Newlab 90 Days In: Returning to Work Safely

Our member community’s collaboration and ingenuity have been and continue to be an inspiration and much-needed source of positivity. Many of these members pivoted in real-time with the Newlab product realization team’s help to focus on rapid prototyping of tools and products to aid in the fight against COVD-19. Newlab also worked closely with the Brooklyn Navy Yard to mobilize engineering talent, tools, and other resources to turn our building, a former shipbuilding facility, into a factory of solutions for this crisis.

Please read on for an almost daily account of the impactful work by Newlab members as it occurred between March and August of 2020.

Highlights of Member Efforts

• March 26: Newlab is coordinating with New York City and the Brooklyn Navy Yard to facilitate funding for face shields produced by Bednark, Duggal, and Boyce in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The goal of the effort is to deliver 120k units per week to the City. On March 25—the first day of production—the team assembled 11,040 masks. Read more in The New York Times.

• Mevo has donated 100 of its high-end, 4K live-streaming cameras to New York City public schools and an additional 100 to other organizations in need of video communication capabilities in the wake of the outbreak. 

• Numina began a tweet series with insights on the impact of Coronavirus and social distancing measures from Numina sensors around the world, starting with New York City. 

• Partsimony, a cognitive supply chain platform, is working with SecondMuse and other community leaders in NYC as a COVID-19 task force to address medical supply shortages (N95 masks, ventilators, surgical masks, protective wear, etc.).

• The Newlab HE3AT Program—an advanced application of STEAM education for Brooklyn South public high school students—is continuing with virtual mentorship and already coordinated with New York’s DOE to distribute 200 laptops to Brooklyn high school students.

• Over 130,000 New Yorkers seek medical attention daily—but now, clinics have become hazardous zones, leaving those with serious acute and chronic illnesses few options. Newlab member entrepreneur, physician, and MD Ph.D. Fabio Thiers of Ponto Care is innovating a solution for secondary health challenges that result from the Coronavirus pandemic—aiming to facilitate doctor-ordered medical exams at the place/time of patients’ choosing.

• SquareRoots is donating its harvests to Rethink Food NYC, an organization working closely with public officials and restaurants to make meal distribution possible during this crisis.

• Quatcare, which produces a new kind of antimicrobial/antifungal/antiviral technology that has a wide range of applications for creating durable, antimicrobial surfaces—filtration systems, walls, furniture, industrial and medical equipment, clothing, bedding, construction products—is working to develop a new line of offerings, including a hand cream that provides several hours of protection against harmful microbes. Quatcare is pivoting its efforts to test its technology on the novel Coronavirus, focusing on preventing transmission among healthcare professionals most at risk.

• March 26AppliedXL, a Newlab Venture Studio company, in partnership with The Boston Globe and leading medical and health publication, STAT News, launched HealthXL. The online tool provides context and data around COVID-19 cases and the pandemic’s broader impact on individuals and organizations. Currently, the tool mines public and private datasets—combining them into a single online dashboard, starting with aggregated data from The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at John Hopkins University, state-level Departments of Health, and other official sources from countries around the world. The team is also building an API for other data scientists, researchers, and technologists to access these invaluable datasets easily. 

• March 27Within Health is helping in the triage efforts in communities throughout New York City with x-ray testing at outpatient imaging centers. Their platform helps patients access radiologists and partner imaging centers to quickly determine if a chest x-ray is necessary, reducing the strain on hospitals and prioritizing care for patients with severe lung damage and the most vulnerable. Read more here.

 • April 2Ultimaker has collaborated with Newlab to create a print hub for NYC emergency medical part printing. Elsewhere, Ultimaker has made its global and local networks of 3D printing hubs—including corporate makerspaces such as BIG, KPF, Montefiore 3D Print Lab, and academic makerspaces such as NYU Tandon and Columbia University—experts and designers directly available to hospitals in need of tools and applications that are short in supply. The Newlab hub includes both Ultimaker expertise and process and design support from the Newlab additive manufacturing experts. Together, we are currently supporting NYU Langone, New York-Presbyterian, Montefiore Medical Center, Weill-Cornell, Columbia Medical, Elmhurst, and Mount Sinai.

