Sci & Tech

Tech Ecosystem Key Player in Iran’s Response to Covid-19

Local knowledge-based companies are playing an active role in the production of clinical equipment, Covid-19 test kits, facemasks, medicines and sanitizers
Tech Ecosystem Key Player in Iran’s Response to Covid-19
Tech Ecosystem Key Player in Iran’s Response to Covid-19

The growing technology ecosystem in Iran is increasingly involved in developing personal protective equipment essential in the fight against the coronavirus disease, Covid-19.
“Local knowledge-based companies are playing an active role in the production of clinical equipment, Covid-19 test kits, facemasks, medicines and sanitizers,” Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari told Mehr News Agency.
The vice presidential office has been an avid supporter of tech teams developing medicines to reduce the wide range of side-effects of the disease, he added.
Sattari noted that along with the Health Ministry, the vice presidential office eagerly supports knowledge-based companies working on potential vaccines for the lethal disease.
“Currently, eight firms are active in formulating Covid-19 vaccines, two of which have finished laboratory studies and await the Health Ministry’s permits for human trials,” he said.
Hossein Vatanpour, the ministry’s head of Health Technology Office, told reporters that these potential vaccines will undergo further evaluations before the trials.




A Qazvin-based tech company has managed to develop an electro-optical air purifier under the commercial name “ViruNot”.
By releasing electromagnetic beams, the device is able to terminate a wide range of viruses and harmful microorganisms in the air. It can be used for the sanitization of items, such as mobile phones, glass tops, wristwatches, jewelries and keys.
ViruNot can be used in drugstores, offices, banks, shops, beauty salons, restaurants and homes.  
Domestic tech firms have also managed to produce two types of coronavirus test kits, one for blood and the other for saliva.
Surgical and N95 facemasks are being produced in the country and 40 new production lines will soon be added to the current capacity.
In addition, local companies are producing tons of hand and surface sanitizers of different kinds, making the country self-sufficient in supplying these products.
Stepping beyond the aforementioned consumer goods, Iranian tech teams have also met the health sector’s demand for high-tech medical devices. 
According to Sattari, hospitals are not facing any shortage of health devices and equipment, including CT scan machines, ventilators, intensive care unit and surgery room equipment, oxygen concentrators, blood oxygen meters and BiPAP machines. 
Ozone generators, which purify the air via O3 molecules, ventilators, nanotechnology face shields, medical and surgery gowns, silicone gloves and hospital oxygen canisters are among the products successfully localized by the tech ecosystem. 
Knowledge-based firms and startups are also working on supplying telemedicine, smart health platforms and remote care tools to help people cope with their health conditions.
Synapse, a tech firm at Samsung AUT Tech (a substitute of Amir Kabir University of Technology) specialized in equipping hospitals with smart technologies, is working on a system that converts the documented information of patients and converts them into digital data.
The database is connected to Synapse’s smartphone application called “InLab” that can be used by physicians and other medical staff. 
The app gives doctors remote access and helps them review patients’ test results and write prescriptions. 



State Support

The coronavirus pandemic has created a storm in healthcare systems around the world, including Iran. 
The negative effects of the pandemic have disturbed the business activities of a large number of fledgling startups and knowledge-based companies. As a result, Iranian authorities are increasing support for these entities.
The state-backed Iran National Innovation Fund announced that since the Covid-19 outbreak in Iran in mid-February, it has offered financial assistance to 397 virus-hit companies to revive their businesses and start over.
In mid-March, INIF started paying 50 trillion rials ($192.3 million) in loans to knowledge-based companies and tech firms to boost their operations.
Small innovative enterprises, tech firms at science and technology parks and startup growth centers received loans worth 5 billion rials ($19,230) with low-interest rates.
INIF offered 2.5 trillion rials ($9.6 million) to owners of innovative ideas.
“The move was aimed at increasing the production of health-protective items needed during the pandemic, including facemasks, hand sanitizers, alcohol-based disinfectants and medical air disinfectant machines, along with antibacterial fabrics and covers for hospital use,” Ali Vahdat, the head of INIF, said.
Referring to the spread of novel coronavirus in the country, Vahdat said the pandemic cannot be controlled without utilizing the potentials of the domestic tech ecosystem.
“The country’s knowledge-based economy, which has currently grown significantly, is being helped by young entrepreneurs and tech teams to withstand the negative effects of the disease,” he added.
The coronavirus has so far infected 58,494,801 people around the world, claiming the lives of 1,386,570. The number of recovered cases has reached 40,467,952, according to a Reuters report on Sunday. 
The virus has taken the lives of 44,327 people out of a total of 841,308 infected people in Iran. 
According to Iran’s Health Ministry, 596,136 patients have so far recovered from the disease.

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