Khoj for Innovations in a Post COVID-19 World

At Khoj Lab, we are in the “khoj” for innovation.“Khoj” means discovery, and we are hungry to discover what innovation means in this rapidly changing world. With the sudden rise of COVID-19, there are a lot of people in distress and a lot of people innovating around the world (governments, corporations, startups, and educational institutions). These solutions not only help fight the battle against COVID-19 but also prepare the world for a new normal post-COVID-19. 

In this article, I will attempt to compile as many of these innovations as possible. The goal is to inspire and keep us optimistic in this challenging time. Of course, the list is not exhaustive but I have tried to get as extensive as possible. In compiling the list, I was able to group the ideas into ten categories:

  1. test and detect COVID-19
  2. track COVID-19
  3. medical supplies and equipment for COVID-19
  4. repurpose manufacturing to combat COVID-19
  5. sterilize and disinfect
  6. contactless technology
  7. lockdown management
  8. alternatives to a social gathering
  9. hackathons
  10. inform and communicate

List of innovations triggered by COVID-19 around the world

Image Credit: Gulf News

Test and Detect

  1. South Korea |Life sciences company Seegene | Coronavirus testing kit using AI |Link
  2. India |Mylab Discovery Solutions Pvt Ltd | India’s first testing kit | Link
  3. UAE, Korea, UK|COVID-19 Testing Drive-through| UAE | Korea | UK
  4. South Korea |AI for improving diagnosis efficiency and patient classification | Vuno |AIHub | Hand Med
  5. USA | Abbott Lab |Rapid point-of-care COVID-19 tests|Link
  6. United Kingdom | accuRx |Routine service delivery, through video consultations and a screening survey| Link

Image Credits: FossBytes

Track COVID-19

  1. Taiwan | Electronic Fence | Link
  2. USA| MIT Media Lab| CoEpi: Community Epidemiology In Action | COVID-19 Tracking through phones| Link
  3. South Korea | Corona 100m app|Corona Now | The app alerts users when they come within 100 meters of a location visited by an infected person. | Link
  4. Hong Kong | Electronic bracelets digital detectives tracking | Link

Image Credit: Reuters

Medical Supplies and Equipment for COVID-19

  1. India | Portable Ventilators in India| Respir-AID | Link
  2. USA | Formlabs |3-D printed Nasal Swabs| Link
  3. United Kingdom | Virustatic Shiled | Snood Virus Shield with Germ Trap Technology | Link
  4. United Kingdom | Dyson | CoVent ventilator| Link
  5. China | Kuang-Chi Technologies | Fever-finding smart helmet | Link

The Ford/GE Healthcare A-E ventilator that Ford requires only an oxygen input and no electrical power. Image Credit: Cnet

Repurpose manufacturing to combat COVID-19

  1. India | Naval dockyard | Portable multi-feed oxygen manifold|Link
  2. USA | Ford (with GE Healthcare)| Ventilators | Link
  3. USA | Distilleries, and Breweries | Hand Sanitizer | Link
  4. France | LVMH perfume and cosmetics factories | Hand Sanitizers| Link

Workers with protective face masks ride smart self-balancing scooters as they control a robotic disinfectant sprayer at a residential compound in Wuhan, China, on March 3, 2020. China Daily via Reuters

Sterilize and Disinfect

  1. UAE | Dubai Municipality | Drones disinfect UAE streets | Link
  2. China | Contactless care, delivery, and sterilization using drones and robots| Robots, And Drones Are Now Used To Fight COVID-19 | Link
  3. China | Robots for checking the temperature, cooking, hand sanitizing and serving food to diners| A patrol robot in a Shenyang, China, hospital checks temperatures and disinfects people and spaces | Link

Image Credits: Arabian Business

Contactless Technology

  1. China | Cloudminds Robots | Contactless care robots at Smart Field Hospital| Link
  2. UAE | Elenium Automation for Etihad in partnership with Amazon Web Services | COVID-19 triage and contactless airport check-in ‘hands-free’ self-service devices with voice recognition|Link
  3. United Kingdom | Hygienehook by Steven Brooks| A safe way of opening doors without touching any surfaces| Link
  4. Belgian | Materialise| 3D printed contactless door handles | Link
  5. United Kingdom| Hands-free door handle | Link
  6. United Kingdom | Immutouch by Slightly Robot| Smart band, which buzzes when the wearer’s hand goes near their face, repurposed for face-touching | Link
  7. USA | AI company Scilla | uses AI analytics software to measure the temperature of a person’s forehead, sending out an alert if it detects a fever| Link

