Smart Cities Dive Recognizes Biobot Analytics for “Leadership in a Time of Unprecedented Crisis”
Cambridge, Mass. — December 9, 2020 — Smart Cities Dive has named Biobot Analytics as Technology of the Year by Smart Cities Dive for “leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis.” Boston-area-based Biobot Analytics is a global leader in wastewater epidemiology and the first company in the world to bring this novel technology to market.
“The Dive Awards for 2020 highlight the stories of the organizations and leaders who met the moment by showing empathy for the human condition, agility amid uncertainty and disruption, and resilience in the face of adversity,” said Industry Dive Editor-in-Chief Davide Savenije.
“This award recognizes how wastewater epidemiology is a natural part of the smart cities movement,” said Biobot Co-Founder and President Newsha Ghaeli. “Our mission is to transform wastewater infrastructure into public health observatories. When the pandemic began, we quickly pivoted from tracing opioids in wastewater to measuring coronavirus.”
Since it first successfully quantified 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 the novel coronavirus concentrations and help public officials make smart decisions for their communities.
In a first for the nation, the City of Cambridge has been using wastewater epidemiology to help determine the safety of reopening its schools, with the help of wastewater data provided by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and analyzed by Biobot Analytics.
Wastewater provides an early warning for cases that will be diagnosed and reported in a community several days later.
That’s because individuals shed SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in their stool, regardless of whether they have symptoms. Moreover, infected individuals shed 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 help make decisions for their communities and protect against new waves of COVID-19 infections.
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.