Healthcare Startups At The Center Of Data-Driven Pandemic Response

Healthcare startups are challenging longtime industry practices and assumptions, transforming everything from patient care to organizational efficiencies. Here’s how two entrepreneurs that recently participated in the latest healthcare-focused accelerator program at SAP.iO Foundry New York viewed their respective missions to help patients and providers in a vastly changed healthcare landscape.

Real-time intelligence improves time management

Applying computer science and systems thinking to improve people’s lives has been a central tenet of Kishau Rogers’ career as an engineer and computer scientist. The COVID-19 pandemic has only amped up the mission behind her newest venture called Time Study. Over 35 hospitals throughout the United States rely on the startup’s “time intelligence” cloud-based platform that uses machine learning to track how physicians, researchers, and other healthcare employees are spending their time.

”Instead of just counting hours worked, we wanted to shift the concept of timesheets to a human-centered approach, elevating opportunities to improve people’s lives at work,” said Rogers. “Many of the time management issues we were already looking at, such as data silos and complexity, have only been amplified by the pandemic.”

Time Study has helped hospitals better understand fast-changing workforce movements, whether employees were hunting for scarce PPE, jumping into different care-giving roles onsite, or providing new patient services like telehealth. Some hospitals have improved data collection and reporting times by 80 percent, and increased regulatory compliance by over 120 percent.

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Keep Employees Connected, Productive, and Healthy with Innovative HR Apps

This is a year that will not soon be forgotten, where all aspects of life were turned upside down. In 2020, COVID-19 has caused the world to rethink human interaction and forced companies to shift how they do business.

Had the pandemic hit 10 or even five years ago, the response and recovery would look much different. Individuals and businesses have responded with remarkable resiliency providing hope for a better future.

Every organization, no matter its size or business model, has had to reexamine how it does business and keeps its workplaces safe. Ensuring hand sanitizer is readily available, surfaces are regularly disinfected, and layouts are configured so employees and customers can maintain proper social distancing are just the basics. Introducing touchless door systems for conference rooms, bathrooms, and even elevators; offering flexible work schedules; and making it possible for workers to pre-order meals from the cafeteria so they can really “grab and go” and not spend extra time waiting in lines are further examples of what companies are doing from an infrastructure point of view.

These changes impact the employee experience. Think of the experience of workers returning to their jobs on the factory floor or in the office. Will they be required to have their temperature checked daily? If so, how long will the wait be and will they end up lining up outside in unpleasant weather to do so? Or how are employees handling the added stress of so much change and uncertainty? They may be caring for a sick parent, trying to homeschool their children, or dealing with a partner whose income has been cut. On top of that, the interactions employees have with others that make work more enjoyable have changed or gone away. Lunch together at the cafeteria, an impromptu coffee meeting, or simple chitchat between office mates or workers on the production line are different post-pandemic.

For HR leaders, it is necessary to take all of these things into consideration to keep employees engaged and productive.

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Enterprise-Tech Startups Focused on Risk, Security, Attract Venture Dollars

Security startups among the most-funded in New York City’s tech scene

Risk-management and security startups are in the spotlight among venture capitalists in the wake of increased remote work and a rise in high-profile cyberattacks.

And while current lockdowns and economic conditions may interfere with traditional deal making, a recent report tracking New York City-area startups reveals a surge of new funding.

These New York startups, which include BigID Inc., Payfone Inc. and BlueVoyant, offer software for cybersecurity, data governance and other risk-management functions.

Business interest in such technologies has intensified in recent years as companies seek ways to better manage risk-and-compliance issues associated with an explosion of user data, said Ram Jambunathan, a managing director of SAP.iO, the early-stage venture-capital arm of business software maker SAP SE.

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SAP.iO Supports Employee Experience Management Tech Solutions

SAP.iO recently announced its investment in workforce optimization software company Andjaro. The company, based in Paris and founded in 2015, provides a unique marketplace dedicated to helping organizations post staffing needs directly on its real-time workforce optimization platform. The solution—available for purchase at the SAP App Center—allows businesses to reallocate available and voluntary internal staff from other locations within the organization. This not only minimizes HR costs but more importantly, improves the employee experience by offering them the chance to work at other parts of the organization and get compensated for a temporary relocation resulting in a more interconnected and happy workforce.

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Carsten Maschmeyer investiert in ein Startup, das Maschinenbauer wie Bosch, Siemens und Co. fit für die Zukunft machen will

Starinvestor Carsten Maschmeyer hat sich an dem Berliner Startup Zksystems beteiligt.

Nach Informationen von Business Insider flossen bei dem Deal, an dem noch andere Investoren beteiligt waren, insgesamt drei Millionen Euro.

Zksystems entwickelt Software für die vernetzte Fabrik. Die Gründerinnen sind überzeugt, dass Maschinen künftig im Abo-Modell mit intelligenten Zusatzfunktionen angeboten werden.

