A McKinsey study showed that in the first three weeks of 2021 alone, we moved forward five years in consumer and business digital adoption. When we think back to the year that just passed, it’s pretty easy to understand why this mind-boggling statistic is true.
2021 is clearly a year of recovery for the world and for the business space, after a pandemic that has devastated the entire planet for so long. However, as is the nature of man, we have learned to adapt. Some industries have done more than adapt, they have thrived by harnessing the immense possibilities of technology to solve their most pressing concerns amid Covid.
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Much has been written about these tech revivals, below we focus on the opportunities that now present themselves for new startups and entrepreneurs in a rapidly changing world as these three industries are clearly going to figure in this evolution.
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This was and still is easily the most widespread industry during this pandemic. Not surprisingly, it also features a host of tech-driven evolutions around this time.
The statistics on the adoption of telemedicine are staggering. In 2020, only 10% of US residents had replaced a doctor visit with telemedicine in the previous 12 months. In 2020, we saw that digit rise to 60% of residents willing to try telemedicine. 48% of physicians also confirmed this increase, admitting that they treated patients virtually within this period.
The most recognized name in telehealth, Teladoc, reported a weekly growth of 50% in the subscription to its services. Before the pandemic, there was a great chasm between patient acceptance of telemedicine and medical consensus.
While patients were skeptical, the American Journal of Medicine had already stated that 75% of doctor visits were unnecessary and could be handled over the phone.
Since then, that chasm has narrowed as telehealth has proven itself. This instantly opens the doors for more software startups to create companies specifically designed for doctor-patient relationships. There is still a lot of room for improvement in this space with many doctors turning to Skype for consultations.
The possibility of connecting health monitoring devices like Fitbit to telehealth software, so that doctors can remotely check the vital signs of patients, has been explored by some startups, but the room is still clearly empty, so to speak.
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As with telehealth, people were not using remote learning as such before the pandemic, until it was all they had. The adoption of virtual learning was rapid and imperfect. Quick, due to lockdowns and school closings, but imperfect because the educational technology industry was not quite ready, and neither were students and teachers.
The challenges that arose were to be expected: technological knowledge, limited software performance, limited access for students, etc. Over time, schools have had to settle for what they have, as companies like Pronto, and even Apple and Google have struggled to answer the bigger questions.
While waiting for the launch of the ‘Zoom for Education’ app, the market is open and calls for innovation in educational technology. The reason is that schools, class levels, courses, teaching styles, and requirements are different, and education as a concept differs substantially from teleconferencing in general.
The space for innovation is clear and this opens the door for startups in 2021 to address the problems of this diversity and produce solutions for education in the future.
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The entertainment industry’s relationship to the pandemic was mixed. The tech platforms of giants like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ benefited greatly from an increase in usage due to the pandemic. It can be said that this was the result of his foresight. However, live events within the entertainment industry have always thrived on physical presence.
The pandemic forced artists to reimagine what performance means and present it to a virtual audience. The world of entertainment moved online and it was a difficult journey. Virtual tickets for concerts and performances have been used long before Covid-19 hit, but exclusively virtual events proved to be a real challenge.
The other change that occurred in the industry was the leveling of the field in terms of capturing the attention of fans. With the suspension of physical events, the big labels and brands could not get the momentum that tours and concerts gave them. This gave new artists, comedians, and brands a leg up in competing for attention and, in fact, getting it.
A clear example Bruh Bruh, the rap star in 2020, and his rise to fame. Like many others, his strategy came down to great marketing that fueled his top-notch music and video. The viral growth of his content and the acceptance of his music are a testament to the immense possibilities of technology when mixed with talent.
In the absence of a physical presence, it all comes down to who is the best seller on social media and who is capable of creating and releasing the most top-notch content.
The trend of virtual events is likely to continue in 2021 and this opens up immense opportunities for young artists and brands. It also opens up a great opportunity for software development that can accommodate more participants in a reasonable and feasible way.
These three industries are clearly not the only ones that have seen immense possibilities emerge. 2021 is a year of great reboot, and more and more opportunities are likely to present themselves for entrepreneurs looking for a form of entry or brands looking to expand.