May 18: In response to the reality we currently face, Newlab is launching the Return to Work Studio, a live sandbox and pilot program allowing various frontier technologies relevant to a safe work environment to be piloted. At launch, this will include but not be limited to Newlab member companies StrongArm and Norbert Health technologies, which will be tested in combination with our operational experience and operating system for our 155 companies and 800+ members.  The Studio will provide critical learnings for organizations across various sectors looking to responsibly let people return to work, representing immense potential economic impact and a way forward.  We seek government and corporate partners to join the Studio to support the effort, provide their insights, and receive customized protocols and product suites they can choose to purchase and deploy in their own use cases.

The 3-month sandbox within the Studio is envisioned to take place at Newlab’s 84,000 square foot facility in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a collaborative workspace that’s home to 150+ startups. StrongArm Tech will supply its FUSE Risk Management platform, including 350 wearable sensors and comprehensive data reporting. Norbert Health will deploy its combination of sensors that passively monitor essential vital signs, including temperature, breathing rate, heart rate, and heart rate variability (HRV). The Newlab operations team will oversee the reconfiguration and cleaning of workspaces and the collection of basic health metrics. This holistic approach minimizes the risk of spreading COVID-19 and ensures responsible actions can be taken in a timely manner. Together, Newlab, StrongArm Tech, and Norbert Health (as well as other concepts to be added to the Studio over time) are committed to helping the community get back to work so that we may apply technology, engineering, and entrepreneurship to things that matter. 

May 6: Questtonó has built an affordable ventilator using off-the-shelf components in collaboration with a team of hospital institutions, engineers, and tech specialists. The product is a long-term solution that targets developing countries that historically have limited access to such medical devices. Read more here. Additionally, the team is in the process of retrofitting Biologix to detect early symptoms of COVID-19 by capturing heart rate and blood oxygen levels. It is intended to function as a remote monitoring tool for patients with mild symptoms. 

• April 2OVR Technology has joined several collaborations that use open-source hardware to put 3D printers to work to produce parts and supplies for medical professionals to do their jobs better. Read more about OVR Technology’s efforts here.

• April 3: To see how Bay Area air quality is impacted by efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19, Aclima is analyzing data from its hyperlocal network across all nine Bay Area counties. Read about it here.

• April 14: Newlab and AppliedXL, a Newlab company, in partnership with The Boston Globe and STAT News, will host a virtual data hackathon to address pressing challenges related to the current pandemic.

• April 15Jupe Health recently launched a rapid-deployment recovery space designed for comfort, care, and wellness. The units are highly scalable, cost-effective, and easily transportable. Jupe aims to be an immediate response for emergency bedding solutions, equipped with technology and amenities to support containment efforts in hospitals and clinics at 1/30th of a hospital room’s cost. Read more on TechCrunch.

• April 17: Using data from the Center on Rural Innovation, AppliedXL launched Health Preparedness scores by county inside its COVID-19 Tracker. The scores take into account hospital capacity, human resources, and socioeconomic and age demographics. Read more in Business Insider

• April 20: Newlab has partnered with 10xBetaBoyce Technologies, and the City of New York to create and distribute a new medical device, Spiro Wave, to tackle the ventilator crisis. Spiro Wave was designed, prototyped, and put into production in less than three weeks. The New York City Economic Development Corporation has ordered the first 3,000 units on behalf of New York City, and the distribution of devices to NYC hospitals will begin this week. Read more in The New York Times and Fast Company.

• April 28CoverUS launched a website designed to lessen coronavirus’s economic burden on everyday Americans. Users can estimate their federal stimulus payment and erase COVID-19 healthcare first responders’ medical debt at a rate of nearly $100 for every $1 donated.

Aug 10: Nanotronics, a science technology company and manufacturer of advanced imaging systems, has formed Nanotronics Health LLC, a health care technology subsidiary. The new company has introduced nHale, an air pressure respiratory therapy device that supports patient breathing in situations in which the patient does not require invasive ventilatory support.

The Newlab community continues to utilize transformative technologies to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. Learn more about Newlab membership.