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How the Pandemic Is Accelerating Industry Innovation

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How the Pandemic Is Accelerating Industry Innovation

The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world and its economic landscape into strenuous  market conditions. These have urged local and global businesses to overcome these barriers through new strategies in order to survive. Whilst the tech industry has remained largely unharmed, much of the service and retail sectors have found themselves with the greatest of challenges. With a second wave of lockdown measures now in place, the rate of innovation will be elevated at a significant rate. Businesses are usually slow to innovate, but with the pandemic they are now innovating because they have to. National lockdowns have raised innovation to being a core strategic issue in a business’ or institution’s concern, as the virus has acted as an important catalyst in influencing customer behaviour and disrupting production and distribution networks. The end result is a proliferation of new innovations as businesses stretch their organisational strategies. 

Some businesses follow a “riding out the storm” model, making temporary changes in their strategy through minor accommodations. Physical distancing innovations, implemented through protective gear and store markings are one paradigm, though this broad innovation type also includes brief partnerships between organisations for delivery purposes, for example Carrefour began operating with Uber Eats so the latter can aid in delivering supermarket goods to customers. Second to this type are those that fall under the short-term, high-strategic stretch category, where an organisation makes large structural changes solely for the timeframe of the pandemic. This includes efforts such as cities replanning vehicular and pedestrian routes or educational institutions adopting streaming platforms. Furthermore, growth into niches which were long viable are only now just taking place such as in the case of social features, exemplified by Netflix’s new Party Mode and Google’s Vemos. 

There is no sector under greater pressure than that of healthcare. Amidst our crisis, hospitals have found themselves overburdened with heightened risks of overcrowding, monumental strains on resources, and an overworked and vulnerable workforce. The pandemic has as well led to some indirect repercussions, as certain at-risk healthcare specialists are transferred to other departments or even hospitals for their safety and the increased inaccessibility for check-ups for non-COVID issues. Moreover, conditions have had an adverse impact on global mental health, as patients and non-patients must cope with the conditions of dealing with the disease or to a greater extent, isolation. Now more than ever has called for important, fundamental changes and improvements to healthcare systems. 

The increased adoption of telemedicine has been one of the most important developments in healthcare. Only recently did the technology for telemedicine become practical thanks to improvements to communication technologies. Thus recent events have culminated into a sort of “black swan” moment for various patients. The benefits for telemedicine’s prevailing adoption are innumerous as its results are paving the way for substantial improvements in the long-term by normalizing and necessitating long-needed innovations. Telemedicine is certainly proving vital to allow regular, convenient check-ups for isolated patients, guaranteeing greater access to specialists, and allowing healthcare workers to stay in the fight from a safe distance. 

Bodyo aims to become a key player in spearheading this incoming wave of innovations in healthcare, and overcoming the challenges we face today. This is ultimately achieved by the AIPod and the Health Lounge, two autonomous devices capable of advanced health diagnosis as well as mediating telepresence from a patient to a health professional, and the AI-driven platform, which allows for quick analysis, comprehensive reports, as well as social and rewards features for the benefit of users. Whilst Bodyo specializes for the transition to preventive medicine, the ability for the devices to carry out mass population data analysis yields promising gains for the future of epidemiology.  

Thibaut Faddy 

 

Sources

Adams, James G., and Ron M. Walls. “Supporting the health care workforce during the COVID-19 global epidemic.” Jama 323.15 (2020): 1439-1440. 

Heinonen, Kristina, and Tore Strandvik. “Reframing service innovation: COVID-19 as a catalyst for imposed service innovation.” Journal of Service Management (2020). 

Kriegel, Gila, et al. “Covid-19 as innovation accelerator: cogenerating telemedicine visit notes with patients.” Nejm Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery (2020). 

Serper, Marina, et al. “Telemedicine in Liver Disease and Beyond: Can the COVID‐19 Crisis Lead to Action?.” Hepatology (2020). 

Smith, Anthony C., et al. “Telehealth for global emergencies: Implications for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).” Journal of telemedicine and telecare (2020).