LOS ANGELES: The winners of Fast Company's 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to flattening the curve when it comes to the climate crisis, social injustice, or economic inequality.
Scanwell Health, a developer of smartphone-enabled, at-home diagnostics, has been selected as the winner in the category of Health and Wellness. As a company, Scanwell's focus is on adapting affordable, proven diagnostics to be used with their smartphone app. The company's first test, which came to market in 2019, is the first FDA-cleared, at-home urinary tract infection (UTI) test with same-day treatment service. Using the Scanwell test a user can test, get results and receive treatment, all from a smartphone.
In response to the ongoing pandemic, Scanwell is now also developing an at-home test for coronavirus. Users will be able to perform the test from the safety of their homes, then securely share results with a doctor or nurse practitioner via the Scanwell app. This process takes 15 minutes, and the patient can expect to hear back from the doctor or nurse practitioner within hours. The company is working with the FDA to obtain emergency use authorization for the test and hopes to begin distribution in May 2020.
Telehealth and at-home testing are more important than ever, and as a modern diagnostics company we want to do our part to make testing more widespread and accessible, said Stephen Chen, Scanwell's founder and CEO. We're honored that our work has been recognized by Fast Company and excited to be receiving the World Changing Idea Award.
Now in its fourth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 26 winners, more than 200 finalists, and more than 500 honorable mentions—with Health and Wellness, Corporate Social Responsibility, and AI and Data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent judges selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 3,000 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, and more. The 2020 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Vancouver to Singapore to Tel Aviv.
Illustrating how some of the world's most inventive entrepreneurs and companies are addressing grave global challenges, Fast Company's May/June issue celebrates, among others, an electric engine for airplanes that eliminates emissions from flights—and expensive fuel from the tricky financial calculus of the airline industry; a solar-powered refrigerator that finally frees people in remote villages from daily treks to distant markets, transforming the economics of those households; an online marketplace that connects food companies with farms to buy ugly and surplus produce to fight waste; and an initiative to offset all of the carbon costs of shipping, creating a new model for e-commerce sustainability.
There seems no better time to recognize organizations that are using their ingenuity, resources, and, in some cases, their scale to tackle society's biggest problems, says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. Our journalists, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, have uncovered some of the smartest and most inspiring projects of the year.
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