The pandemic has changed our lives in multiple ways. Among them were the accelerated adoption and advancement of technology.
McKinsey estimates that the world has adopted digital technologies several years ahead of schedule.
From advances in AI, face recognition, and digitalization of the healthcare systems, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for technological advances in almost every aspect of our lives.
With that in mind, let’s explore how technology has evolved in the areas of shopping, work, and healthcare over the past two last two years.
As said by Damien Tampling, Global Chief Strategy Officer at Xero, “Pre-pandemic technology certainly played a big role in retail; but now it’s clear that technology is the heart of the future of the entire industry.”
One of the earliest transformations following the global pandemic was the dramatic change in the Point of Sale. Shifting from on-location selling to remote ordering. During strict COVID-19 restrictions, businesses had zero footfall policies, meaning all sales were carried out remotely either electronically or over the phone. Consequently, companies were pushed to evolve their technology and provide an elevated consumer experience electronically.
Some companies went even further to accommodate the remote experience for their customers and delivered incredible technological advancements for them. Take Sephora for example, a company that has adopted VR, their consumers can try as many products as they’d like from the comfort of their homes.
Is AR in retail here to stay? A research study conducted by Forbes revealed that AR shopping options had a customer engagement of 8 minutes, compared to a non-AR shopping experience which lasted about 30 seconds. Not only were customers engaged, but the same study revealed that AR had increased sales up to 200%.
According to Mckinsey, companies admitted that they switched to remote working operations 40 times faster than expected. The same research explores the topic further, stating that remote working is considered to be a long-lasting change.
*Chart by Mckinsey & Company (2020): How COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point—and transformed business forever
This brings forward new priorities in every company’s operational model and cybersecurity practices.
As Forbes states, in an article by Keatron Evans and Rob Watts, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) shows a whooping 64% increase in financial losses due to cyber crime.
The imminent threat of cyberattacks drives the need for employers to take their cyber security seriously, educate themselves and employ necessary improvements.
Many companies have focused on improving their Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) and WAN infrastructure to enable secure operations from remote locations. The concept was first introduced in 2019 by Gartner and has since been used as secure access to shared digital space. Gartner predicts that 1% of the usage of SASE technology will rise to reach at least 40%.
In fact, according to global research conducted by Versa Networks, it became evident that throughout 2020, 34% of businesses had already adopted SASE in that year and 30% planned to do so in the next 12 months. Nonetheless, the same research also revealed that 69% of the participants were uncertain about SASE and what it meant.
In essence, the great advancements and benefits given by SASE are overlooked by a lack of education on the matter and the adoption of SASE technology is being slowed down as a result.
As technology in cyber security has been steadily improving through the pandemic, healthcare has taken great advantage of technology in delivering medical results in challenging times.
Through the pandemic, the electronic monitoring of one's health often referred to as telehealth, has seen a surge in applications throughout the globe. From carrying out remote 101 appointments to remote monitoring of patients, technology has been vital in making all aspirations possible.
**Chart by The Commonwealth Fund (2020): Telemedicine: What Should the Post-Pandemic Regulatory and Payment Landscape Look Like?
Having remote medical appointments quickly became the only option for some patients, especially when it came to psychological counseling. As a matter of fact, according to research conducted by medical professionals for JAMA Network Open, mental health clinicians gave the highest rates to video care and were more likely to choose video appointments to consultations over the phone compared to their other medical counterparts.
Moreover, research conducted by Deloitte in 2020, shows that more than a third of consumers feel comfortable using at-home diagnostics for relevant medical conditions. As both patients & clinicians support the usage of video-consultations, it is only fair to say that the development of remote health is a mere matter of time. The rush for video appointments gave rise to telehealth platforms and companies, which have successfully delivered secure cloud-based software for smooth and innovative remote monitoring.
With the telemedicine market quickly blooming, companies such as Tytocare, are taking the lead in providing technological solutions for remote monitoring, thus enabling patients all over the world to receive much needed medical advice and treatment.
In fact, TytoCare is the first all-in-one medical device that enables patients to efficiently share their symptoms and carry out the necessary at-home tests with medical guidance. The company uses sophisticated medical tools to record biometric data and dispatch those to doctors that provide diagnosis and treatment when appropriate.
The global implications of such a technological achievement are vast. From underdeveloped, rural areas that are miles away from any medical service, to war-stranded cohorts, this applied technology can accommodate their needs and satisfy everyone’s human right for access to healthcare.
It is no secret that technology is evolving at rapid rates and the COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the speed at which all developments are taking place. Experts across all fields predict that these trends will only grow stronger.
So far, 1 in 4 Americans shop online on a monthly bases; most companies will replace their standard VPNs with SASE technology and, lastly, telehealth operations will continue to help patients and clinicians work together all over the world.
According to the technology consulting firm, Accenture: “The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly accelerating the digital commerce pivot globally, forcing businesses to revisit and even reimagine their strategy in the interest of capturing new marketplace opportunities and their fair share of new digital customer segments.”
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