Pandemic Tech is made up of technologies which allow society to solve pandemic protective related issues which include biological, chemical, radiological and cybersecurity and information technologies (IT). These include:
Research utilizing CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and other technologies to come up with tests and treatments.
Protection: protecting people from becoming infected via social distancing, vaccines, sanitization and protective equipment.
Patient Care: medical structures of any kind, patient rooms, operating theaters, administration, patient contact, doctors’ and nurses’ areas, drug procedures and inventory management, equipment tracking, ventilator technology, pharmacy procedures medications, cafeterias, parking, entrances and more.
Future of Work technologies such as teleworking and telemedicine which allow society to function while social distancing.
In addition, this concept refers to how the Pandemic affects tech business models as well as IT. For example, the potential shift from ridesharing services to drive-through, curbside pickup and home delivery services. The significant reduction in the need for office sharing tech like co-working, office sharing and open space offices and an increased need for teleworking solutions like video, web, chat, AI, contact/call centers and collaboration tools.
At the time of this writing, global leaders have stated there will be no mass return to work or “normal” until we have testing, vaccines, medications, liability solutions and PPE. The Global World Product or GWP is estimated to be between $80 -$128 trillion. Much of this is at risk until the current Covid-19 and potentially other pandemics are dealt with in a manner where people are not only allowed to work by their governments but are comfortable going to work.
These same principles apply to flights, hotels, cruises, conventions and gatherings such as sporting events.
There has been tremendous change to the world as a result of the current Covid-19 pandemic. There will be even more as we aim to restore and protect GWP.
Below, are the areas in which where technology will play a major role going forward, as a consequence of Covid-19:
Health Tech will never be the same again as we focus on saving the lives of people infected with the Covid-19 virus. We will also focus on preventative measures such as boosting the immune system, vaccines, integrating sufficient PPE into society, investing in robotics to take care of patients, developing low cost ventilators for global consumption and finding new classes of drugs to combat new virus strains.
Health Testing Tech: In order to give confidence to the public that it is safe to go outside and to slow the spread of Covid-19 and other viruses, testing technology must evolve to become far more accurate, rapid, inexpensive and far less invasive.
Mental Health: Ifquarantines continue, mental health technology must evolve to help large groups of people deal with loss of life and livelihoods.
Tele Health: Social distancing requires the use of telehealth services to ensure patients can get the care they need, when they need it. This not only ensures patients who may have mild cases of Covid-19 are taken care of but also that patients can have other issues handled by doctors. In addition, medical workers who may be infected with Covid-19 but are asymptomatic, will be able to continue working.
Privacy Tech: Many of the technologies needed to prevent the spread of disease can be invasive. For example, contact tracing requires divulging all people who you have been in contact with since you are suspected to have contracted a disease. Finding ways to minimize the spread of disease and solving other pandemic related issues while ensuring privacy are essential.
Ed Tech: education will change significantly. Remote education has been available for years via video and now online. Teaching will evolve via the latest technology to match or potentially exceed in-person instruction.
Fin Tech: Banks and banking of all kinds will be dramatically different. Banks and the banking system are transferring large amounts of money to citizens and they need to do this quickly. Also, physical money may be contaminated. Finally, more money is being spent online as people stay home. All of these are strong reasons for fintech innovation to be adopted to help get away from paper and coin money while allowing more efficient payments including new payment forms and technologies such as blockchain.
Legal Tech: There are unlimited amounts of new liabilities we must be aware of as a result of Covid-19. Who is liable if you become infected with Covid-19 as a result of a trip to the grocery store, a ride share, a stay in a hotel, etc.? Is there liability if a delivery worker gives you Covid-19? Already, many insurance documents and contracts are being disputed as a result of Covid-19. For example – does Covid-19 count as a material adverse event?
Risk Tech: Going forward, policies will have to become far more specific with regards to pandemic- related issues. Current policies will be litigated for years on end.
Clean Tech: Buildings, airlines and public places will all have to meet new cleanliness standards. Even if they are not mandated by local governments, they must reassure patrons and customers that they have a safe place for them to gather or stay. Air filtration, testing of occupants, disinfectants, etc., will all become huge areas to consider.
Event Tech: How will events of the future look? Will they be completely virtual? Will live events need a mixture of social distancing and testing? This market will go through incredible transformation thanks to the pandemic.
