Technology is a booming industry, especially for businesses across the globe that were coerced to shift to a remote work environment due to COVID-19. Many businesses in the technology sector have taken advantage of this transition and have developed innovative solutions to reduce COVID-19 exposure and support remote work arrangements. Here are five technology trends to watch in 2021.
Technology Adapting to Reduce COVID-19 Exposure
Disinfecting and sanitizing solutions
The main priority for most businesses and individuals alike is protecting employees from COVID-19 exposure, as well as ensuring overall well-being. Numerous technology companies and manufacturers are creating innovative solutions to help protect the general public from COVID-19 exposure.
For example, LG introduced multiple disinfecting and sanitation products, such as an autonomous UV-C light robot to expose virus exposure on high-touch surfaces, as well as a PuriCareTM wearable air purifier and a portable air purifier to purify air in a car or office setting. Both purifier products feature fans and HEPA filters.
Another example is AirPop’s Active+ Smart Mask, which monitors your breathing and the quality of the air. Lastly, Kohler and Toto touted touchless sinks and toilets that use motion sensors to turn on and off and auto-flush.
Increasing telehealth services
Healthcare service providers have been working diligently to minimize COVID-19 exposure to both patients and employees. As a response to the demand for safer healthcare practices and reducing COVID-19 exposure to all parties, private and public healthcare providers have increased telehealth services.
Telehealth services have allowed patients to access qualified healthcare professionals via video communications, artificial intelligence (AI)-based evaluations, and no-contact prescription distribution. The use of telehealth services has increased by 50% since COVID-19 emerged. Researchers predict that by early 2021, U.S. telehealth visits will reach, if not, exceed, almost one billion.
Additionally, biotech and AI are likely to expand healthcare support diagnoses, administrative tasks, and automated healthcare services.
Remote Work Technology Solutions
Expanding remote work
Thanks to COVID-19, many businesses have transitioned to full-time remote work environments to reduce and prevent COVID-19 exposure. Since then, technology solutions to support remote workers has been a trending topic for some time.
For example, many businesses have relied on video conferencing technology solutions like Zoom, Cisco’s Webex, Microsoft Teams, GoToMeeting, and Google Hangouts, among others. These video conferencing technologies allows teams from across wide-ranging geographic locations to seamlessly connect and communicate.
Startups like Bluescape, Slab, and Figma have created visual collaboration platforms to promote team collaboration, such as producing and sharing content, communicating, managing projects, conducting virtual trainings, and team-building activities, among more.
Additionally, technology leaders and startups are creating products to support these remote platforms and new workspaces. For example, Dell offers a video conferencing friendly monitor that is easily adjustable for video calls paired with a high-resolution webcam. Shure produced a microphone for the home office designed to enhance speech audio quality. Targus has a full suite of remote work products, including a UV-C LED light to disinfect electronics on your desk and an anti-microbial backpack to carry around work tablets and laptops.
Virtual learning opportunities
With remote work technology solutions emerging and unemployment increasing resulting from COVID-19, virtual learning opportunities are becoming more popular among employers. With schools, colleges, and other educational facilities closing or transitioning to virtual settings, employers may look to remote professional development opportunities. This may include learning programs that reskill or upskill employees.
Developing internet technology infrastructure
As many businesses shifted to remote work environments, many employees demanded improved high-speed internet, smart homes and communities, and autonomous mobility. As a result of these demands, 5G and 6G internet technology have been developing new infrastructure, utility, and application updates to support businesses of all sizes.
With more than 380 operators currently invested in 5G development and over 35 countries utilizing commercial 5G services, other technologies have been developed to support businesses, such as data transfers, sensor-monitored public lighting and smart-city data, and drones to improve autonomous mobility.
Technology development is not going to slow down and will continue to evolve throughout 2021. Human behavior will likely influence major technological and business advances. If you’re looking to stay up to date with the latest technology and relevant industry news, partner with AccessPoint. Our team of industry experts spans human resources, payroll, employee benefits, workers’ compensation, and risk management expertise, including technology and software to support such services. Contact AccessPoint to learn more about how our teams can keep you aligned with the latest and greatest industry trends!
 Forrester Research