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These 15 innovations are helping us fight COVID-19 and its aftermath

A man wearing a protective face mask walks past an illustration of a virus outside a regional science centre, as the city and surrounding areas face local restrictions in an effort to avoid a local lockdown being forced upon the region, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Oldham, Britain August 3, 2020. REUTERS/Phil Noble - RC2A6I9OAYDW

The world needs more ideas to address the immediate impacts of COVID-19 and its long-term consequences. Image: REUTERS/Phil Noble - RC2A6I9OAYDW

Andrin Schwere
Topic Curator, UpLink, World Economic Forum Geneva
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This article is part of: Pioneers of Change Summit
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has put approximately a third of the global population into quarantine and impacted billions of lives around the world.
  • The World Economic Forum's UpLink platform has announced its first cohort of COVID innovators, 15 solutions addressing the immediate and long-term challenges of the COVID crisis.
  • Innovations from 5 continents tackle a range of challenges, from making healthcare and emergency services more accessible, to increasing the inclusivity of the labour market and financial lending systems in the post-COVID era.
  • UpLink's COVID Challenges were launched in collaboration with its Impact Partners, the World Health Organization, Goldman Sachs Foundation, 500 Startups, Top Tier Impact, Impact Africa Network, Village Capital, and the Global Education & Leadership Foundation.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put one third of the global population into lockdown, brought industries and economies to a standstill and placed immense strain on health systems all over the world. At the same time, worldwide demonstrations and protests have called for equality across society, reduced economic disparities, and greater inclusion.


How do I follow the Pioneers of Change Summit?

In recent weeks, UpLink - a digital platform for surfacing and scaling innovations that could solve some of the world's most pressing challenges - has been sourcing solutions that address the immediate impacts of the pandemic and its long-term consequences, which are much needed but yet often remain unidentified and unsupported.

All solutions submitted on UpLink have been carefully reviewed and assessed by a high-level group of experts from the World Economic Forum’s public health, impact investor, international organisation and civil society networks to elect the first UpLink cohort of 15 innovators.

The World Economic Forum and UpLink will work extensively with this group of innovators over the next months to scale their impact, promote their work on our social media platforms, present them at our events and introduce them to experts and potential funders who can accelerate their ideas.

UpLink is on a mission to surface and accelerate innovators from around the world. Here are the first UpLink COVID cohort who have answered the call:

Intelehealth is a telemedicine and case management platform connecting patients and frontline health providers with remote doctors to deliver high quality health services to last mile populations.


Flare provides the 'next generation 911' for the billions of people around the world who do not have access to help during an emergency.


Quartolio streams research insights from millions of medical and scientific documents in real-time to allow researchers to respond accurately to current and future health crisis.

PanaBIOS is a pan-African reopening digital platform to boost the continent’s long-term recovery from the effects of the pandemic by restoring cross-border travel through digital health clearance, building an electronic vaccine registry and a continental disease hotspot early-warning radar.

Elemeno Express is a cloud-based solution that delivers bite-sized information directly to frontline teams on any device, desktop or mobile.

PEGASI is making medical information accessible, clear and useful for clinicians and patients in the developing world, while tracking epidemic and endemic diseases and creating actionable insights that strengthen healthcare systems.

NEO by PhysioQ is a free platform that allows users to monitor the vital signs of family members and friends via affordable wearable devices.

Medixus is a secure, specialist peer-to-peer African medical community that uses an app to centralize medical knowledge to improve clinical decision making and capacity building.

Carbon Health is a primary care provider delivering a premium experience through its modern clinics and virtual care, making world-class healthcare accessible for everyone.


HelloBetter strives to deliver on the promise that mental health is a human right, by making evidence-based mental healthcare universally accessible and providing digital therapeutics for mental health disorders.

Covoucher is Turkey’s first digital voucher platform to support small businesses at the local level during the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides them with cash liquidity and financial sustainability, bringing together small business owners and their frequent customers in an online platform.

Mujeres WOW is an AI-based lending and credit scoring platform targeting female entrepreneurs.

JOWOMO helps companies that have been hit by the COVID crisis by providing an online platform that allows the flexible exchange of employees and a socially more efficient distribution of labour.

origintrail provides certified medical equipment needed to prevent and control COVID-19 and future outbreaks. The tool applies accountability to supply chains and prevents the sale of fake goods.

Desolenator helps remote communities build sustainable water resilience in the face of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic by using solar panels to purify water.

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