A new Israeli company, CoVelocity, is helping the government of Guatemala ramp up Covid-19 testing.
CoVelocity was founded to enable rapid commercialization and deployment of medical technologies throughout the world, says General Partner Ariel Beery, formerly cofounder and CEO of MobileODT, a pioneer in early detection of cervical cancer using smartphone imaging.
“Cases were rising exponentially in Guatemala,” Beery tells ISRAEL21c, yet the country faced significant challenges in supply and technological capabilities to provide Covid-19 testing to citizens.
Since testing is critical for quantifying and containing spread, the non-profit Foundation for the Development of Guatemala, Fundesa, contacted CoVelocity in April to help the government obtain workable testing options.
“What we specialize in is making sure no emerging market is left behind,” says Beery.
He explains that large companies are limited in their ability to serve emerging markets because developed countries have cornered supply.
Launching a fundraising and public engagement campaign, Fundesa partnered with CoVelocity to deploy a pilot of 100 qPCR Covid-19 tests to prove to local authorities that the right blend of technologies and expertise could help Guatemala increase its testing capacity to meet demand.
Following a successful first phase, Fundesa donated an additional 33,700 tests in May, June and July.
With CoVelocity’s help in vetting and curating technologies, Fundesa is working with the national government to support the rollout to match the national need in Guatemala.
“It is crucial that we ensure everyone, everywhere has access to high-quality testing for Covid-19,” said Beery. “The responsibility rests on all of us, not just our governments, to find the appropriate options for testing. Without testing, we cannot know whom to treat.”
CoVelocty is headquartered in Israel with partners in UK and US, said Beery.
“We’re helping other organizations and countries as well, but we cannot identify them yet,” he says. “We are devoted to helping ensure every community has the right tests to meet the demand and overcome challenges in the supply of reliable tests.”
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