Covid19 Tech Impact
Latest updates & innovations, in-depth resources, live webinars and guides to help businesses navigate through the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on India's economy.
Even as India reaches the halfway point in the 21-day lockdown, there isn’t much positive news in terms of a drop in cases and most experts reckon the lockdown will be extended beyond April 15. Indian startups have continued to take charge of the situation with new services and products and through partnerships.
The National Health Authority of India has announced its partnership with Uber India to provide safe, reliable and efficient transport for India’s frontline healthcare workers engaged in the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Uber will initially facilitate the provision of 150 cars free of cost to support medical facilities in New Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Prayagraj and Patna through its recently launched UberMedic service.
All UberMedic cars supplied to NHA will be equipped with roof-to-floor plastic sheeting enclosing the driver’s seat, thereby acting as a protective barrier between the rider and driver.
Further, self-drive mobility startup Revv announced its initiative to offer over 1000 cars at zero fees, to assist healthcare workers amid the coronavirus outbreak. This service is now live in 5 cities – Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai and Pune. In each of these cities, Revv will make its current fleet of cars available, free of charge, to healthcare workers currently engaged in active duty at a hospital, upon submission of relevant ID proof.
At the same time, Locus has initiated the ‘Driver Seva mobile app’ project along with Highway Delite, a travel app startup, to help stranded drivers. This project is supported by the Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd, in association with the All India Motor Transport Congress and Agarwal Packers and Movers Ltd (APML).
The app aims to help drivers in the current lockdown with information regarding food, water, and safe parking near their location, across the country. It presently has more than 400 BPCL Pumps, 6 APML Hubs, and over 30 Dhabas.
Telemedicine On The Rise
The telemedicine sector, in particular, has seen plenty of new options there are several new options available for people to consult doctors online. Madan Somasundaram, head of Care.fit, Curefit’s telemedicine vertical said it is offering multiple specialities like gynaecology, orthopaedics, ENT, dermatology, dental and more. The product has been launched in Bengaluru for now, but the Curefit will take it to other cities soon.
Insuretech startup Acko has also launched a free telemedicine on-call service. The service can be availed by users after going through a COVID-19 symptom checker. It allows anyone to share their concerns with a qualified doctor, all from the safety of their home, and receive appropriate medical advice instantly. The AI-based symptom checker, curated by a team of doctors, is based on the WHO and health ministry guidelines.
Another healthtech startup, Navia Life Care has launched its video consultation facility – Navia e-Consult. It is integrated with Navia’s Smart EMR platform, where doctors create digital prescriptions while having a real-time conversation with the patient. Patients receive their prescriptions on their app as well as WhatsApp with an option to order medication as prescribed by the doctor.
Further, HealthAssure is offering a special health package of coronavirus testing along with doctor consultation to ensure guidance and support throughout an individual’s experience. HealthAssure is currently working with the 4 approved diagnostic labs that are government approved to test patients for the COVID 19 virus. These labs include Suburban Diagnostics, Dr. Reddy’s Labs, Thyrocare and SRL labs.
Supporting Home Deliveries
In terms of logistics, EV startup Zypp has partnered with BigBasket to enable home delivery of everyday essentials and grocery items from BigBasket through its range of electric scooters. Following the partnership, Zypp has already crossed over 10K online deliveries of essential items.
On its part to support the delivery of essentials, MyGate has partnered with Karnataka State Police (KSP) to facilitate an e-pass system for entry and exit from residences during the lockdown. The passes are being issued to facilitate the movement of delivery executives and other essential service providers as well.
Another startup Limetray has launched a comprehensive technology platform that enables local grocery, meat as well as local kirana shops to accept customer orders online. It plans to further strengthen its overall footprint in Tier 1 cities through this technology platform.
Further, Bengaluru-based app, Neighbourhood Supply, alerts the locality on available essentials in the neighbourhood, thus, helping people reach the exact location and minimizing the impulse to panic buy.
The Neighbourhood Supply app works as a platform where citizens can sign up as contributors and list the shops, vendors or individuals in their locality who have a supply of essentials such as food, medicines and healthcare supplies like masks, sanitizers etc. Once they are listed, the contributors can give an update on a daily basis regarding their status of supplies. The app helps to form a network in the locality and lets people know exactly where essentials are available.
Further, while people stay indoors, EazyDiner has launched prepaid dining vouchers under the “Support the Restaurants” initiative which will ensure a steady cash flow into restaurants during these trying times. The initiative aims to safeguard millions of jobs across the restaurant industry in India and in turn cushion the business impact restaurants are facing due to a halt in business continuity.
Government’s Effort Towards Awareness Of Covid-19
Karnataka’s Department of Health and Family Welfare has launched Jagruti Karnataka. a YouTube channel to ensure the correct protocol is adhered to in the treatment of Covid-19 positive patient as well as for dissemination of information.
The channel features videos on COVID-19 management for capacity building on prevention, care, support and safety information in English and Kannada.
Further, in Maharashtra, the government has tied up with mental healthcare startup Mpower and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to launch a toll-free helpline number called ‘BMC-Mpower 1on1’ which will operate 24×7. Available free of cost for people across cities of Maharashtra, the helpline comprises experienced and trained mental health counsellors, who are clinical psychologists and psychiatrists from Mpower.
Further, OYO has been in touch with over 15 diplomatic missions in India to help stranded foreign tourists from the US, Brazil, Belgium, Portugal, Australia, Chile, Argentina and Indonesia in availing accommodation in OYO properties in Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Rishikesh, Pondicherry, Ranchi, Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Jalandhar.
Edtech Startups Line Up Classes
BYJU’S has now introduced free Live Classes on its platform. Students will now be able to learn real-time from BYJU’S teachers by reserving their preferred topic and slot from the schedule on BYJU’S – The Learning App. Similarly, Safeducate, a training, skilling and consulting firm, is making its online learning platform Safejob accessible to all students in rural India. Over 1100 students log in to the free webinar every day from their villages for uninterrupted learning.
Further, edtech startup Vedantu has launched #21DayLearningChallenge during the lockdown. Under this, influencers are throwing open the challenge for others to learn something new and post their experience on social media. Also, Lido Learning is going to hire over 500 online tutors across the country in the month of April in its endeavour to ensure uninterrupted studies for students.
In terms of leveraging technology, S P Jain School of Global Management is using its proprietary Engaged Learning Online (ELO) technology that replicates a live classroom down to its last detail. The ELO studio is set up with a robotic tracking camera for the faculty. This allows them to move freely, maintain eye contact with students, respond to their visual cues, moderate discussions and more, all in real-time. Faculty and students are able to engage in one-on-one conversations as if they were sitting side-by-side.
Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has committed INR 15 Cr to PM CARES Fund. Further, UPL Ltd. pledged INR 75 Cr to PM-CARES Fund in assisting the government to fight against Covid-19. It is also continuously providing large numbers of personal protective equipment (PPE) units to help with the safety of frontline medical staff.
It is also offering the premises of its educational institutions such as Gyan Dham School and Sandra Shroff Rofel College of Nursing, both at Vapi in Gujarat, with necessary arrangements to operate as quarantine centres as and when required.