ScanTrust and SAP to enhance food traceability

Over the last ten years, large, global food producers have been steadily losing market share to smaller, local brands mainly due to the loss of trust in the food industry. Addressing these challenges, ScanTrust, the developer of patented QR-codes and the global software solutions provider SAP have partnered to develop end-to-end, farm-to-consumer material traceability solutions for the SAP Logistics Business Network.

The solution enables brands to collect and trace batch-level information on raw materials, ingredients and finished products. Among other benefits, brands can use this to identify which products are affected by product recalls instantly. 

Thanks to the integration with the Scantrust connected goods platform, this data can now also be linked to a unique ScanTrust QR code, which is printed on product packaging and made available directly to end consumers. Scanning codes with a smartphone enables brands to deliver compelling stories around the provenance of their products, gain valuable data and insights on consumer behaviour based on QR codes and create a direct communication channel with consumers.
With the integration and the combined solution offering, ScanTrust and SAP together accelerate digitization in the food chain. It is expected that as more projects come online, the benefit of being able to connect directly to consumers will pay for itself, both as a win for brands and for consumers.

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AI-Fueled Startup Turns Disrupted Supply Chains Into Last Mile Opportunity

When Shamir Rahim, founder and CEO of VersaFleet, transformed his bio-medical startup into an AI-powered transportation management system, he never imagined being at the epicenter (in a good way) of a supply chain revolution during a worldwide pandemic. As anyone desperately searching for toilet paper discovered earlier this year, the last mile is the crucial link in every supply chain.

“We wanted to provide our customers with a command center view of last mile product delivery with cost and time savings,” said Shamir Rahim, founder and CEO of VersaFleet. “As our customers slowly open up again, VersaFleet is providing greater agility so they can quickly adjust logistics for maximum efficiency, whether people are out sick or returning to work, quarantines are lifted or imposed again, and operational hours shift at any time.”

Huge time savings improve customer experience 

Planners using VersaFleet’s SaaS-based cloud platform can dynamically schedule, dispatch, and track deliveries. Meantime, drivers send updates on completed deliveries in real-time using a mobile app. The algorithm also factors in data from orders connected through an ERP system like SAP S/4HANA.

“In a few clicks, planners can see which drivers are available, including their working hours and location preferences. They can select the most efficient route plan that uses the fewest vehicles traveling the least amount of distance for the highest number of items delivered,” said Rahim. “This reduces planning time from hours to minutes, saving valuable resources.”

Based in Singapore, VersaFleet serves customers primarily in Southeast Asia across many industries including consumer packaged goods, food manufacturing, white goods, casinos, and environmental services. One customer’s recent go-live actually coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in Malaysia. It proved fortuitous for the global health and beauty retailer.

“Their implementation of VersaFleet couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Rahim. “Despite working remotely from their respective homes, the planners were able to work collaboratively in real time. They were able to restock high-demand items like toilet paper and sanitizing wipes up to five times a day, something they had never been able to do before.”

The company has slashed daily planning time by 90 percent, from up to four hours down to under 10 minutes. In addition, by digitalizing proof-of-delivery, the retailer sped up billing processes four-fold. Instead of waiting for drivers to return from their routes with paper-based records, finance immediately receives delivery confirmation for same day invoice processing. This kind of business agility cascades down to boost the customer’s experience.

“Companies can reduce stock-outs, which is so important in meeting people’s heightened demands, especially with fast-moving consumer goods,” said Rahim. “Several of our other customers have improved customer service levels by 50 percent.”

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Counterfeiters are taking advantage of the pandemic. Here’s how to stop them

Counterfeiters are flooding markets with fake masks, coronavirus test kits, PPE worn by frontline workers, medicine and medical equipment used for healing patients afflicted with COVID-19.

Last week, the European Anti-Fraud Office announced that they had already identified 340 companies trading in counterfeit products linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. The large majority of these fake goods are ineffective if not downright dangerous, and deceive both patients and doctors who trust that they are using genuine and effective treatments. This reduces the likelihood of patient recovery, and generally disrupts efforts to stop or slow the spread of the virus.

That counterfeiters have quickly seized on this new market opportunity shouldn’t come as a surprise. Whether a luxury handbag or watch, a medication or a bottle of wine, anything with a brand name attached to it will be counterfeited. The exterior or packaging of many counterfeits look identical to the genuine products, while the product itself is usually malfunctioning, made with inferior components, or at the very least does not adhere to proper manufacturing practices. The only challenge for counterfeiters is to insert their imitations into legitimate distribution channels without getting caught. For this reason, counterfeiters love opaque, long and complex supply chains that leave many opportunities for distributing the fakes wide open.

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Counterfeiters are taking advantage of the pandemic. Here’s how to stop them

Justin Picard Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Scantrust

Counterfeiters are flooding markets with fake masks, coronavirus test kits, PPE worn by frontline workers, medicine and medical equipment used for healing patients afflicted with COVID-19.

