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Will Pandemic induced acceleration in Digital Adoption transform Healthcare and Retail? (Part 1)

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Digital Transformation

The Pandemic has accelerated the need for digital adoption. Every industry has adopted various technologies such as Cloud, IoT, Blockchain, etc. There has been an unprecedented reimagination of business processes and COVID-19 has made it a compulsion, rather than an option.

Through a series of posts, we wish to capture how various industries have accelerated their digital transformation journeys and what are the new developments that have emerged from a customer, busines, and technology perspective.

Let’s look at Healthcare and Retail to begin with.

Healthcare:

COVID-19 and the social distancing mandates have given a huge fillip to Telehealth and Telemedicine. Practo, a digital health platform, reported an increase of almost 100 percent in terms of number of appointments. They also witnessed a 50% increase in doctors joining the platform as early as April 2020.

In the US, according to a recent survey reported on CB Insights, 48% of doctors conveyed that they had treated a patient virtually as against 18% pre-COVID.  60% of American patients were also more than willing to try out telehealth services during the pandemic.

This marks a transformational shift towards telehealth. Doctors are increasingly getting more comfortable with consulting over an app, talking to the patients, understanding symptoms, and prescribing medicines. The advantages include huge savings on infrastructure costs, and logistics cost both for the doctor and the patient. Once it reaches a desired scale, it may lead to cost-effective treatment for the patients. It also enables patients to consult renowned doctors with niche specializations from other cities/ or from anywhere in the world to address their health concerns.

Continuous and Remote Diagnostics:

COVID-19 has stressed on the importance of rapid testing, tracking and treatment. This has made health tracking and monitoring apps and wearables technology very important. With these apps and health monitors, doctors can pro-actively identify and treat patients for any condition well in time. The continuous data available to doctors about all vital parameters that they wish to see is a boon in ensuring that treatment is a continual process and hence better planned and executed.

Virtual Fitness Centers

Gyms, which were essentially considered a brick and mortar establishment, has gone virtual. Health and Fitness Startup Curefit had reported that they expected to generate US$ 1 Million in June 2020 due to the huge surge in demand for virtual fitness classes.

What’s more, these virtual classes can also have guest celebrity trainers, which attracts fitness enthusiasts. The variety of exercise forms that they bring is also exciting and hence customers can choose from a variety of trainers, exercise forms etc.

Let’s look at the transformation in the Manufacturing Space:

3D Printing takes a completely new dimension:

With the pandemic, 3D printing manufacturers are receiving orders to 3D print medical equipment to meet the demand. It also enables the Healthcare and Manufacturing industry to collaborate and innovate with respect to design of medical equipment and “go to market” as quickly as possible.

The Manufacturers who can use their 3D printing expertise to facilitate healthcare demand would be well poised to cater to the current challenges and transformation and can cater to the huge demand. These manufacturers will see a spurt in demand for face masks, PPE Kits, etc. and have seen an increase in their sales and revenue.

3D printing will also enable acceleration of processes across industries such as commercial vehicles and automotive as it can fast track the creation and testing phases and enable them to launch new products and innovate much faster.

Automation and robotics

With COVID-19, manufacturing companies have taken a huge hit. It is not an industry which can easily deploy “work from home”. Hence, they had to keep factories open and employees had to be on the shop floor with all the required precautions.

Automation across the assembly lines and deploying Robots at warehouses can enable companies to reduce dependence on human beings and ensure that they maintain the required social distancing norms while they are at work.

Companies which work on industrial automation and robotics solutions have seen a huge rise in demand as manufacturing companies had no option but to keep their supply chains agile and moving.

In conclusion, every industry has seen a transformation and the effects of the same will unfold in the years to come. In the next part of this article, we will look at two more industries and how they have embraced the COVID-19 challenge to transform themselves.

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