Hamburg's e-health start-ups battling coronavirus

Darvis, Uventions and A+Videoclinic come up with pioneering healthcare tools
03 November 2020
Insider tip_Innovation FuseAI

Hamburg News looks at healthcare start-ups in Hamburg that are battling the COVID-19 pandemic amid countless challenges to the economy and society as a whole. 

Using AI for quick hygiene checks

Darvis, based in the Health Innovation Port (HIP), focuses on creating a safe working environment in hospitals. Founded in 2015 by Jan-Philipp Mohr, Ingo Nadler and Jan Schlüter, the trio are driving the development of software called Data Analytics Real-World Visual Intelligence System (DARVIS). The technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor and analyse behaviour patterns to ensure hygiene standards.


Quick hygiene check with DARVIS
© obs/Asklepios Kliniken GmbH & Co. KGaA/DARVIS
Quick hygiene check with DARVIS

The Asklepios Klinik Nord in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region was the first hospital to put the system into operation in July 2020 and made it available to staff on a voluntary basis. Using optical sensors and AI, the correct wearing of protective clothing by staff is checked in a kind of virtual airlock. DARVIS also detects whether staff have disinfected their hands. 

The captured objects and images are digitally anonymised and software converts them into 3D schematics. Then, red or green shiny indications appear on monitors for correct positioning. The software simplifies and speeds up the inspection otherwise done in front of a mirror or by colleagues. Such a quick hygiene check is also suitable for isolation zones, intensive care units, COVID-19 wards and special wards as well as for monitoring cleaning and hygiene protocols in operating theatres.

Ultraviolet light for tackling viruses

Founded in 2019 by Daniel Ehlers and Axel Großklaus, Uventions GmbH has come up with an intelligent hygiene solution for busy public spaces. The team uses ultraviolet radiation (UVC) instead of periodic wipe disinfection. Light with low-threshold wavelengths destroys the DNA of bacteria, fungi and viruses. The autonomous hygiene system uses sensors to automatically disinfect a room or surface after contact. The immediate killing of pathogens disrupts infection chains and prevents the occurrence of high bacterial contamination, e.g. in airports, public transport or hospitals, the founders said.

Telemedicine in prisons - pilot project 

The focus has turned increasingly to telemedicine the wake of the corona pandemic. The A+Videoclinic start-up, founded by Andreas Kusch and Peter Merschitz, secured a contract for the pilot project "Telemedicine in Prisons" in May, which was tendered across Europe. Prisons in the states of Baden-Württemberg, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia are taking part in the project. Should the 18-month test phase prove successful, telemedicine will be used there comprehensively in future.

The A+Videoclinic company has developed a video and patient system to ease the work of caregivers and prison staff. Live broadcasts allow prisoners to access medical care at any time, even outside office hours and without leaving prison. This should help prevent the emergence of new chains of COVID-19 infections. Apart from public institutions such as the police and prisons, the start-up is also targeting other companies and their employees.