Vermont Technology Alliance Members Step Up to Help Address Coronavirus Needs
Thursday, April 9, 2020
Posted by: Jeff Couture
As we all deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Vermont Technology Alliance business members of all sizes have stepped up to provide products, services, helpful information and other outreach to address business and community needs and concerns.
Here is a summary of some of what vtTA member businesses and organizations are doing, in alphabetical order:
Bluehouse Group has developed a COVID-19 Response Fund website for the Vermont Community Foundation. The site will support nonprofits working to address the most immediate public health and economic impacts of the disease, focusing on vulnerable populations and the service providers that support them.
Brandthropology is donating some pro bono work for ReSOURCE, to help them develop an e-commerce platform, which has become a critical need due to the closure of its retail stores.
Burton is focused on supplying the needed personal protective equipment that is in short supply. The company is donating 500,000 KN95 masks for health workers, with a first shipment of 200,000 delivered to hospitals in Vermont and to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire. The company also is producing face shields at its Burlington facility, with a goal of making 500 a week in April to be distributed to hospitals and other facilities, with a first shipment to Boston Children's Hospital. It also has donated 1,300 Anon Optics goggles to Goggles for Docs for use as PPE, and its employees have launched an effort to produce facemasks at home, with a goal of making 200 or more masks. Find more information here.
Chroma Technology in Bellows Falls, which manufactures optical filters for the scientific, biomedical, photonics, and imaging industries, is facing an unprecedented call for its products for use in COVID-19 testing and research equipment. When DNA and other chromosomes from a nasal swab are stained with a material that fluoresces, Chroma’s filters make them visible in color, making them a critical part of the equipment. See more here.
Comcast has made its Xfinity WI-Fi hot spots available free, and is providing its customers unlimited data for no additional charge for 60 days. It also is offering its Internet Essentials service free for 60 days. Find more here.
Data Innovations supplies software to medical labs worldwide that is used to manage laboratory operations and sample processing. The company has been regularly updating its software with drivers to help labs direct more of their equipment and operations to COVID-19 testing. Find more here.
Davis and Hodgdon
Accounting firm Davis and Hodgdon has created COVID-19 Resources for Your Business and Tax Questions web page, a resource with information and links on COVID-19 loan and tax credit programs, with descriptions of loans, checklists for what documentation is required for various loans, and contact information for Vermont bank lenders.
eDOC Innovations provides mobile enterprise digital transaction management software for credit unions. They are providing their eSignature solution for free to up to 100 credit unions nationwide, including River Valley Credit Union in Brattleboro. Find more here
FirstLight is focused on supporting its customers and the broader community. It signed on to FCC Chairman Pai’s “Keep Americans Connected” pledge, which provides safeguards for residential and small business customers. It also has worked to quickly respond to requests for increased bandwidth and additional services, and have enabled additional bandwidth and voice routing services to support remote workforces. Find more here.
Inntopia has released TestLink, a free scheduling platform that allows patients to search for COVID-19 testing locations and times across individual or multiple locations. The system is an adaption of Inntopia’s activity booking platform, which is typically used for scheduling ski lessons or tee-times, to an appointment booking system.
Inntopia also has been helping and supporting Jon Schaefer with Goggles for Docs by building a webpage and contributing the use of its booking platform and staff for this effort. More than 30,000 new and used ski goggles are now in the hands of health care workers all over the country.
In addition, the company is donating 200 hours of marketing work in April to help its clients.
NPI is offering a free consultation to any organization, whether or not they are a client, with 15 or more computers. They’ll answer questions and provide technical advice on remote-workplace issues — and it won’t be a sales call. NPI also added new content on its website with information on systems, security and tools for businesses that have transitioned their workforce to remote work.
Over the past three weeks, Physician’s Computer Company (PCC) has helped all of its pediatric clients migrate to telehealth for treating patients. The company also has gathered data which allows its clients to understand the impact COVID-19 is having on their medical practices. PCC has provided a summary of that data to the American Academy of Pediatrics and to Vermont through the VCHIP program. Find more here.
QGenda delivers scheduling software technology and insights that allow enterprise healthcare systems and provider practices to efficiently schedule and manage care delivery teams. QGenda is enabling healthcare organizations to get new care locations up and running smoothly to manage patient volume and capacity challenges, and to manage scheduling for providers who are shifting from their primary specialty to help treat COVID-19 patients. Find more here.
Reconciled is offering free 20-minute CFO consultations with anyone who needs to help navigating cash planning, SBA relief funding, or just wants to talk through things with an expert. They also are offering a range of other free and paid services. Find more here.
RTO Wireless is working on setting up Wi-Fi hotspots around the state, in particular to help with communities that are looking for ways to support students’ ability to learn remotely. Recently, RTO Wireless announced a relationship with Firstlight to expand rural internet access in Vermont.
Spherion is providing staffing services for several essential businesses, in healthcare, supply chain, and state services.
A team of scientists, engineers and doctors at the University of Vermont have developed and built a working mode for a simple, inexpensive ventilator. Preliminary calculations suggest the UVM Ventilator – dubbed the “Vermontilator” – can be produced quickly and in large numbers for a few hundred dollars per unit in parts and materials. Also, UVM developers have created a new app, PanicMechanic, designed to help panic attack sufferers, whose condition may be worsened by the coronavirus pandemic, manage their anxiety.
The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center has created Manufacturing Exchange - Vermont (MXVT.org), which allows manufacturers and suppliers to post their needs and find business opportunities. MXVT.org has launched during the COVID-19 Coronavirus crisis with an initial focus on enabling and accelerating connections between urgent health-related equipment needs and personal protective equipment (PPE) with potential Vermont manufacturers and product and solution providers. In addition, they offer a COVID-19 Resource Page for Manufacturers.