Last week, the European Anti-Fraud Office announced that they had already identified 340 companies trading in counterfeit products linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. The large majority of these fake goods are ineffective if not downright dangerous, and deceive both patients and doctors who trust that they are using genuine and effective treatments. This reduces the likelihood of patient recovery, and generally disrupts efforts to stop or slow the spread of the virus.

That counterfeiters have quickly seized on this new market opportunity shouldn’t come as a surprise. Whether a luxury handbag or watch, a medication or a bottle of wine, anything with a brand name attached to it will be counterfeited. The exterior or packaging of many counterfeits look identical to the genuine products, while the product itself is usually malfunctioning, made with inferior components, or at the very least does not adhere to proper manufacturing practices. The only challenge for counterfeiters is to insert their imitations into legitimate distribution channels without getting caught. For this reason, counterfeiters love opaque, long and complex supply chains that leave many opportunities for distributing the fakes wide open.

Traceability systems bring that much-needed transparency to supply chains. They rely on serialized, unique identifiers embedded in barcodes or radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags placed on product packaging during manufacturing. As goods move through supply chains, products – as well as the cases or pallets which contain them – are scanned for inspections or to add traceability data. Every new scan generates additional data points, building up the traceability history of the product. When products reach the store shelves, consumers can scan the product identifier to verify a product’s provenance, expiry date, or any other information associated with it. All these scans culminate in creating the traceability and transparency of supply chains.

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Jobful, start-up founded by Mihai Cepoi, receives an investment of 250,000 euros

Launched in May 2018, the Jobful platform is dedicated to both young professionals who want to develop their careers and companies who want to streamline the recruitment process through a first test of candidates, as well as their interest.

In December 2018 he was third in Startarium, and in April 2019 he was accepted in the accelerator SAP.io in Berlin. In May this year, Jobful was one of three Romanian startups selected to present their product at the South East Europe Tech Tour 2019.

Original article here…

Three Ways Technology Can Help Save Retailers

Unless you’re selling sweatpants, which sold out 80 percent faster in April versus February this year, most fashion retailers face a dire spring and summer. J.C. Penney is the most recent casualty amongst retail giants, joining Nieman Marcus, Macy’s M and others in filing for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, April retail sales in the United States plunged 17.8 percent compared with 2019.

Stores in some parts of the United States are reopening, but not fully. The number of customers allowed inside stores may be limited — and many people will continue to stay away from non-essential businesses. To survive the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, retailers need new ways to stay close to customers virtually.

Here, two startup founders and an SAP expert describe how technology can help retailers survive and recover – while keeping their brands and customer followings intact.

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Queen of Raw Among the First to Get Funding From MIT Solve

Queen of Raw, a blockchain and AI-powered platform that pairs buyers and sellers of unused fabrics, is one of three teams that has landed funding via MIT Solve, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology initiative.

Led by cofounder and chief executive officer Stephanie Benedetto, Queen of Raw is the “2019 Circular Economy Solver.” Access Afya, a Kenya-based health-care center that caters to the urban poor, and Kinedu, an app that specializes in video-based, research-supported activities for children under age four, are also receiving funding.

With $120 billion worth of unused fabric stowed away in factories and being burned or buried, Queen of Raw works to make those sustainable materials available to people at any time and from any place. Deadstock and sustainable fabrics can be bought and sold online through its marketplace. Factories, brands and retailers post their unused fabric for resale on the platform so that purchasers can have easy access to new materials at lower price points.

rders can vary from one yard to one million yards. The company claims to have saved more than one billion gallons of water through its efforts. With the global textile market expected to hit $1.23 trillion by 2025, less than 1 percent of material used to make clothing is recycled. Queen of Raw also closed $1.5 million in seed funding Tuesday, an MIT Solve spokesman said.

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How AI And “Gaze Control” Will Help Businesses Reopen Safely

Recent projections by the US federal government estimate that there will be 200,000 new coronavirus cases in the US  by June 1. At the same time, governments around the world are grappling with the complexities of safely reopening businesses, schools and other public institutions.

Technology companies are rushing into that gap with software aimed at keeping people safe, while citizens navigate a patchwork approach to easing shelter-in-place orders. One well-known approach is the use of contact-tracing apps on smart phones created by tech and telecom companies. These apps alert people if they’ve been in close proximity to an infected person.

But other technologies can help. When businesses and other institutions open up, they will need to do a lot of things differently. A new technology called “gaze control” allows people to avoid touching surfaces, like ATM display screens or subway-fare vending machine, that may be potentially contaminated with the virus. Stephan Odörfer is founder and managing director of Munich-based 4tiitoo (pronounced “42”), a startup that creates gaze control technology. Put simply, this technology lets people use their eyes to interact with computers, replacing the need to touch a keyboard, mouse or screen.

Moreover, 4tiitoo has combined gaze control with AI to analyze patterns in users’ eye movement and predict what people want to do next within a particular computer screen or application. “Gaze control allows you to do two things. It controls the computer and we can use it to get an understanding of what the user actually wants to do, “said Odörfer. “By understanding intention, we can proactively support him.”

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