Health, wealth, knowledge, and collaboration: 4 essential areas where COVID-19 has accelerated digital adoption
Digital Adoption January 12 Resolve Tech Solutions
“Today, we are witnessing what will surely be remembered as a historic deployment of remote work and digital access to services across every domain, including medicine, education, government, entertainment and more. In the coming weeks and months, services will be further digitized as the creativity of a massive work-from-home population gets rolling.”
– Bob Swan (CEO, Intel), March. 2020
The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has caused most corporate, health, and educational institutions to become overstretched and maybe face closures. Multiple lockdowns and restrictions have made people create different ways to maintain a sense of normality. Before the pandemic, the adoption of digital solutions or new technology upgrades was a slow but continuous process. However, COVID-19 has caused major digital transformation across the health, wealth, knowledge, and collaboration sectors. New technological advancements in these areas have enabled businesses, the workforce, and students to cope with a new reality and somewhat thrive despite facing uncertainties.
Digital Transformation of the Healthcare Industry
Health institutions are facing restricted operations and limited staff availability, along with a narrow scope of services for face-to-face patient interactions. There is a significant increase in the adoption of healthcare IT solutions to elevate everyday patient care.
- Hospitals are adopting telemedicine and remote diagnostics to ensure that people can receive timely medical advice without having to risk getting infected in crowded hospitals.
- Applications like health wallets are currently in development to help patients conduct self-assessments and symptom identification along with health information/data collection to ensure a faster medical response.
- Web-based medical platforms are increasingly being used for virtual consultations as doctors try to meet the rising demands for affordable and low-risk patient interactions
While digital acceleration in medical services has been able to meet the needs of evolving patient care, it also comes with the complexities of health information management and security, an aspect that the industry needs to address going forward.
Digitization of finance and wealth management services
Multiple social distancing measures have adversely affected the global and national economies forcing banks and financial services firms to adopt new ways of working to ensure their operations run smoothly.
- Financial advisors and relationship managers are increasingly adopting digital channels to interact with customers so that they don’t experience a lack of services caused by closures of branches or service centers.
- More and more people are using digital banking services to conduct their financial operations. A service that was an added advantage to regular operations has now become an absolute requirement, forcing many institutions to upgrade and overhaul their digital offerings to ensure maximum usage and user-friendliness.
- Contactless payment channels and mobile banking apps are being used more than ever by customers across rural, urban, and metro areas to make financial transactions.
Banking and finance institutions now have a unique opportunity of leveraging the digital experience to create more personalized and customer-centric solutions that will increase their reach and promote business growth.
Transformation of education and learning through digital solutions
By mid-April 2020, 1.57 billion students in 191 countries were affected by schools and universities remaining closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of them responded by opting for remote learning. Additionally, the acceleration of new technology in education has made it possible for teachers and parents to ensure learners can move forward without being hampered by the need for physical interaction.
- Video conferencing tools like Zoom and educational support platforms like Google Classes have ensured teachers and students can interact with relative ease and maintain learning continuity
- Adoption of e-learning platforms has also provided schools and colleges additional content and tools to ensure all aspect of the educational experience includes open communication and access to learning materials
- The pandemic has also led to technical and pedagogical upskilling in teachers through digital learning opportunities to meet the demands of an evolving educational environment.
The education & learning industry is going through a significant shift towards sustained digital technology adoption with a focus on a future beyond the pandemic. However, during the last few months, governments, schools, and universities have also become more aware of a learning divide in students that is caused by social inequities. It will be interesting to see how they address this divide and come up with actionable solutions to bridge the gap between such students.
Rise of virtual collaboration in workplaces
Shutting down of work premises led to some concerns over the challenges of maintaining regular workplace operations. As a result, business organizations have adopted virtual platforms to ensure continuous collaboration and interaction.
- The value of face to face interactions remains unmatched. However, virtual meeting services provided by MS Teams, Zoom, Google, Cisco WebEx, etc. are being used by business organizations worldwide to ensure that employees can work from the safety of their homes without losing on collaborative efforts.
- Organizations are using digital solution providers like Hopin, Bevy, Work Cast to deliver in-person like virtual event experiences as an alternative to corporate events and conferences and stay competitive in their respective industries.
Before the pandemic, a third of the US workforce was working remotely. In the last few months, this number has increased exponentially. With 47% of company leaders admitting that they will allow full-time remote work to continue, companies will now have to develop actionable strategies that will focus on employee motivation, engagement, and wellness.
The COVID-19 pandemic has become the catalyst for digital transformation in all industry sectors across the board. Post pandemic, some essential operations might return to in-person interactions. However, a large segment of the health, wealth, knowledge, and collaboration sectors will flourish with the continued utilization of digital advancements. As a result, companies focused on sustainable business growth need to get on the bandwagon and devise new strategies to implement digital innovation and adoption in their day-to-day operations.