Negosentro.com | Technology to the Rescue During COVID-19 | Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, technology has stepped in to help in many ways. Beyond remote learning for students and work from home setups for their parents, technology has kept people safe and the world’s economy functioning. Many technological processes that have been put in place to accommodate the virus will remain, even after the health crisis has passed, and people resume normal activities. The following is just a sampling of the ways technology has come to the rescue.
Online ordering and home delivery have always been a great convenience, but never have they been more appreciated than during the pandemic. The elderly and others at higher risk of complications from the virus can order online and have food and groceries delivered to their front porch. And although it once was considered rude to ring the doorbell and leave, the process requires no personal interaction and therefore reduces the spread of the disease. Even the most seasoned shoppers have recently discovered that you can order virtually anything on the internet. Without e-commerce, shelter in place would have become much more difficult.
Internet of Things
Technology allows people to manage thousands of tasks right from their smartphones. The Internet of Things (IoT) has made it possible for someone to disarm their security system while on vacation thousands of miles away, so the cat sitter can get in. Everything is connected via the internet these days, from digital postage to connected vending machines that send an alert to customer service when supplies are getting low to avoid unnecessary site visits. These things reduced face-to-face and contact and helped reduce the spread of the disease.
One approach to solving the problem of COVID-19 is to locate it in communities and try to isolate it. This involves tracking anyone who has been in contact with someone who has received a positive diagnosis. Applications that can track mobility have been used to monitor whether travel restrictions were being followed, though with limited success. However, despite the challenges regarding privacy rights, contact tracing technology has helped identify hot spots and allow communities to take appropriate action.
Once rarely used, telemedicine has been another technological boon during the pandemic. With the onset of COVID-19, the last place anyone wanted to be was in a doctor’s waiting room, which caused the use of telemedicine to skyrocket. Doctors and nurses were able to screen patients via videoconference and prevent unnecessary in-person visits. While slow to be adopted initially, telemedicine will likely maintain its popularity, even after the pandemic.
With the initial shelter in place orders, people wondered how they would safely handle routine transactions, such as banking. Suddenly those who were slow to adopt the mobile deposit function found a new appreciation for avoiding the teller line and chose to give the app a try. To remain solvent, home improvement and other retail stores began offering contactless pickup, and they could only do so because of customers’ ability to order and pay in advance online. This kind of transaction kept many restaurants in business as well. In 2020, it has truly been made clear that necessity is the mother of invention, and technology is responsible for bringing many of the ideas to fruition.
The world population has learned many things during the COVID-19 pandemic, including appropriate hand washing techniques and the proper way to wear and remove protective face coverings. However, digital technology has had one of the more significant impacts on the world’s ability to continue functioning in the face of lockdowns and quarantines. While working from home was once something employers frowned upon, technology made it possible for many thousands of people to keep their jobs. Now, business owners are beginning to think that their expensive office space might not be necessary after all. Though created to solve problems during a crisis, many of these new processes are likely to continue when things return to normal.