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March 15, 2021

The 10 most innovative companies in health care, according to Fast Company

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Fast Company on Tuesday released its 2021 edition of the "World's Most Innovative Companies" list, which recognizes more than 400 enterprises, including numerous companies that focus primarily on health care or do health care-related work.

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The list recognizes organizations across 46 sectors, including health care and biotech. For each sector, the publication included a list of the 10 most innovative companies.

In addition, Fast Company recognized the top 50 most innovative companies overall. To determine the top 50 most innovative companies, Fast Company's editors and writers "mined [their] lists of the top 10 companies by industry for organizations that embody creative problem-solving and fearlessness in the face of crisis."


Fast Company's overall top 50 list features six companies that fall into the publication's categories of "health" or "biotech":

  • Moderna (No. 1) for developing, manufacturing, and delivering doses of an FDA-authorized Covid-19 vaccine that can be stored in a regular freezer;
  • Pfizer/BioNTech (No. 2) for developing, manufacturing, and delivering doses of the first FDA-authorized Covid-19 vaccine, which became the first mRNA vaccine authorized for any disease;
  • Ping An Good Doctor (No. 11) for making big investments in telehealth, including launching an online portal for Covid-19-related consultations;
  • Biobot Analytics (No. 16) for combining genomic and chemical assays with data analytics to detect the novel coronavirus in sewage and predict future Covid-19 surges;
  • Seegene (No. 20) for developing a Covid-19 diagnostic test and delivering more than 55 million test kits to 67 countries; and
  • Teladoc Health (No. 40) for expanding its offerings through a merger with Livongo to provide remote care to patients with diabetes and hypertension.

In the "health" sector, the 10 most innovative companies, according to Fast Company, are:

  1. Ping An Good Doctor;
  2. Teladoc Health;
  3. GoodRx for launching a telehealth marketplace and evaluating more than 100 telehealth providers;
  4. TytoCare for developing an at-home device to allow providers to monitor a patient's abdomen, ears, heart, heart rate, lungs, throat, and temperature remotely;
  5. Level Ex for offering providers a refresher on airway management, intubation, and diagnosis during the pandemic;
  6. Boulder Care for creating a telehealth platform to remotely treat patients with an opioid misuse disorder;
  7. The Confess Project for using barbershops to connect Black men and boys with mental health care resources and programs;
  8. Signify Health for launching an index to assess at-risk seniors and conducting preventative checkups in collaboration with Independence Blue Cross;
  9. Labcorp for distributing and processing millions of Covid-19 tests; and
  10. Honeybee Health for launching a direct-to-consumer pharmacy aimed at providing underinsured and uninsured people with access to low-cost drugs.

In the biotech sector, the 10 most innovative companies, according to Fast Company, are:

  1. Pfizer/BioNTech;
  2. Moderna;
  3. Biobot Analytics;
  4. Oxford University-AstraZeneca for using a different approach, involving DNA from a modified chimpanzee cold virus, to develop a Covid-19 vaccine;
  5. Zymergen for using engineered microbes to make electronics manufacturing more sustainable;
  6. Twist Bioscience for creating a synthetic "control" version of the novel coronavirus to safely develop and validate antibodies and Covid-19 diagnostic tests;
  7. GlaxoSmithKline for using genetics to build a drug pipeline for cancer and other diseases;
  8. Sherlock Biosciences for developing the first FDA-authorized, CRISPR-based coronavirus test kit;
  9. Atomwise for using artificial intelligence to discover structure-based small-molecule treatments; and
  10. 10x Genomics for creating hardware and software to conduct single-cell analytics.

In addition, Fast Company's lists recognized several organizations in other sectors that have significant health care interests, including:

  • AppliedVR for teaming up with psychologists, doctors, researchers, and patients to design virtual reality software to help patients deal with anxiety and pain in clinical settings;
  • Ambev for finding innovative ways to manufacture hand sanitizer and face shields during the pandemic;
  • Blue Ocean Robotics for developing autonomous disinfection robots to clean hospitals amid the pandemic;
  • Calm for developing an app to help people find tranquility in all aspects of their life;
  • Cainiao for partnering with Ethiopian Airlines to speed up the first Covid-19 vaccine shipments with the first cold chain air freight service;
  • Carbon for designing an improved and clinically tested nasal swab for Covid-19 testing;
  • Carewell for creating a marketplace of home health products and education;
  • Corindus for developing a robotic system designed to accurately deliver medical devices during coronary and vascular procedures;
  • Emme for reminding women to take their contraception;
  • Everlywell for quickly tackling Covid-19 testing and developing an at-home test;
  • Google for pulling content from Amazon, Disney Plus, and other streaming services into its Chromecast with Google TV;
  • Kantaro Biosciences for creating one of the first Covid-19 antibody testing kits used by researchers;
  • Microsoft for setting bold long-term carbon-neutrality goals;
  • Mindbody for giving health centers, fitness studios, and spas a platform to livestream classes and upload on-demand videos;
  • Oura for monitoring people's body temperatures and helping researchers predict Covid-19 outbreaks;
  • Peloton for motivating people to stay active;
  • P&G for augmenting its electric toothbrush with a smart sensor help people brush their teeth more effectively, resulting in healthier gums;
  • SiO2 Materials Science for applying plasma technology to create a microscopic layer of medical-grade glass inside plastic vials to deliver Covid-19 vaccines;
  • Surgical theater for developing virtual reality software to simulate complex surgeries;
  • Tempest for offering a virtual program to treat alcohol misuse;
  • Theator for analyzing more than 30,000 hours of surgical videos to provide surgeons and residents with feedback on their own procedures;
  • Virti for using augmented reality and virtual reality scenarios to train frontline health care workers on how to respond to deadly threats such as Covid-19; and
  • Walmart for building an AI-based feature called "Customer Choice" that relies on historical and real-time shopping data to predict when items may be out of stock.

(Fast Company, "The World's Most Innovative Companies," accessed 3/10)

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