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Biobot Analytics again hailed for leadership in applying wastewater analytics to COVID-19

January 5, 2021

Government Technology Magazine Names Biobot as Top 100 Company in Government Technology

Cambridge, Mass. — January 5, 2021 — In another recognition of Biobot Analytics’ leadership using wastewater epidemiology in the fight against COVID, Government Technology magazine has named Biobot Analytics as a GovTech 100 company for 2021.

Biobot Analytics, based in Cambridge, Mass., is the first company in the world to bring this novel technology to market, and will be expanding its use as the population becomes vaccinated. Wastewater epidemiology will help determine when the risk is low enough to resume normal life and identify areas with low participation in vaccination efforts.

Each year, Government Technology releases a list of “100 companies focused on, making a difference in, and selling to state and local government agencies across the United States.”

“[The GovTech 100] is an editorial-driven list that is shaped by a variety of key market experts, government employees, investors, and our editorial team,” said Dustin Haisler, Chief Innovation Officer of e.Republic, the publisher of Government Technology magazine.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has vividly demonstrated the value of wastewater as a powerful public health tool for state and local governments to help stop the spread,” said Biobot Co-Founder and President Newsha Ghaeli. “Biobot’s goal is to provide valuable public health information to governments to improve and protect the health of their constituents. With vaccination efforts beginning, wastewater epidemiology will be critical to getting us back to normal.”

Since first quantifying SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater in March 2020, Cambridge-based Biobot Analytics has worked with over 400 communities and 43 states across the United States and Canada to map novel coronavirus concentrations, helping public officials make smarter decisions to help open their communities safely.

In a first for the United States, the City of Cambridge has been using wastewater epidemiology as a factor in making decisions about safely reopening its schools, with the help of wastewater data provided by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and analyzed by Biobot Analytics.

Wastewater epidemiology provides early warning to state and local decision-makers about COVID outbreaks prior to cases showing up in individual testing. That’s because people shed the virus that causes COVID-19 in their stool, regardless of whether they have symptoms. Moreover, infected individuals shed the virus most frequently immediately after contracting COVID-19—and start shedding an average of seven days before exhibiting symptoms.

Wastewater epidemiology is growing as a tool for policymakers to improve public health beyond COVID. Prior to the pandemic, Biobot was focused on tracing opioids in wastewater to help identify hotspots and direct public health resources to those communities.

For more on how wastewater testing works, read Biobot’s blog post, Mining wastewater data to refine COVID-19 case estimation, and visit Biobot’s website.