Digital Health

How Three Countries Are Innovating Through a Crisis

Overview The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked technology innovation. Three countries have harnessed the spirit of innovation to lead them through the global health crisis.

In 2020, telehealth, novel education tech, revolutionary delivery systems and more have kept the world moving through challenging times. From around the world, creative entrepreneurs and leaders showed how tech solutions and innovative ideas make cities and countries resilient and nimble.

Some are also turning to partnerships. For example, Italian, French and Dutch startups collaborated with a sportswear retailer to convert snorkel masks into ventilator masks.
Here are three countries showing the power of innovation during these past few months:


The Netherlands started community COVID-19 testing by analyzing wastewater. Identifying RNA traces of the coronavirus in sewage systems served as an early warning system and allowed regionalized social distancing measures to contain local outbreaks.

Because one treatment plant can capture wastewater from more than one million people, the process can provide an estimate for how widespread the coronavirus is.
Police in the Netherlands have also turned to surveillance drones and aggregated, anonymous cell phone data to identify group gatherings and better promote social distancing measures.


Ranked second among the top countries leading the way against COVID-19, according to one global innovation map, Israel has been a launchpad for numerous initiatives and solutions during the pandemic.

The solutions cover categories from treatment and diagnostics to lifestyle changes, and include:

  • Temi: The CES® exhibitor has been deployed in hospitals worldwide to enable COVID-19 patients to consult with their doctors from a distance
  • Track Virus: An app that notifies users if they have crossed paths with a person confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19
  • IasraAID: Stress management and mental health webinars for first responders, expanding services to China and South Korea



Even before the coronavirus outbreak, Toronto was becoming a culinary capital. As the coronavirus hit, many of the city’s restaurants shuttered temporarily. In May, Mayor Jon Tory announced that the city would partner with a startup to help restaurants and food services accept digital orders and transition to contactless delivery, reviving the growing food scene in Canada’s largest city.

Partnering with mental health platforms, pitching COVID-19 solutions to NASA, launching portable test kits and more, Canada and its innovators have also answered the call to action to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.

Learn about how Germany, the EU and the United States have also turned to innovation and new partnerships during the pandemic at sessions during the full-day, digital-only CES® Unveiled Conference, October 15. Learn more and register today.

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