graphic designer, IT support, sales representative, project manager, IT administration, software developer, customer services rep, data analyst, financial analyst. With courses free of charge and available to everyone until March 2021, anyone can go to this link and learn a new trade.

The education portal is part of a global trend pushing towards remote education inclusion in mainstream education systems. Microsoft online courses are just a drop among thousands of hours of quality educational material offered by companies such as Udemy, Skillshare, The Great Courses Plus and many more.

Alongside these, Microsoft Learn is offering supplemental technical content to these Paths, and Microsoft is also making GitHub’s Learning Lab free to practice if you’re learning skills to become a software developer.

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MedTech

New feature on Google Maps aids in the fight against Coronavirus

Mounir Jamil

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New feature on Google Maps aids in the fight against Coronavirus

A new feature on Google Maps now allows for users to get around safely during the Coronavirus pandemic. More than 11 million people have contracted the virus worldwide, and almost 500,000 have died according to the Johns Hopkins University. Countries worldwide have adopted different restrictions depending on the severity of the outbreak, which has caused numerous travel complications.

Ramesh Nagarajan, Google Maps product management director commented. “As countries around the world adapt, we are committed to bringing users the most pertinent information right to their fingertips, so when you’re ready and able to, you can safely venture out.”

The new feature on Google Maps collects data from national and local governments and agencies and alerts users to pertinent information. It also sports other updates:

Restriction alerts

Google Maps users will now receive driving alerts that notify them of COVID-19 checkpoints while crossing national borders, also the varying restrictions across their routes.

Users will now see the alert on the directions screen if they are entering an area that is impacted by restrictions, like mask mandate or social distancing regulations. These alerts are currently available in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Testing alerts

If a user is headed towards a medical facility or a Coronavirus testing center, they will receive alerts that remind them of eligibility and facility guidelines. These alerts are available in the US, South Korea, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Public transit alerts

When using Google Maps to navigate public transportation in an area affected by Covid-19 restrictions, travelers will receive alerts from local transit agencies with reminders of regulations, like mask requirements or if government mandates are impacting transit services.

When users are using Google Maps to navigate public transportation in an area with COVID-19 restrictions, travelers will receive alerts from local transit agencies that remind them of the regulations. These alerts are rolling out in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Colombia, France, Mexico, India, Spain, Netherlands, Thailand, UK and the US.

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