Historians will be talking about coronavirus and COVID for generations to come. And when they do, perhaps part of their analysis will involve taking a good look at just how the pandemic transformed so many areas of life. Needless to say, COVID’s effect on digital technology has been nothing short of transformative.
Digital technology was already pretty impressive before COVID-19 emerged. In roughly twenty short years, the world went from a handful of bulletin boards and online services to an entire world connected by vast networks operating at blazingly fast speeds. But as there is always room for improvement, COVID pushed digital technology even further.
The technological advancements have been impressive enough. But the bigger story is how society has embraced and adapted to new technologies. Things we would never have considered doing in the digital realm prior to COVID are now commonplace. Our collective acceptance of digital technologies sets the stage for even more transformation.
A New Healthcare Model
COVID’s transformative abilities have shown themselves throughout the healthcare sector. Just look at the telemedicine concept. The technology behind telemedicine has actually been around for decades. Western medicine just hadn’t embraced telemedicine because doing so required change. And as anyone who works in the healthcare sector can tell you, Western medicine is terribly reluctant to embrace change.
For better or worse, COVID forced our healthcare system to face telemedicine solutions head on. Facility closures drove doctors to begin seeing their patients via videoconferencing. Remote visits compelled organizations to get their electronic health record (EHR) systems up to speed.
Fortunately, consumers have embraced telemedicine with open arms. That has given rise to companies like CSI Health, a San Antonio, TX enterprise that designs and manufactures mobile telemedicine units, telemedicine kiosks, and complete remote clinic solutions. Consumer acceptance has also given rise to on-demand healthcare delivery through mobile apps. It is all pretty amazing to witness.
A Booming Digital Marketplace
Speaking of mobile apps, COVID’s transformative capabilities extend well beyond healthcare. Think about all the services you can now arrange through a mobile app without ever leaving your home. With your phone and the swipe of a finger, you can get virtually any local restaurant to deliver a meal to your door.
Don’t feel like heading to the grocery store to do your shopping? No problem. Order online and have it delivered. You can even use a service to order complete meal kits that come in a box. Again, delivery right to your door is included.
People who would never have used a mobile banking app before will now do so because they do not want to go to the bank. The bank represents yet another place to pick up the virus. So rather than putting on a mask and keeping your distance while standing in line, it is easier just to pull out your phone and do your banking with an app.
Technology Is Replacing Humanity
Not everything about the digital transformation is positive. Unfortunately, one of the downsides is that technology seems to be replacing humanity. That may ultimately prove to be much worse than any of us could imagine. If we all get used to living our lives on our phones, will we eventually not be able to interact with one another?
The digital transformation that began at the turn of the 21st century has been accelerated by the COVID pandemic. We cannot undo that. But it would behoove us to pay attention to just how COVID has transformed digital technologies so that our acceptance of those technologies does not become our eventual downfall.