Edge computing is making it possible to bring much-needed connectivity to sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia and South America. The benefits of edge computing are evident now in sub-Saharan African countries. Agrix Tech, a Cameroon-based startup, deploys machine learning algorithms directly on farmers’ smartphones to let them identify diseases on their crops using their phone’s camera.
Farmers get this information immediately in the field. When the phone is near an internet connection, anonymized data goes to the cloud to train the centralized system. In combination with other emerging technologies like low-orbit satellites, which reduce cloud latency, edge computing applications will significantly impact many lives in these regions.
AlefEdge is the leader in the edge internet. It delivers the power of the 5G-based edge internet to application developers through its easy-to-use technologies.
One of its newest offerings is a MEC (mobile edge computing) infrastructure solution offered as a service to telecom operators, allowing them to implement cloud computing environments within the infrastructure of mobile networks without needing to modify the existing system. This provides multi-cloud environments in a convergent and agnostic way so operators can offer a better experience for their users, launch products such as video analytics, gaming, augmented reality, CDN (content delivery networks), among others, and ultimately bring new revenues while optimizing network capacity and costs.
UK-based OakNorth Bank is focused on small and medium-sized businesses. In partnership with PNC Bank, OakNorth introduced a COVID-19 vulnerability rating which rates loans from 1-5 based on their exposure to the new economic environment. The rating was designed to look at what the pandemic’s impact could be on a business if the lockdown lasted for six-weeks, three-months, six-months, and longer.
The ratings are based on multiple factors, including liquidity, debt capacity, funding gap, and profitability. It then integrates over 130 proprietary COVID-19 stress scenarios with regional overlays, incorporating assumptions for impacts on critical financial metrics such as revenue, operating costs, working capital, and CAPEX.
OakNorth is also working with its lending partners to help them identify businesses in their portfolio that should be prioritized for government-backed funding.
Associated Bank is providing personalized assistance to customers who have been financially impacted by the coronavirus. This assistance includes suspending fees on a range of loan and deposit products for up to 90 days as well as implementing payment deferrals for up to 90 days on consumer, mortgage, and small business loans. Beyond this, the bank also provides temporary payment relief assistance, fee waivers for consumer and small business credit cards, and suspending foreclosure activity on homes and new repossession activities for 60 days. This example of putting customer need first, presents an important step for banks to regain customer trust in the battle with start-up banks.
Boston-based Buoy provides access to clear and accurate health information. The app allows people to talk with an AI-driven personal health assistant who provides them with information on possible causes for symptoms and guides them to the right care options. The app also reviews health insurance eligibility to point people towards the most financially viable solutions.
Buoy also launched a vaccine monitoring platform for employers, to simplify the process for companies transitioning back to the workplace. It gives organizations an overview of their employees’ interest and progress in getting vaccinated while educating employees about their options and helping them navigate the vaccine rollout.
Project Breathe aims to give people suffering from Cystic Fibrosis (CF), a genetic disease that damages the lung and digestive organs, more control over their health. As a group that is particularly vulnerable to respiratory diseases, it became necessary for CF patients to isolate during the pandemic, leading to the urgent need for at-home health data collection. Participating patients can use equipment to measure their lung function and oxygen saturation, and automatically log data in the accompanying app for analysis. The data, which would usually be collected in-person at a clinic twice a week, allows for early detection of declines in the patient’s health and impact assessment of treatments. Stored in the cloud, all information can easily be accessed by clinicians.
In the post-COVID-19 era, which technologies and trends are going to be most critical to your business?