The world is waiting for a silver bullet to counter COVID-19
As the whole world was bringing in the New Year on 31 December 2019, doctors in Wuhan, China were treating the first known cases of pneumonia caused by an unknown parasite. These were COVID-19’s first strikes, heralding the onset of the novel coronavirus’ global rampage.
From its initial epicenter in Wuhan, COVID-19 has spread in an unprecedented wave across the globe. The virus devastated Italy, sent multiple countries into lockdown, and has thrown the global healthcare system into a mad scramble for resources.
The healthtech industry is working around the clock to take the battle to a higher level–here’s a roundup of recent acquisitions that can help make that happen.
- Blockchain Holdings Ltd. And TRACESafe
In mid-March, Canada-based Blockchain Holdings Ltd. announced that it had acquired all rights and assets of self-quarantine monitoring technology TRACESafe, a suite developed by WiSilica Inc., according to a statement.
TRACESafe provides a disposable identification bracelet that maps user time stamps and locations to a central monitoring system. Hong Kong has readily adopted the bracelet as a tool to manage quarantine programs for foreign visitors.
The statement said that TRACESafe already has confirmed orders of over 65,000 such bracelets, and expects to roll out the technology to several countries.
WiSilica will receive approximately US$1.5 million in cash and $1.3 million in shares for the deal, in addition to share performance bonuses for key personnel, the statement added.
- AMN Healthcare and Stratus Video
US healthcare workforce provider AMN Healthcare Services announced plans to acquire Florida-based video service provider Stratus Video early this year, and closed the deal in February for $475 million.
Stratus Video provides video remote language interpretation for health care. Along with in-person interpretation, the translation technology provides remote interpretations as well via video and phone.
In an interview with CNBC, CEO of AMN Healthcare Susan Salka suggested that the use of such a technology would allow healthcare providers to remain isolated from potentially contagious patients. As countries go into lockdown, Stratus Video’s technology can potentially enable global cooperation and collaboration efforts.
- Masimo and TNI medical AG
Global noninvasive healthtech company Masimo announced plans to acquire German ventilation company TNI medical in March, in a statement that did not disclose the value of the deal. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020.
According to Joe Kiani, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Masimo, there has been an increase in the demand for TNI’s proprietary softFlow ventilator technology due to COVID-19.
“We believe this technology will provide clinicians with important additional tools to address the growing number of people affected by pulmonary diseases and respiratory-related illnesses, including those suffering from COVID-19,” he elaborated.
- Everbridge and one2many
Everbridge, a global critical events response management software company, acquired Dutch cell and LTE broadcasting solutions provider one2many, it announced in a press statement last week.
The deal has created the world’s largest multichannel public warning system, utilizing cell broadcast and location-based technologies, the statement said. It added that the acquisition facilitates efficient and critical communication, serving a range of COVID-19-affected areas and populations across the globe.
The statement also said that in addition to the pandemic, this development comes on the heels of a recent European Union mandate requiring a population-wide warning system by 2022.
The COVID-19 global health emergency, which some analysts expect will take at least a year to abate, has crippled healthcare systems across the globe. The world’s populace is relying on healthcare and tech providers to turn the situation around. The pressure is on, and businesses in the healthcare industry are racing to find solutions to push back COVID-19’s mortality rate.