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To say that the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has completely and totally transformed our world – almost overnight – in ways none of us could have anticipated may be the understatement of the century.
But while many of us are adjusting to life in the aftermath of this global pandemic, holding out hope that treatments and vaccines will be discovered sooner rather than later, we are also turning to the world of technology to help us navigate our new reality.
The innovation and creativity of the tech sector is on full display every day. New solutions to our very modern (and very pressing) problems and needs are popping up on a regular basis – and we are more connected now in the time of social distancing than maybe ever before.
Below we highlight just a couple of the top technologies that you want to keep a close eye on in the aftermath of COVID-19. These are the sectors of the technology world that are going to continue to grow and grow, representing a fantastic vehicle for investment but also for a glimpse into what the future of our society is going to look like for years to come.
Online shopping has been popular for more than two decades, but it is more popular – and more essential – today than maybe ever before.
Companies around the world are turning to the internet to sell their products and their services, and not just the traditional “retail” focused businesses that were already using e-commerce in the past.
Grocery stores, restaurants, delivery services, and so many other “in person” businesses are taking advantage of e-commerce and the internet in general to come up with new solutions in our contactless world.
These major e-commerce innovations aren’t going to disappear overnight after we figure out how to defeat the COVID-19 virus, but are only going to spur further innovations that push more and more businesses online going forward.
Digital and Contactless Payments
There is some concern in the medical community that traditional cash and coinage may actually carry the virus itself, which is why so many central banks in the United States, in China, and in South Korea (just to name a few) are aggressively moving towards digital and contactless payments ASAP.
Digital payments have been getting more and more mainstream over the last five or six years (in large part because of the ubiquitous nature of smart phones and mobile device). The coronavirus is only going to accelerate things even more so, with new solutions being innovated and introduced out almost every day basis.
When the IRS in the United States (one of the federal institutions known for moving at a glacial pace for pretty much everything) is adopting digital payout systems for the coronavirus stimulus – and more – you know this is a technology to really focus on.
Cryptocurrency options go hand-in-hand with the move towards digital and contactless payment solutions, though there has already been a bit of buzz for the crypto world ever since this relatively new technology hit the market a handful of years ago.
Crypto wallets, crypto marketplaces, crypto exchanges, and the block chain that crypto options are built on top of our all starting to see a lot more innovation, a lot more investment, and much wider spread adaptation.
Bitcoin hasn’t hit the record high in value it had almost 2 years ago (and may not anytime soon), but it’s easy to see that cryptocurrency options and other decentralized currencies are going to be major players if we go digital and contactless in the near future.
Remote Work Solutions
Remote work technology options are on the forefront of the COVID-19 virus transformation of our modern world.
Many of these solutions have been around for a little while now, but new innovations, new solutions, and new services in the VPN, VoIP, virtual meeting, collaboration and cloud technology worlds (just to name a few) are hitting the market now and changing the way we look at how we do business and how we work.
More and more people are working from home – but on top of that (and maybe even more importantly) – businesses all over the planet are learning that there may be huge benefits to having people work from home as opposed to coming to a centralized office like we are used to.
It’s impossible to know exactly how things are going to shake out from here, and when we might be able to return to “normalcy” – but all of these new remote work solutions may transform our world so fundamentally that we never go back to the “old normal” and instead fully adopt remote work as much as possible moving forward.
Online Education Tools
According to information released by UNESCO, 191 nations around the world had made the decision to implement online schools, colleges, universities, and other educational programs as of the middle of April 2020.
These decisions impacted almost 2 billion students worldwide, with the overwhelming majority of traditional and nontraditional educational organizations offering online courses, distance learning opportunities, and digital educational programs and packages on a wide scale.
These kinds of technologies aren’t going away anytime soon.
In fact, the odds are pretty good that these technological changes to the way that we look at the education system aren’t just going to stick around for years and years to come – there are also going to transform the way that we go about educating our citizenry from here on out.
The old model of traditional schooling feels like it’s on its last legs, not just because of the COVID-19 virus (though that certainly accelerated things) but because of how advanced technology has become in the last 20 years.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the world of healthcare and medicine has been changed from top to bottom because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Telehealth solutions have grown by leaps and bounds since just the beginning of the year, and demand for telehealth services has grown just as quickly.
On March 16 of 2020, for example, the telehealth world was seeing an average of about 100,000 minutes per day in services.
On April 6 of 2020, though, that number had climbed to 1.5 million minutes per day in services – and it’s only continued to climb pretty much every day since.
Telehealth solutions may never be total replacements for traditional healthcare, but when you are up against something like a virus that spreads by in person contact – and you’re looking for ways to minimize the pressure on traditional healthcare systems like hospitals and medical clinics – it is far and away the best solution we’ve come up with.
The government is going to have to find ways to regulate these kinds of services (obviously), but it looks like and certainly feels like telehealth and telemedicine options are going to be hugely important and influential in the decade to come and beyond.
At the end of the day, COVID-19 has changed so much of our day-to-day life in a very negative way.
It has destroyed economies, killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, forced us to stay out of work, stay out of school, and stay out of large crowds – basically stay in our homes and away from our friends, family, and loved ones – and there’s still no real end in sight.
At the same time, though, the world has responded in a very unified kind of way to not only defeat this virus but to forge forward with a new reality that we’ll all be able to embrace, that we’ll all be able to lean on, and that has the potential to change our lives for the better for generations to come. The technologies we highlighted above are helping to usher this new, brighter world into reality.