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Technology trends from the Covid-19 era that has come to stay



As a result of the unexpected global pandemic of Covid-19, individuals, businesses, and institutions were forced to adapt quickly to a new and uncertain reality in order to survive. a new reality that has upended our normal way of life and has cut us off from the rest of society and people


In a surprising turn of events, technological advancement has stepped forward to fill this void. Medical technology (for example, vaccine development using digital twin technology) has advanced significantly, as have virtual communication, e-learning, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and e-commerce.


Even though none of these technologies are novel, their widespread adoption, particularly in the healthcare and education sectors – both of which have a reputation for being slow to adopt new technologies – was unexpected. What normally takes years to implement was accomplished in a matter of months. All of a sudden, digital connectivity became the focal point of our daily lives. Now that the pandemic has lasted 20 months, it is becoming increasingly clear that many of these technologies will likely continue to be used for several years to follow.


Online education


During the Covid-19 pandemic, hundreds of thousands of children and students were forced to return to their homes. Remote digital learning, such as video conferencing, language learning apps, learning management platforms (also known as e-learning software), and virtual tutoring, were suddenly required of students and teachers (as well as their parents) without warning. Institutions made significant efforts to ensure that pupils and students had access to the internet and technology that was required to promote digital inclusion in order to achieve this goal.


In South Africa, Covid-19 compelled universities that had been slow to adopt technology to do so in a very short period of time, thanks to a competitive grant. After months of planning and a steep learning curve, many universities have decided to adopt a blended learning approach in order to move forward (contact and online). Certain courses will be offered exclusively online in the future in order to make them more accessible to all South Africans, according to the university.


Telehealth


In the past, the healthcare industry has been notoriously slow to adopt new technologies. The Covid-19 pandemic, on the other hand, changed everything (forever). At every stage of the epidemic's progression, the healthcare industry recognized the critical role that technologies such as telehealth and robots played in halting the virus's spread.


In countries and cities where 5G connectivity is available, patients, ambulance workers or paramedics, and remote medical experts are all able to communicate in real time with one another. Because of this collaboration between clinicians and paramedics, healthcare workers were able to diagnose and treat patients who were unable to travel to a hospital. Unfortunately, due to the current spectrum issues faced by the government of South Africa, 5G coverage is limited in the country.


During the pandemic, access to health-care services was restricted to allow hospitals to concentrate on Covid-19 patient triaging and patient safety. As a result, healthcare providers were compelled to develop innovative methods of consultation and service delivery. Many health services could be delivered at home through video conferencing, online telephone consultations, e-mail, or smartphone apps, thanks to telehealth technology, which was distributed by several South African medical aids. According to the findings of the research, these virtual services were particularly beneficial to older adults during the flu pandemic period.


In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous changes occurred in the healthcare industry, changes that will continue to have an impact on the future of medicine.


Digital home offices


A survey conducted online by Old Mutual in August 2021 of people earning R8 000 and above found that over 65 percent of respondents continue to work from home at least some of the time, with 25 percent working exclusively at their homes. It may come as a surprise to learn that the vast majority of people who work from home offices report having a more balanced work/life balance.


There has been a significant increase in the number of people working from home as a result of the numerous businesses that have failed as a result of the strain of Covid-19, resulting in numerous layoffs. A large number of people have taken advantage of this opportunity to develop multiple and diverse revenue streams while working from home.


Initially, people struggled to determine the most effective method of working remotely, which resulted in an explosion of collaboration and video conferencing software being developed and implemented. There are numerous advantages for the employer, including lower office and furniture rental costs, lower insurance and maintenance costs, and increased employee productivity, to name a few examples.


60% of decision-makers are delighted to reduce their office space, according to the Future of Enterprises Report, while 43% believe that offices will be obsolete by 2030. In the future, work will be distributed, and the digital home office will continue to exist, there is little doubt about it.


Artificial Intelligence (AI)


We are currently experiencing a renaissance in artificial intelligence, which has been accelerated significantly as a result of the pandemic. In order to be successful in the long run, an increasing number of businesses are turning to artificial intelligence to help them reinvent themselves or modernize their business models.


Throughout the pandemic, many businesses replaced humans with artificial intelligence (AI) in order to keep the virus from spreading. News organizations and newspapers are increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence to gather and present their stories. In the past, artificial intelligence has been used to report on sports or highlight reels, as well as to write opinion pieces. Language generators have progressed to the point where it is difficult to distinguish them from a real journalist in some cases. Written communication will almost certainly evolve into a form of human-machine symbiosis in the future, as evidenced by predictive text and other modern features of word processing software. Unfortunately, some journalists were never able to return to their former positions.


An increasing number of countries have also implemented artificial intelligence to forecast virus outbreaks, as well as monitor, forecast, and manage healthcare resources.


At some point, artificial intelligence will make the transition from being a technology enabler to a technology driver. Artificial intelligence will thus become a critical component of all business strategies that aim to create long-term value.


Contactless transactions


Covid-19 advocated for the use of contactless technology in the business world in order to prevent the virus from spreading through physical contact. All of these innovations have gained popularity, including touch-free payments, walk-out shopping (with no cashiers), and biometric check-in for travel and lodging. Unfortunately, due to the culture of South Africa, walk-out shopping and self-checkout features at supermarkets, which were popular during the pandemic, are now extremely rare in the country due to the country's history.


Customers in South Africa who were concerned about infection were compelled to rely on online shopping and delivery as a result of the situation. Every major online business reported a significant increase in revenue during the pandemic.


Due to advancements in processor processing power, image sensors, artificial intelligence, and communication network speeds, these safe and convenient innovations are now possible. As technology advances, it is certain to continue to grow in the future.


In Conclusion

Many businesses would have come to a grinding halt during the Covid-19 onslaught if it hadn't been for the development of cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions. It has become clear that the vast majority of these cutting-edge technologies will become a part of our everyday lives in the not too distant future.

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