What the return to the office may entail and leveraging startup ingenuity

Date: May 12, 2020
Source Articles: Louisville Future

Today’s Issues

  • New kiosk for fever detection
  • Relief for cancer patients
  • Norton gets $125K boost for COVID-19 relief efforts
  • A new starting point for local startups
  • Louisville’s first virtual hack-a-thon
  • Know your city!


A fever detection kiosk to help companies return to work

Louisville stepped up at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it’s stepping up for reopening plans.

Creative Realities Inc, a publicly traded company headquartered in Louisville, has been awarded the exclusive distribution, deployment and support rights to develop an AI-powered fever-detection device to help companies get back to work. The product, called a “Thermal Mirror,” is a device that takes a worker’s or visitor’s temperature at a near distance, with no human contact.

The product uses thermal technology to capture infrared radiation and creates an image based on temperature differences. The device scans and reports the temperature instantly, with an accuracy of plus-or-minus .9 degrees Fahrenheit.

As enterprises get back to work, ways to keep workers and customers safe are a top priority. The thermal mirror enables companies to quickly and efficiently take temperatures and let employees or customers know if they have a fever. Anyone with a fever can then self-isolate until they are sure they are not contagious. A facial recognition option allows companies to identify their employees by photo or identification number, to establish escalation or special secondary screenings for anyone entering daily. The Cloud-based features allow Companies capture and store results should that comply with their Safe Space and other Privacy Policies.

What makes the Thermal Mirror different from other products that are popping up is the Artificial Intelligence and impressive analytics capabilities behind it. It also has the ability to integrate data with other cloud-based systems. When networked, it becomes an enterprise level solution that we believe elevates its position in the marketplace.

The AI-enabled software platform integrated into the Thermal Mirror is powered by Cincinnati-based tech company InReality and adds important functionality like response customization, analytics, networking and synchronizing of the Thermal Mirror devices in aggregate, including anomaly alerts and compliance logs for legal audit trails become available.

Ron Levac, InReality Chief Executive Officer, said “I believe combining the ability of InReality to capture and report data through a cloud-based solution, including integrations with HRIS, security, and other third-party platforms, with digital signage expertise of Creative Realities –and capabilities of content and user experience design, deployment and rock-solid field management and support – as part of their fully turnkey solution offering.”

Rick Mills, Chief Executive Officer, remarked, “Due to COVID-19, every single vertical we serve is facing the challenge of how to mitigate fears of safely visiting and returning to work, irrespective of industry. Our core business is built around technologies that inspire better customer experiences, and this is the most critical barrier brands and businesses are facing today.”


US WorldMeds releases therapy to relieve oral pain

Oral mucositis (OM) is a common side effect of radiation and chemotherapy cancer treatments. The mucosal membranes of the mouth and throat become inflamed and ulcerated and can cause severe pain, dehydration, and an increased risk of infection.

Now Louisville’s US WorldMeds has announced the release of its GELX ORAL GEL to help manage and relieve pain associated with OM. The product is a “Zinc-Taurine bioactive barrier therapy,” that coats exposed nerve endings and oral lesions.

Henry van den Berg, MD, senior vice president of US WorldMeds, said the gel offers key benefits “because it’s very important to avoid delays or hinderances to an already aggressive cancer treatment schedule. By protecting against the pain and inflammation of OM, GELX can help patients maintain their physician-recommended treatment plan.”

Norton Healthcare Foundation receives $125K for COVID-19 relief efforts

The PNC Foundation has given the Norton Healthcare Foundation a $125,000 grant from to help support COVID-19 relief efforts. The money will be used to support the Norton Healthcare Convalescent Plasma Program, expand COVID-19 testing, and provide meals for caregivers.

Chuck Denny, PNC regional president for Louisville, praised Norton Healthcare’s efforts to combat the coronavirus threat. “The challenges faced by health care professionals are something no one could have predicted. The team at Norton Healthcare has been working tirelessly to bring treatment options to patients severely impacted by COVID-19, and we are determined to help in the best way possible.”

The grant is part of $440,000 that the PNC Foundation has earmarked for COVID-19 relief efforts in Greater Louisville.


