They’re looking into 3D-printing N95 and N80 masks. They’re providing medical professionals with personal protective equipment made in-house. They’re distributing fanny-packs stuffed with medical supplies to healthcare providers.
Tech companies across the nation are stepping up in the face of the novel coronavirus, and NYC businesses are no exception. Using their resources and ingenuity, startups large and small have pivoted to provide supplies and relief to those in need. Cleancult is partnering with Bombas to donate more than 10,000 units of soap. Ambulnz created “Strikeforce-19,” a team of specially-trained EMTs designed to transport and treat patients with COVID-19.
RapidSOS’s emergency response data platform has linked life-saving information from over 250 million connected devices to first responders during emergencies. The company’s focus has centered on providing additional support to understaffed 911 call centers.
“Our entire team has rallied behind our mission to support public safety and build technology to save lives,” Michelle Cahn, engagement head, said.
What they do: Ambulnz is a healthcare transportation company that harnesses AI to provide intelligent fleet routing, accurate ETAs and real-time vehicle GPS tracking.
How Ambulnz is responding to COVID-19: “With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ambulnz was propelled to the front line of the response efforts in each of our markets including New York, which is the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak,” Hicks said. “We secured ample personal protective equipment supplies and created Strikeforce-19, a specially-trained team of EMTs and paramedics to transport COVID-19 confirmed or suspected patients. At the start of April, we were transporting over 250 COVID-19 patients per day in New York alone.”
How Ambulnz is overcoming COVID-19 challenges: “Our greatest challenge has been ramping up and operationalizing to meet increased demand for our services. When we announced the formation of Strikeforce-19, over 200 EMTs and paramedics volunteered to join in less than 24 hours.
“Staff from California, Colorado and Tennessee drove ambulances cross-country and flew to New York to help flatten the curve and care for patients here. Our software development team continues to play an integral role, ensuring that our apps are optimized so our dispatch and field teams can work with maximum efficiency. It’s an all-hands-on-deck team effort across the company. Everyone has risen to the occasion and beyond.”
How COVID-19 has impacted the business: “We are planning to hire nearly 1,000 new employees in 2020, across all of our departments. We’re looking for great software developers, IT professionals, EMTs, paramedics, and finance professionals.”
What they do: DaisyBill is a workers’ compensation electronic billing platform.
“In short, we help doctors get paid for treating injured workers. Our proprietary technology puts an end to the drudgery, mistakes and long waits for reimbursement that plague traditional workers’ comp billing methods,” Moray said.
How DaisyBill is responding to COVID-19: “First, we have established a free COVID-19 and telehealth resources page which educates medical professionals on critical, time-sensitive topics ranging from remote billing practices to telehealth technology requirements. Second, our team of experts is delivering tailored, one-on-one assistance to customers who are trying to adapt to telehealth. Third, we are advocating with government entities for telehealth reimbursements on par with in-person reimbursements, as well as lessened regulatory oversight in light of the sudden shift to telehealth.
In all cases, our goal is to ensure that injured workers are getting the treatments they need despite circumstances that are out of their control.”
How DaisyBill is overcoming COVID-19 challenges: “The biggest challenge for DaisyBill has undoubtedly been supporting our customers through this sudden change. They have tons of questions in this confusing time and we pride ourselves on providing the real-time expertise required to get their jobs done with minimal disruption.”
How COVID-19 has impacted the business: “Now that we're a few weeks into helping our customers manage this crisis, we’re finding time to return to the product roadmap, marketing, sales and all the other functions we do as a business. As far as hiring plans go, we’re full steam ahead and seeking talent in product design, engineering, sales and customer success.”
What they do: “Our nation’s 911 system was built over 50 years ago for landline phones, limiting the information that can be shared to what the caller can verbalize themselves. In partnership with thousands of public safety agencies, RapidSOS has developed an emergency response data platform that links life-saving information from over 250 million connected devices with 911 and first responders in an emergency,” Cahn said.
How RapidSOS is responding to COVID-19: “911 telecommunicators are the unsung heroes on the frontlines of COVID-19; they are the professionals who answer our calls for help and kick off the entire emergency response process. According to the National Emergency Number Association, 911 centers in COVID-19 hotspots are seeing greatly increased 911 call volumes. New York City reported having more EMS calls than during 9/11 for eight days straight,” Cahn said.
“Our focus at RapidSOS is on doing everything we can to support the 911 and first responders who are risking their health and safety while we are able to work from home.”
How RapidSOS is overcoming COVID-19 challenges: RapidSOS is providing additional support to take pressure off 911 centers. “Even before COVID-19, 911 centers were facing issues with understaffing. Now, as 911 telecommunicators get sick, this challenge is getting exacerbated in some of the hardest hit areas of the country.”
How COVID-19 has impacted the business: “Our entire team has rallied behind our mission to support public safety and build technology to save lives. Our product and engineering teams have shifted their focus to providing enhanced technical support and increasing deployments of tools that can help first responders with situational awareness. Our public safety team is reaching out directly to 911 centers to see how we can support them, even if just by offering an ear to listen during this challenging time.”
“Our go-to-market team is focused on bringing more critical data onto the platform that can help speed the emergency response process. And our operations team is making sure everyone has what they need, including mental health resources, IT support and activities to keep the team engaged and connected while we all work remotely.”
What they do: Cleancult believes that green cleaning should extend to packaging as well. Cleancult fills their non-toxic cleaning supplies into zero-waste packaging such as milk carton soap refills.
How Cleancult is responding to COVID-19: Cleancult joined forces with Bombas’ charitable program to donate more than 10,000 units of soap to healthcare facilities and shelters.
“In times like this, hygiene products and soap are often some of the last things donated. From now until the end of this crisis, Cleancult is selling bar soap packages at an affordable cost for anyone who needs it,” Lupberger said.
How Cleancult is overcoming COVID-19 challenges: “Over the last few days, we have been quickly working to take action and get our soap into the hands of those who do not have the means to do so. Essentials such as toilet paper, soap and cleaning products have sold out completely, adding to the stress of trying to navigate this temporary new way of life. The greatest challenge for us has been navigating our supply chain to make sure we as a team can both support these communities as well as our business in this time of unprecedented uncertainty.”
How COVID-19 has impacted the business: “Our Amazon channel grew by over 2,000 percent, retail has moved up and we’re launching in two majors retailers. Also, our direct-to-consumer business has seen our marketing costs decrease. Given the need for soap and effective cleaning supplies, hiring, product development and growth has been moved up dramatically.”