The coronavirus pandemic has impacted us all on virtually every aspect of our lives. It has halted progress in some areas, and spurred it in others. It has forced us all to be more creative and flexible in the ways that we go about our daily lives. The demand for some things, like gas and haircuts, has tanked. The demand for others, however, has skyrocketed. We’re not just talking about toilet paper, here – we’re talking about technology and the Coronavirus.
The global pandemic has pushed us suddenly forward into a new era of technology. We need it to conduct business, to keep up with friends and family, to keep ourselves entertained. Any company now finds technology crucial in how it shares information with clients. And, ultimately, we will need it to fight and overcome this virus.
In this post we will discuss various ways in which technology is responding to the coronavirus. From smartphone apps to artificial intelligence, technology is fighting for us and with us.
Technology’s Importance Highlighted by the Coronavirus
Most of us have likely been prompted to participate in some sort of video conferencing program since the impetus of this pandemic. Some businesses already used video conferencing to conduct meetings. And for some remote workers, meeting virtually was already the norm.
Businesses and video-conferencing technology
For many, though, this has all been new. And even for those who may have occasionally conducted business virtually, the frequency of online meetings has gone up exponentially. Many video conferencing companies have made their technology free to users. As a result, they are seeing huge increases in usage and registrations.
Zoom, for instance, has already added more monthly active users in 2020 (over 2 million). This is more than they registered for the entire year of 2019.
Microsoft’s Teams is another video chat platform that has become a staple during the coronavirus. Microsoft reports that the number of video calls on Teams grew by more than 1,000% in March alone.
Google’s video conferencing service, Google Meet, is another giant in the virtual meeting world. Google recently released reports that their service is adding more than 2 million new users a day. In fact, it reports roughly 2 billion minutes of video calls during the month of March alone.
Even conferencing with loved ones
While many of these video calls are work related, people have been turning more to video chats and social media platforms. It has become a way to keep up with friends and family while practicing social distancing.
Social media technology – especially on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – has seen an uptick in usage. It has now become a main source of communication and support for neighborhoods, towns and cities going through COVID-19 together.
Technology in Healthcare: Now a Necessity More Than Ever
Technology’s role in the coronavirus crisis extends far beyond social media and video conferencing tools, though. Health experts are employing technology such as artificial intelligence, 3D printers, robots, and drones. This will help them better understand, cope with, and combat the coronavirus outbreak.
Telemedicine has become vitally helpful in dealing with what has become an extremely overwhelmed global health care system due to coronavirus. In many cases, telemedicine technology has eliminated the need for in-person contact during patient-doctor meetings. And this is critical to flattening the curve of the pandemic.
Blockchain platforms have been able to speed up the process of healthcare claims. This will thus reduce face-to-face interactions. Telemedicine has probably been the most influential in conducting virtual screenings for coronavirus. Additionally, it’s been monumental in monitoring the recovery process for patients who have been diagnosed.
These virtual check-ins can come in many forms:
- the World Health Organization has developed a chatbot to answer frequently asked questions about the virus
- developers have used virtual reality and simulated humans to assist with screenings and monitorings
- and of course artificial intelligence has been largely beneficial in alleviating the load of front-line healthcare workers.
Technology Will Prevent More Lives Lost
In addition to assisting with screenings, diagnoses, and monitoring of COVID-19 cases, advanced technology will save lives. It is probably the single most powerful tool worldwide in understanding, and eventually developing a cure and/or vaccine for the virus.
Big data has been essential in understanding how the coronavirus was able to spread as far and as fast as it has. And – more importantly – in predicting future trends in its spread. Technology experts and health officials have also been able to use big data to track mutations that have occurred throughout the spread of COVID-19.
As a result, the Center for Disease Control can discover immune cells that can be used to produce antibodies to potentially combat the coronavirus. Supercomputers, which are 100x faster than they were ten years ago, are continuously working on developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.
Using Artificial Intelligence
Technology has quite literally enabled health care professionals to save lives during the pandemic. Artificial intelligence is being used to identify and develop drugs that will eventually serve as treatments to those infected with coronavirus. Various tech companies have developed different means of detecting outbreaks and tracking the spread of individuals who have tested positively for COVID-19.
The most accessible version comes in the form of public health oriented smartphone apps. We now have apps at our fingertips that are able to monitor symptoms. In this way, you can use it if you’ve been infected with the coronavirus and help track the spread of infection.
These apps are able to track where infected individuals have been. As such they cross-reference who they have come into contact with, notifying people who have been near an infected person. There are also technological mechanisms to pinpoint individuals who are at a higher risk for coronavirus. They do this through tracking their travel history, temperature and more.
How Technology is Shaping Our World Due to the Coronavirus
The list goes on and on. In our next post, we will discuss even more ways that technology is better equipping us to deal with COVID-19. From inventions like food delivering robots, high-tech face masks, and social distancing video games for kids.
The impact of all these technological advances is twofold: they have monumentally increased our capacity to deal with this global health crisis in many different ways. And finally, they have significantly decreased the need for face-to-face interactions, thus promoting life-saving social distancing.
Each and every industry has been affected by the pandemic, and it’s time for businesses to decide how best to spend their budgets. Cutting back on IT might hinder your company from recovering after the virus lifts. Luckily, with affordable part-time leadership options, we can help.
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