Health startups see surge in interest amid coronavirus crisis GlobeSmallBiz
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, direct-to-consumer sales have increased 24,000 per cent. Simon Parker, professor of entrepreneurship at Ivey Business School in London, Ont., says small-business owners facing sudden increases in sales must assess whether demand is sustainable to determine how much to invest in expansion. “The difficulty is what to do when you’ve got the really lucrative opportunity and you need more supply badly,” Prof. Parker said. “You don’t want to build costly new production capabilities if that demand is only temporary.” O2 has scaled up rapidly to 11 full-time employees from eight working around the clock to fill orders. “We’ve never seen so many orders. It’s just been non-stop,” Mr. Whitby said. The virus can be transmitted from person to person through infected fluid droplets contacting the mouth, nose and eyes. Unlike surgical masks, the O2 Curve fits snugly with an air-tight seal, meaning it can help protect against droplets coming in contact with the mouth and nose. But O2 Canada is careful not to make promises. Story continues below advertisement “We’re making sure our customers understand that we don’t know everything about this virus and that we don’t guarantee that our product will prevent it,” Mr. Szasz said. Hygienic Echo Inc., a startup based out of the KITE Research Institute in Toronto, has also experienced a surge of interest for its hand hygiene technology since the virus emerged. KITE senior scientist Geoff Fernie has been concerned about hand hygiene for the past 20 years. A veteran of the SARS and H1N1 virus outbreaks, he said COVID-19 has sounded the alarm again on the consequences of poor hand-washing. Dr. Fernie developed The Buddy Badge, which prompts health-care workers to perform hand hygiene when entering or leaving a patient’s room. The aim is to prevent infections acquired in hospitals or other medical settings. Powered by artificial intelligence, the wearable smart badge gets a signal from an infrared zone marker indicating if health workers have washed their hands. If the signal indicates no, the badge will vibrate discreetly to prompt the health worker. Initial studies in the American Journal of Infection Control show the product has the capacity to double the amount of times that hospital workers perform hand hygiene. The Buddy Badge could also be implemented in more mainstream settings, such as schools or restaurants. Story continues below advertisement The Buddy Badge has yet to hit market, but since the COVID-19 outbreak, Dr. Fernie has seen growing interest from investors and potential clients. He said the coronavirus has helped people realize the economic cost of disease. “If you get one of those bugs that becomes an epidemic, then people won’t go to the movies, they won’t go to restaurants, they won’t travel, they won’t go to work,” Dr. Fernie said. “It’s a big deal.” Prof. Parker, at the University of Western Ontario’s Ivey, said it is too early to predict the long-term effects of the virus on consumer behaviour, but if it is like its predecessors, SARS and H1N1, the buzz will likely die down once the virus is contained. The O2 founders know that overwhelming demand for their products is unlikely to stick. Their priority now is to get masks to as many people as possible without overcommitting themselves. Mr. Whitby said he expects that wearing protective masks will become more popular in North America as a result of COVID-19, particularly in settings where air is recycled, including the subway or on airplanes. Despite the spike in sales, O2 Canada’s strategy has stayed consistent since its inception. “Our brand is to help people breathe clean air and we’ll continue to do that,” Mr. Whitby said. Related topics Read more: The Globe and Mail
France announces 1st death in Europe of virus patientFrance's health minister has announced the first coronavirus death in Europe. Me on the right Hopefully a cure soon❤️🇨🇦 Regular flu kills roughly 11 people per year in France.
Edmonton businesses seeing impact of China manufacturing disruptions from coronavirusSeveral Edmonton businesses are seeing holes in their inventory as a result of disruptions in manufacturing in China thanks to the new coronavirus. Umm. Your not getting anything for months. Maybe find a new supplier. Should have planned for this like a month and a half ago. Also sorry but your stupid inventory isnt more important than stopping the spread of a virus. Ffs. Should we now feel sorry for these great businesses who outsource our jobs so they could make more profits
Evening Update: Rail blockades and shutdowns continue; U.S. warns of end to intelligence sharing with Canada if Huawei 5G approvedAlso: Beijing imposes self-quarantine on those returning from holidays to prevent spread of coronavirus And where is our Govt Oh ya hiding most likely Why doesn't the leftist media ever show pictures of the white, privileged, hobby-protesters that are actually at this event? Afraid they might be some of your rich friend's kids? All Indigenous elected leaders affected by the pipeline support the pipeline. Some consider themselves so morally superior they think they can ignore the law and court orders. If they're allowed to get away with it other groups will do the same.
Woman arriving home from Shanghai is British Columbia’s fifth presumptive positive case of coronavirusInterior Health is now investigating her travel patterns and whether other passengers on her flight need to be contacted GlobeBC you can always count on the BC 'commie contingent' to put Canadians at risk...
U.S. to evacuate citizens from Japanese cruise ship quarantined over coronavirusAbout 380 Americans are aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which has docked at Yokohama, a port city southwest of Tokyo. Is Fancy Socks still partying or does he still not know the situation in Canada? Another reason for stayathomevacations
Quebec couple on quarantined cruise ship in Japan test positive for coronavirusThe couple from Gatineau, Que., are currently waiting to be transported by ambulance to a military hospital where they will be kept in isolation until they no longer test positive for the virus lookner