Image Credits: UNIDO

Lockdown Management

  1. China | | Autonomous delivery for coronavirus aid in Wuhan | Link
  2. China | Meituan | Pilots driverless deliveries in Beijing |Link
  3. Sweden | Voi | Transportation for doctors on house-calls for at-home treatment| Link
  4. USA| Scener | Combination of technology and entertainment to pull people together in a gamified connected playground| Link
  5. USA | AI-based Company Replika | AI to build a full-time personal, compassionate friend for people of various ages|Link
  6. Germany | Flow Lab | Gamification, personalization, and trackability to help users establish regular mental fitness routines, avoid distractions and emotional distress| Link
  7. Australia | Welcome Fit | Online assistance for gyms, fitness studios, and personal trainers, on-demand remote exercising sessions| Link
  8. India | Uber India in partnership with online grocery giants | Deliver essential to customers at their doorstep during the lockdown | Link
  9. India | Domino’s Pizza has tied up with packaged staple brand ITC Foods | Deliver everyday grocery essentials at customer doorstep | Link
  10. United Kingdom| Previously Top Cuvée, becomes Shop Cuvée | normally a neighborhood restaurant and a bottle shop with a great bar, becomes a Shop delivering food, drink, and toiletries to their customers. | Link

Image Credits: Business Breakthrough (BBT) University in Tokyo

Alternatives to a Social gathering

  1. China | Broadcast lessons on state television to service the 40% of the country without internet and the 400 million people still using 2G or 3G networks|Link
  2. Japan | Business Breakthrough (BBT) University in Tokyo| Virtual graduation using remote-controlled “Newme” robots | Link
  3. USA | Run the World | A hybrid of Zoom video, Eventbrite ticketing, Twitch interactivity, and LinkedIn networking. A virtual platform that brings like-minded people together with live online events | Link
  4. USA | Hopin | Replicates conference experience and benefits without the expenses and other hoops like travel, logistics, and environmental impact |Link
  5. USA | Netflix Party | ONline platform that allows you to watch movies and TV shows with friends, wherever you are and also has group chat so you can react and discuss together | Link
  6. World Bank| Digital learning platforms | Link
  7. Japan | Japanese elementary school students, organized their own graduation ceremony in ‘Minecraft’ | Link
  8. USA | A couple held a wedding in ‘Animal Crossing’ after coronavirus forced them to cancel their real-world ceremony |Link

Image Credits: Garage48


  1. Estonia | Garage48 | Hackathon series “Hack the Crisis”| Link
  2. Germany | German COVID-19 Hackathon delivers more than 800 projects |Link
  3. Canada | Turn science and research work into scalable products and services to address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic | Global academic science and tech startup accelerator program Creative Destruction Lab (CDL)
  4. USA | COVID-19 Rapid Innovation Dashboard | MIT| Link
  5. India | COVID-19 Solution Challenge |Link
  6. Centre for Augmenting War with COVID-19 Health Crisis’ (CAWACH) | IIT Bombay + Science and Technology ministry | Link

Image Credit: KCDC

Inform and Communicate

  1. WHO |World Health Organization launches COVID-19 information service on WhatsApp | Link
  2. Virtual Capitalists | The 7 Best COVID-19 Resources We’ve Discovered So Far | Link
  3. Korea | KCDC Smart quarantine information system |Link

Please highlight the innovations you find most interesting in the list above. I will continue to write about how organizations are innovating in response to the crisis globally. I look forward to your feedback and suggestions.

Please follow my stories on Medium. If you have comments, please leave them below or email me directly at shilpi.kumar[at]

Shilpi Kumar

Shilpi Kumar, founder of Khoj Lab, a global innovation consultancy with operations in USA, UAE, and India. Her mission is to help business leaders discover new growth opportunities and optimize the process to implement innovation strategies to scale their organizations. She brings 15+ years of professional experience working as a Futurist, Design Strategist, Lead User Experience Researcher, Industrial Designer, Architect, and Design Educator in organizations namely General Electric and Herman Miller. Over the last year, she has built a global team of multi-cultural, multi-lingual women who interact with clients in six different languages- English, Hindi, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, and Spanish. Her expertise lies in being a great liaison between design and business thinking while engaging her clients in design-led methods and frameworks to further enhance the value of their businesses.




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