PH startups repurpose services to respond to Covid-19 outbreak

As the government and private sectors race to combat the global coronavirus pandemic, startups in the Philippines are adapting their technology-driven solutions to address challenges in healthcare and public safety brought about by the Covid-19 outbreak.

AccessiWheels, Drive, and DWARM Technologies — startups from the UPSCALE Innovation Hub in UP Diliman — are repurposing their products and services in response to the current health crisis.

AccessiWheels, a startup providing transportation to persons with mobility problems such as PWDs, have begun offering their services for free to patients undergoing regular medical procedures such as dialysis, and who have been affected by the suspension of the mass transportation in the Luzon-wide lockdown.

Healthcare workers whose modes of transportation have been limited by the enhanced community quarantine are also benefiting from the initiative. To date, over 100 patients and medical workers have availed of AccessiWheels’ services.

Meanwhile, DWARM — founded by FEU Tech alumni — is rolling out its artificial intelligence-enabled drones as non-contact thermal scanners at expressway checkpoints in the country.

Originally designed for search and rescue operations in calamities, the startup has partnered with Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) and UPSCALE Innovation Hub for six drones to assist efforts in mitigating the spread of Covid-19.

Drive, a peer-to-peer car rental platform, has pivoted to Drive Groceries. With restrictions on social movement and strong recommendations for social distancing, Drive Groceries has begun offering delivery services for essential supplies to residents affected by the lockdown. The company has already started operations in Metro Manila, and aims to serve nearby provinces in the next 90 days.

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