Building Tech: Buildings of all kinds will need to change layout and deal with health issues like never before. After 9/11, many building owners had to ask for picture ID metal detector scan before allowing entry into buildings. Now, many buildings will have to also ask for some sort of health check before they allow occupants in or even near. They must ensure they do not let contagious people on the premises. In addition, buildings may have to turn into virtual cleanrooms where air is not shared between occupants. In such a scenario, HEPA filtered air can be fed in from the ceiling and immediately removed out through the floor such as found in data centers. Common areas and spaces will have to adhere to workplace distancing best practices.
Home Tech: Homeowners must consider pandemic quarantines and how their homes must evolve to cope with them. Air filtration systems, enhanced broadband and working spaces will need to evolve to deal with extended work-from-home scenarios where the whole family is at home as well.
Faith Tech: Churches, synagogues and mosques are evolving – they will need to continue doing so via social distancing in buildings and technology which allows for the community feeling when congregants are at home.
Airline Tech: Testing, filtration systems and air shields between passengers are likely some of the changes we will see in the airline industry. Middle seats may be eliminated or seating completely re-aligned with movable or pull-down personal protection drapes and screens.
Transportation Tech: It is evident enclosed spaces such as subways, trains and busses with recirculated air and limited free space allow contagious diseases to spread more quickly. In order to get people back on these forms of mass transit, many upgrades will be required to give passengers the comfort needed to have them return.
Smartphone Tech allows a user to benefit from contact tracing applications but these devices will also function as medical devices as new pandemic-tech apps are created. Applications which exist today monitor heartrate and oxygen level and they can alert healthcare providers when certain thresholds are met. Another feature we can expect soon will be GPS for navigating city streets via the least- crowded path. As drones take to the sky to monitor the temperatures of people in crowds, they can share this information with mapping applications, allowing users to minimize contact with potentially infected people.
Wearable Tech will often be used to sense changes in heartrate, temperature and other biometric signals indicating that a person may be infected.
IoT including Industrial IIoT and medical IoMT and others will be utilized to track shipments, enable communications in makeshift hospitals, to monitor the temperature of vaccines and patients and to enable a more efficient supply chain.
Smart City solutions will need to draw on a wealth of information from smartphones, IoT sensors, drones, smart streetlights, etc. to determine new hotspots of infection. They could also function to communicate to crowds about the need to social distance.
DNA Tech CRISPR has made gene editing simpler and less expensive. Research on virus identification and testing has benefited from CRISPR and the technology will continually be called upon to help learn about current viruses vaccinate against them and to potentially treat them.
Contactless Tech will be needed to keep people from touching doors and other surfaces. Doors are a natural area in need of innovation and every surface which numerous people touch could be ripe for innovation as well.
Future of Work (FoW) has a few definitions but almost all of them positively apply to Pandemic Tech. Supercharged collaboration, working from anywhere, AI in customer service and democratized AI are some definitions. In this pandemic, improved collaboration thanks to Slack, Zoom and Microsoft Teams was essential. AI in customer service allowed contact centers to automate tasks when incoming demand increased and there were less available contact center agents as a result of sickness and social distancing rules. The open floorplan however, which is considered a large part of FoW, may disappear in favor of partitions or offices. At a minimum, the “social distancing intelligent design” floorplan will need to adhere to workplace physical distancing.
Connectivity is essential in pandemic tech as workers must be able to communicate regardless of where they are located. 4G and 5G as a backhaul and backup to wired broadband connections is essential. In addition, technologies which enhance such connectivity such as SD-WAN will be relied on more than ever as information must flow rapidly between numerous geographically distributed endpoints.
Telecommuting/Teleworking moving minds, not matter has allowed tens of millions of workers to stay productive – allowing companies to function, even though there has been rapid implementation of social distancing. Within teleworking there are numerous technologies at play. Collaboration, Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), conferencing devices such as microphones, speakers, headsets and cameras, managed services and mobility solutions.
Cybersecurity and Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BCDR) is needed as the rise in teleworking has brought about an exponential increase in hacking attempts. This coupled with less secure home computers and networks means cybersecurity is an essential part of pandemic tech.
The best original reporting site: PandemicTechNews
The best content on the web: Pandemic Tech Report
The best video information: Pandemic Tech News TV