How Startups are Stepping Up to Help Healthcare Workers During COVID-19

Apr 28, 2020

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How Startups are Stepping Up to Help Healthcare Workers During COVID-19

Nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals are constantly performing countless acts of heroic service and bravery amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Employees in the healthcare field are out on the frontlines, risking their lives to care for others in need. Unfortunately, offering these services can take a massive toll on the physical/mental health and overall wellbeing of our healthcare personnel. As innovators, we must do everything in our power to help these incredible, selfless individuals take care of themselves so they can continue to help others.

While many businesses have had to pivot in order to stay afloat during these challenging times, some health startups have pivoted in a way that directly aims to alleviate the burden for those serving on the frontlines. From solutions that lessen the physical toll of caregiving, to those that assist providers in maintaining a sense of clarity in their day-to-day lives, there are many ways that health startups are stepping up and offering their services.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the startups that are working to aid healthcare workers in the fight against the virus:

1) SKIDA, a company working to alleviate the physical toll of working on the frontlines

We’ve all seen pictures of nurses with bruises on their faces from wearing the required necessary personal protective equipment (PPE). One company based in Burlington, Vermont has launched a new product, the healthcare headband, to make wearing PPE throughout the day more comfortable.

Skida traditionally manufactures ski-inspired headwear and accessories, but the company found an opportunity to offer an innovative solution for nurses serving on the frontlines.

Thanks to the enthusiasm and innovation of our friends at UVM and Dartmouth Hitchcock medical Centers, we are excited to introduce our healthcare headbands, designed intentionally with healthcare workers in mind,” said Skida representatives. “The healthcare headbands are lightweight and breathable, with buttons sewn on either side to relieve ears from painful chafing that comes from wearing elastic mask straps throughout a long shift.”

2) SOMNI (JSF ‘18), a company helping healthcare workers stay well-rested

Hospital shift workers (AKA, almost everyone in a hospital) are particularly prone to getting poor quality sleep. Now more than ever, health workers need quality sleep to power through extended hours of physically demanding and mentally challenging work.

To help combat the increased workload on providers during the COVID-19 outbreak, Somni is offering 40% off their sleep health kits, coaching sessions and their sleep health program. Somni sleep health kits are designed to help improve sleeping conditions and sleep hygiene. Each sleep health kit contains a portable white noise machine, liquid melatonin, organic caffeine-free tea, nasal strips, lavender aromatherapy, high-quality earplugs and a silk eye mask. Coaching and further sleep health programs are also available to support medical personnel so that they get better sleep during this time.

3) SUREFHIR (JSF ‘19), a company providing peace of mind & insight to those working on the frontlines

One of the things keeping healthcare workers up at night is the worry and fear associated with wondering if they have contracted COVID-19 or not. Hundreds of healthcare workers have been exposed to COVID-19 and they’re not sure how to track the progression.

Until now, when a patient or provider tests positive, someone has to do a manual chart review and “ask around” to figure out who was likely exposed, taking staff away from mission-critical patient care. Surefhir has developed an Infection Exposure Tracker to identify which health workers provided care to COVID patients, who worked side-by-side with COVID-positive providers and who was in the vicinity of infected patients and clinicians.

4) Talkspace, a company offering free services to health workers to help manage stress and anxiety

Talkspace is now offering many of their mental health solutions free-of-charge to healthcare personnel. Talkspace’s services include remote therapy in the form of text, audio or video calls with a licensed therapist to help reduce and control anxiety, stress and other emotions that can affect productivity and quality of life.

Other companies offering free mental health resources for first responders and health personnel:

Mental Health Support in 60 Seconds – Ginger

Free Telehealth Counseling for First Responders – Neurocore

Free, Confidential, Online Spaces for Nurses to Connect and Process their COVID-19 Experiences – Nurse Groups

All kinds of startup companies have stepped up or pivoted their business models to assist healthcare providers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

It’s incredibly encouraging to see companies offering their innovative solutions for free or at a discount during these unprecedented times. If you are the founder or owner of a business and want to help those in need, we encourage you to think creatively about how your products and/or services could be used to help lessen the burden, ease the pain or even just bring a sense of calm to those fighting on the frontlines of COVID-19. And as a good neighbor reminder—stay home, wash your hands, wear a mask and remember to stay positive! We will beat this… together.


Is your company working to help combat the challenges of COVID-19?

Submit a description of your company and how your innovative solution is working to help our healthcare system during these trying times. We may feature you on the Jumpstart Foundry social channels or include your solution in our next Vital Innovations email blast!


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