Novel COVID-19 (COrona VIrus Disease 2019) is an emergent infectious disease with a still-unknown origin. It is a RNA virus that shares 96% of its genome with a bat-species coronavirus. Because it is an airborne RNA virus, it can achieve rapid transmission and cannot be killed with antibiotics; therefore, there is a large amount of data-mining and clinical research being undertaken in order to prevent it from becoming a deadly pandemic.
There is a lot of analysis out there about different layers of the virus from a top-down, healthcare perspective. Most of the analysis here will be presented from a bottom-up, innovation perspective across 3 layers:
Current methodology of diagnosing COVID-19 mainly centres on PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) using a DNA swab. This method is error-prone and has produced many false negatives (20-30%). New, expanded procedures include POCUS (Point-of-Care Ultrasound) and Antibody (serology IgG/IgA) testing.
Much has been learned about the pathophysiology of COVID19 and the need to treat patients early. There are already many case studies from Asia and Italy about the need to test, isolate, and Rx antivirals before SARS-CoV-2 reaches the lungs, at which point patients sx become ‘severe’ and they require hospitalization.
It’s likely that there is no vaccine on the horizon short-term for COVID-19; luckily there are already many new emergent therapeutics including: antivirals (remdesivir, favipiravir, etc), anti-inflammatories (hydroxychlorquine, colchicine, etc. ), and many others. But given the scale of the pandemic, much more innovation will need to come to both develop and supply the necessary treatments.