OnQ Blog

How Qualcomm Ventures companies are aiding the fight against COVID-19

Jun 29, 2020

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Telemedicine can transform our healthcare industry and increase access to care, both through the pandemic and beyond. Credit: TytoCare
Telemedicine can transform our healthcare industry and increase access to care, both through the pandemic and beyond. Credit: TytoCare

Staying connected is more important than ever for all of us around the world, and in both our personal and professional lives. Enter wireless technology: It’s helping us keep in touch with friends and family, as well as work and learn remotely. It’s also supporting life-saving telemedicine and is instrumental in getting people food and other immediate resources. Even though were addressing these needs with the current generation of wireless technology, now is the time for entrepreneurs to imagine what’s going to be possible with the increased capabilities of 5G networks rolling out around the world.

From the companies we invest in through Qualcomm Ventures, we’re seeing wireless technology solutions aimed directly at today’s crucial issues: fighting against COVID-19 infection, better securing our remote work connections, and improving household access to goods and services at scale.

Were especially interested in companies that are providing innovative solutions to help solve real problems today and will continue to develop creative solutions for new use cases that will take advantage of 5G’s full potential. Here’s how just a few of our portfolio companies are lending a hand and how 5G could alter this landscape for the better:

TytoCare

TytoCare is a telehealth company that enables remote on-demand medical exams. It offers a handheld exam kit built on the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platform, along with an app that lets users perform guided medical exams of the throat, lungs, heart, body temperature, ears, and skin with a healthcare provider — all from the comfort of home. The data can then be seen by the doctor through a telehealth video call, or it can be sent to the physician over a cellular connection, in order to diagnose and treat many of the most common conditions.

The company’s solutions are currently enabling physicians to examine quarantined or symptomatic patients remotely, whether they’re in hospitals or at home. This includes the lung exams that are key for monitoring COVID-19, meaning doctors can gain vital clinical data from a safe distance, minimizing physical contact and reducing the heavy load on ERs and clinics. When 5G connectivity becomes more widely available, we expect TytoCare’s products will enable more robust and secure real-time interactions between doctors and patients.

AliveCor

With approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use its technology for the pandemic, AliveCor is also on the COVID-19 frontlines. The company is transforming cardiological care using deep learning through a pocket size, six lead ECG device that captures heart health information. Healthcare professionals are using its medical-grade EKG to remotely monitor QTc levels in COVID-19 patients, both in hospitals and at home. The data can flow directly from AliveCor’s clinician platform to an independent testing facility and back within just an hour.

For companies like TytoCare and AliveCor, 5G’s increased bandwidth and lower latency is expected to enable near real-time data transfer and interactions. Additionally, the quality of the doctor-patient engagement can also improve with better audio and video capabilities. We believe this will aid in remote diagnoses and improve outcomes. 

SentinelOne

SentinelOne offers an AI and machine learning-based solution for monitoring and securing devices, delivering security for the endpoint, datacenter, and cloud environment. Security is more important than ever as industries across the globe shift to remote work, and SentinelOne is helping enterprises protect what matters most from cyberattacks. The company is currently offering access to their platform for free to help enterprises embrace secure remote work and stay protected during this time.

As technology develops further, automated and real-time cyber-attacks are expected to increase, and especially those using advanced techniques that require a high-capacity connection. As 5G networks roll out around the world, we believe there is an increased need for companies to step up their real-time defenses with solutions like SentinelOne. Tools equipped with machine learning that can capture and process potential threats and can access data processing at the edge of networks are better positioned to provide security in the age of 5G.

SiFive

Democratizing silicon has always been the mission of SiFive, a provider of commercial RISC-V processor IP and silicon solutions. So when the Open COVID Pledge, an initiative to share intellectual property to fight the pandemic, launched, the company was quick to join. Specifically, SiFive is offering its E21 Standard Embedded Processor Core free of charge for the cause. Potential applications include use in control systems for healthcare products, such as ventilators and other life-saving equipment

Ninjacart

With one of the most fragmented food supply chains in the world, India struggled to adapt grocery distribution amid lockdown. In response, Ninjacart, a B2B fresh produce supply chain company that typically connects farmers, manufacturers, and brands to retailers directly, pivoted to B2C, helping reroute food throughout the country. Through its initiative Harvest the Farm, the company is locating excess produce supplies, buying from farmers (who are struggling to find customers), and then delivering these essential items directly to consumers at a discounted price.

ShadowFax

Shadowfax, an on-demand last mile logistics network in India, is taking a different approach to help connect people to the resources they need. Since the company typically serves as a tech-enabled one-stop delivery solution for a wide range of business — from restaurants and pharmacies to both online and offline retailers — it was well-equipped to partner with NGOs to deliver relief packages across the country. Additionally, ShadowFax is raising funds to support its 50,000 delivery partners and their families.

We’re incredibly proud to support these companies and their visions. Their innovations are being called to action like never before, which can lead to solutions for our current circumstance and beyond. Think about the trajectory we have experienced: When 4G rolled out, its speed and capacity enabled and accelerated everything from ride sharing to social media. 5G networking is built to deliver so much more. And as 5G becomes more ubiquitous, these technologies can soon be even more impactful and will inevitably join a new crop of applications aimed at transforming whole industries and enriching our lives.

Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

The OnQ Team

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