How can tech help with COVID-19 control and our return to normalcy?

covid tech

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems, and the work environment.

Economic and social disruptions caused by the pandemic have been devastating- with tens of millions at risk of falling into extreme poverty.

The number of undernourished people could increase by up to 132 million by the end of the year from an estimated 690 million.

Asked to consider what life will be like in 2025 in the wake of the outbreak and other crises in 2020, a group of 915 innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists responded similarly in a research conducted by the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagine the Internet Center.

These individuals are made up of those in technology, communications, and social change.

Their broad and nearly universal view is that people’s relationship with technology will deepen as more significant segments of the population come to better rely on digital connections for work, education, health care, daily commercial transactions, and essential social interactions. Several of them described this as a “tele-everything” world.

The question is how tech will help with controlling COVID-19 and with the world returning to normal or rather the “new normal”?

Also Read: COVID-19, the environment, and the tech ecosystem: what opportunity is available out there for us?

The pandemic accelerated 10 key technology trends, including digital payments, telehealth, and robotics. These advancements could help reduce the spread of the coronavirus and help businesses stay open.

Below, we list trends that can help build a resilient society in handling future pandemics and their effects on our lives, whether work, trade, learning, or entertaining ourselves.

Working remotely

As more companies have employees working from home, technology has been integrated for a seamless experience.

Remote work is enabled by virtual private networks (VPNs), voice over internet protocols (VoIP), virtual meetings, cloud technology, work collaboration tools, and even facial recognition technologies that enable a person to appear before a virtual background to preserve the privacy of the home.

In addition to preventing the spread of viruses, remote work also saves commuting time and provides greater flexibility.

Distance learning

As of mid-April 2020, 191 countries announced or implemented school or university closures, impacting 1.57 billion students worldwide. Many educational institutions started offering courses online to ensure education was not disrupted by quarantine and lockdown measures.

The technology involved in distant learning is similar to that used for remote work, including virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, and artificial-intelligence-enabled robot teachers. Note that even before COVID-19, there was already high growth and adoption in education technology.

Global edutech investments were US$18.66 billion in 2019, while the overall market for online education is projected to reach US$350 billion by 2025.

Also Read: How cloud kitchen startup COOKHOUSE, started amidst COVID-19, managed to win 35 F&B clients in Malaysia within a year

Since the pandemic started, there has been a significant surge in usage for language apps, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools, and online learning software.

More than a hundred education technology and service companies worldwide have attracted venture capital, raising upwards of US$1.9 billion in funding rounds as of April 23, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

The US accounted for the bulk of global venture capital poured into the edutech market, accounting for US$875.7 million, followed by the Asia Pacific region at US$528.3 million. Meanwhile, Europe and Emerging Markets respectively pulled in US$342.3 million and US$178.9 million each.

5G and Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

At the heart of the technology mentioned above trends is; a stable, high-speed, and affordable internet. The adoption of 5G will increase the cost of compatible devices and the cost of data plans.

Addressing these issues to ensure inclusive access to the internet will continue to be a challenge as the 5G network expands globally.

An example of the application of 5G technology is its use in the remote control of heavy machinery due to its low latency.

In Wuhan, during the COVID-19 crisis, 5G-enabled robots checked patient temperatures, delivered drugs, guided routes, and cleaned and disinfected rooms.

The robots were designed to help treat patients and reduce the risk of human exposure to coronavirus by minimising person-to-person contact.

Also Read: Vietnam’s supply chain amid worst COVID-19 outbreak: How tech startups are getting along

The supply chain

The COVID-19 pandemic created disruptions to the global supply chain. Factories were shut down because of distancing and quarantine orders. Heavy reliance on paper-based records and a lack of visibility on data highlighted how existing supply chains were vulnerable to any adverse shocks.

Core technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – such as Big Data, cloud computing, Internet-of-Things (“IoT”) and blockchain – are the basis for a more resilient supply chain management system for the future by enhancing data accuracy encouraging data sharing.

Telehealth/ Healthtech

Here are four health-tech trends that are expected to boom post-COVID-19:

(i) Predictive analysis in healthcare

An example of this is the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers COVID-19 mortality risk calculator. The team developed it to estimate the potential of severe outcomes for individuals and to inform of vaccine rollouts.

(ii) IoMT

Connected Medical Devices that support proactive healthcare. Applications have ranged from connected wearables that report critical patient data to the deployment of “smart beds” in hospital settings to improve patient comfort.

(iii) New cybersecurity concerns increase cloud adoption in healthcare

In other words, simply deploying the scope and scale of cloud resources necessary to support tech-driven healthcare initiatives is not enough by itself. IT staff from healthtech companies must be prepared to address common challenges such as distributed denial of service attacks and ransomware, along with more targeted threat vectors such as COVID-19 vaccination scams.

(iv) Patient-focused emphasis

The future of telehealth will have to deliver the best of both worlds where the needle moves towards a more patient-focused healthcare delivery experience. This means combining low-tech solutions such as standard blood pressure cuffs with video tutorials, allowing patients to self-report vital data.

Also Read: Sleeping beast ready to awaken: The rush for regtech in a COVID-19 world

Such solutions will be essential for healthcare organisations serving distributed and disparate populations without access to unlimited smartphone data or high-speed broadband internet.

It will be safe to say that integrating technology into different businesses going beyond the five verticals stated above will be essential in controlling COVID and helping the world adapt to the “new normal”.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image credit: petrovichvadim

The post How can tech help with COVID-19 control and our return to normalcy? appeared first on e27.

,
covid tech

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide and presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems, and the work environment.

Economic and social disruptions caused by the pandemic have been devastating- with tens of millions at risk of falling into extreme poverty.

