In my previous blog, I discussed 3 of the innovations that underwent warp-time development during the pandemic. This blog takes a closer look at 4 other fields that have been influenced by COVID-19.
Technological advancements by their very nature have always created regulatory challenges. But in the wake of the pandemic, regulators were faced with an even bigger challenge: Encouraging technological innovation to mitigate the risks associated with the pandemic whilst protecting the public and addressing any undesired effects caused by the innovation.
The pandemic has forced society to accelerate the development of technological innovations and encouraged its adaption to serve a new purpose: With these rapid innovations, governments were and are still faced with added regulatory challenges that need to be developed and implemented at an increased pace to adjust to the ever-changing digital economy.
Still, on the medical line front, telehealth became an effective way to limit the spread of the virus whilst still focusing on providing primary care. This was done by creating wearable personal devices that can track vital signs and make initial diagnoses based on the symptoms identified by the patients themselves.
The pandemic encouraged the use of robots and the corresponding research on robotics. Examples of increases in this innovation are robots that have been used to deliver food to quarantined areas and even drones that walked pets and delivered items.
This innovation could shape the manufacturing industry by replacing factory jobs with robots in the future and creating new jobs in doing so. However, to facilitate this, policies will need to be established that provide the necessary training and social welfare to enable this change.
Adequate insurance and a level of technological literacy will be required to operate as well as sufficient internet connection. This change in technology could necessitate a rewriting of existing policies and regulations to reflect the change in times.
Whilst the pandemic necessitated measures such as quarantine, the ever-resilient human spirit decided to bring the party to the digital platform: “Crowd Raves” and the online streaming of concerts gained worldwide popularity, and have film production companies embraced releasing films online. Even museums and international heritage sites offer virtual tours and has online gaming surged since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Whilst these innovations serve to address social needs, it will have a long-term impact on the number of staff traditionally employed by Cinemas and will also require that policies will have to be implemented to address these cross-border digital services.
In conclusion, the pandemic has demonstrated the importance of digital readiness, which allows business and lives to continue as usual or at least as much as possible during times of crisis. The cumulative impact of the pandemic and the emerging technological trends have accelerated these changes in our everyday lives.
Establishing the necessary infrastructure to support a digitized world and to remain updated with the latest technology will be essential for any business or country to remain competitive in a post-COVID-19 world. It is however important that despite these technological advancements, we remember to maintain and appreciate the human element by adopting a human-centered and inclusive approach as far as technological governance is concerned.