Five programs to help local entrepreneurs

Local entrepreneurs who want to learn about how to connect with Louisville’s competitive business accelerator, funding, mentorship, and support programs now have a single starting point.

Here are five community programs that are serving entrepreneurs in a collaborative effort.

Render Capital’s Competition — This is a capital-forward program investing $100,000 each into eight early stage, innovative, and scalable startups, while also providing pro bono services and impactful connections.

Community Foundation of Louisville’s Vogt Awards — This year, up to six startups will be selected to participate in a comprehensive 10-week accelerator program and receive $25,000 each in non-dilutive funding. Founders retain full ownership of their business and leverage startup education, mentorship, and an infusion of capital to accelerate their company’s growth.

Endeavor’s Scale Up — This leading regional program helps early stage, high-growth entrepreneurs identify business needs and goals, scale to the next level, and benefit from direct mentorship from people who have been there before.

XLerateHealth — Since its inception, XLH has supported 74 companies, of which 85% are still operational. XLH’s portfolio includes life science companies and digital health and healthcare services. XLH selects six to eight companies each year to participate in its 12-week bootcamp. The organization is currently accepting applications for its 2020 bootcamp cohort through May 31, 2020. You can apply here.

University of Louisville’s LaunchIt — This program provides one-on-one coaching in a 10-week course for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs that trains participants to validate that they are developing a product customers need and will pay for and de-risk launching their business or product. There are multiple competitive grant opportunities to cover tuition.

Louisville Hack-A-Thon will crowdsource entrepreneurism

The COVID-19 outbreak is presenting all kinds of problems to businesses, organizations, and schools. Now Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is challenging local tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and creative problem solvers to sign up to help others. The project, dubbed “Louisville’s first virtual hackathon,” will connect struggling organizations with people who may be able to help.

Any local organization who is experiencing a problem caused by COVID-19 and social isolation may submit a description on the Hack-A-Thon website. For example, a healthcare organization might be struggling to get the masks they need or a school might be struggling to teach ESL remotely. Meanwhile, the city is enlisting experts who want to help at its Lift Up Lou website. The city will then match organizations with those who can help out.

Mayor Fischer was an entrepreneur himself before he got into politics (he co-invented an automated ice and beverage dispenser that is used in convenience stores and restaurants around the globe). He stressed the importance of entrepreneurship in this time of crisis.

“As a former entrepreneur, I know how lucky we are as a city to have some of the most innovative minds in the world who continually rise to the occasion of creative and innovative problem solving,” he said. “Now more than ever, we need to rise to the challenge to show this virus that we are prepared to fight back. How can we help our small businesses, our places of worship or our kids? These are just some of the challenges we need to tackle.” The effort is sponsored by Microsoft’s Future of Work Initiative and Humana.


We publish Scrapbook because we believe the best way to envision our future is to have a good understanding of where we’ve been. We hope you enjoy our fascinating “look back!”

Towering above it all

1st photo courtesy UofL Archives, R. G. Potter Collection, number ULPA_00851; second image Louisville Then and Now

Located on River Road at Zorn Avenue, the Louisville Water Tower is the oldest ornamental water tower in the world. A little history: After the arrival of the second cholera pandemic in the United States in 1832, Louisville in the 1830s and 40s gained the ever-so-flattering nickname “graveyard of the west” due to the polluted local water giving Louisville residents cholera and typhoid at epidemic levels.

The Water Tower began operations on October 16, 1860 and it was effective. In 24 hours the station could produce 12 million US gallons of water. During the next cholera epidemic, Louisville was virtually spared.

The first photo below show the tower after being blown down by a tornado in 1890. The second image shows the tower today after being refurbished.


Have you checked your “Louis-Q” recently?

  1. Every year, Louisville features a unique festival that includes a walk that’s only price of admission that you dress as a member of, shall we say, the “living-impaired.” What’s the name of this walk?
  2. Did you know that long before Churchill Downs came to be, Louisville conducted horse races in a different way. Where did the first reported races happen?
  3. A groundbreaking, 15-hour operation was performed at Louisville Jewish Hospital in 1999. What kind of surgery was it? (hint: The surgeon was with Kleinert Kutz.)

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