The number of undernourished people could increase by up to 132 million by the end of the year from an estimated 690 million.

Asked to consider what life will be like in 2025 in the wake of the outbreak and other crises in 2020, a group of 915 innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists responded similarly in a research conducted by the Pew Research Center and Elon University’s Imagine the Internet Center.

These individuals are made up of those in technology, communications, and social change.

Their broad and nearly universal view is that people’s relationship with technology will deepen as more significant segments of the population come to better rely on digital connections for work, education, health care, daily commercial transactions, and essential social interactions. Several of them described this as a “tele-everything” world.

The question is how tech will help with controlling COVID-19 and with the world returning to normal or rather the “new normal”?

Also Read: COVID-19, the environment, and the tech ecosystem: what opportunity is available out there for us?

The pandemic accelerated 10 key technology trends, including digital payments, telehealth, and robotics. These advancements could help reduce the spread of the coronavirus and help businesses stay open.

Below, we list trends that can help build a resilient society in handling future pandemics and their effects on our lives, whether work, trade, learning, or entertaining ourselves.

Working remotely

As more companies have employees working from home, technology has been integrated for a seamless experience.

Remote work is enabled by virtual private networks (VPNs), voice over internet protocols (VoIP), virtual meetings, cloud technology, work collaboration tools, and even facial recognition technologies that enable a person to appear before a virtual background to preserve the privacy of the home.

In addition to preventing the spread of viruses, remote work also saves commuting time and provides greater flexibility.

Distance learning

As of mid-April 2020, 191 countries announced or implemented school or university closures, impacting 1.57 billion students worldwide. Many educational institutions started offering courses online to ensure education was not disrupted by quarantine and lockdown measures.

The technology involved in distant learning is similar to that used for remote work, including virtual reality, augmented reality, 3D printing, and artificial-intelligence-enabled robot teachers. Note that even before COVID-19, there was already high growth and adoption in education technology.

Global edutech investments were US$18.66 billion in 2019, while the overall market for online education is projected to reach US$350 billion by 2025.

Also Read: How cloud kitchen startup COOKHOUSE, started amidst COVID-19, managed to win 35 F&B clients in Malaysia within a year

Since the pandemic started, there has been a significant surge in usage for language apps, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools, and online learning software.

More than a hundred education technology and service companies worldwide have attracted venture capital, raising upwards of US$1.9 billion in funding rounds as of April 23, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

The US accounted for the bulk of global venture capital poured into the edutech market, accounting for US$875.7 million, followed by the Asia Pacific region at US$528.3 million. Meanwhile, Europe and Emerging Markets respectively pulled in US$342.3 million and US$178.9 million each.

5G and Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

At the heart of the technology mentioned above trends is; a stable, high-speed, and affordable internet. The adoption of 5G will increase the cost of compatible devices and the cost of data plans.

Addressing these issues to ensure inclusive access to the internet will continue to be a challenge as the 5G network expands globally.

An example of the application of 5G technology is its use in the remote control of heavy machinery due to its low latency.

In Wuhan, during the COVID-19 crisis, 5G-enabled robots checked patient temperatures, delivered drugs, guided routes, and cleaned and disinfected rooms.

The robots were designed to help treat patients and reduce the risk of human exposure to coronavirus by minimising person-to-person contact.

Also Read: Vietnam’s supply chain amid worst COVID-19 outbreak: How tech startups are getting along

The supply chain

The COVID-19 pandemic created disruptions to the global supply chain. Factories were shut down because of distancing and quarantine orders. Heavy reliance on paper-based records and a lack of visibility on data highlighted how existing supply chains were vulnerable to any adverse shocks.

Core technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution – such as Big Data, cloud computing, Internet-of-Things (“IoT”) and blockchain – are the basis for a more resilient supply chain management system for the future by enhancing data accuracy encouraging data sharing.

Telehealth/ Healthtech

Here are four health-tech trends that are expected to boom post-COVID-19:

(i) Predictive analysis in healthcare

An example of this is the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers COVID-19 mortality risk calculator. The team developed it to estimate the potential of severe outcomes for individuals and to inform of vaccine rollouts.

(ii) IoMT

Connected Medical Devices that support proactive healthcare. Applications have ranged from connected wearables that report critical patient data to the deployment of “smart beds” in hospital settings to improve patient comfort.

(iii) New cybersecurity concerns increase cloud adoption in healthcare

In other words, simply deploying the scope and scale of cloud resources necessary to support tech-driven healthcare initiatives is not enough by itself. IT staff from healthtech companies must be prepared to address common challenges such as distributed denial of service attacks and ransomware, along with more targeted threat vectors such as COVID-19 vaccination scams.

(iv) Patient-focused emphasis

The future of telehealth will have to deliver the best of both worlds where the needle moves towards a more patient-focused healthcare delivery experience. This means combining low-tech solutions such as standard blood pressure cuffs with video tutorials, allowing patients to self-report vital data.

Also Read: Sleeping beast ready to awaken: The rush for regtech in a COVID-19 world

Such solutions will be essential for healthcare organisations serving distributed and disparate populations without access to unlimited smartphone data or high-speed broadband internet.

It will be safe to say that integrating technology into different businesses going beyond the five verticals stated above will be essential in controlling COVID and helping the world adapt to the “new normal”.

Editor’s note: e27 aims to foster thought leadership by publishing views from the community. Share your opinion by submitting an article, video, podcast, or infographic

Join our e27 Telegram group, FB community, or like the e27 Facebook page

Image credit: petrovichvadim

The post How can tech help with COVID-19 control and our return to normalcy? appeared first on e27.

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