(AmericanProsperity.com) – It’s incredible how much technology has changed our lives over the last few decades. You can stream virtually any form of entertainment from your home, the GPS on your mobile phone doesn’t have to be updated all the time, and families can talk on video calls without paying extra. Thanks to COVID-19 (no pun intended), individuals, businesses, schools, health care, and governments are discovering opportunities to leverage technology in new ways.
A horrible pandemic is not how anyone wanted the potential of technology to transform how we live and do business. However, sometimes forced change can help push us in a new and better direction. Technology is the instrument of the change that’s happening now.
How Technology Is Helping America Prepare for Post COVID-19
While families and friends can more easily connect and are discovering new means of doing so online, it’s the government and businesses that are identifying technologies that can improve their organizations and our lives. For example, programs like Skype, Slack, and Zoom have been around for a while, but they’ve not been widely used as tools to increase productivity. They’re now considered vital in keeping people working and the economy functioning.
There are three primary areas we can see right now that technology is helping Americans get through the crisis and preparing us for the future.
Businesses have been slow to embrace some technologies and productivity has slowed as a result. When worker productivity rises, so do wages. Additionally, when productivity increases, so does the tax base used to fund government programs.
People living today are much more affluent than those who lived in the 1800s or much of the 1900s. It’s because of rising productivity during those times that we enjoy much of what we have today. However, since the 1970s, wages have been stagnant — so has productivity. Only in the last few years has productivity started to rise and salaries with it — though at rates still too low according to many economists.
Companies are embracing the tools that are keeping the economy on life support. Today’s experience could open the doors to innovation, new small businesses, higher-paying jobs outside of expensive metro areas, and more manufacturing jobs in the USA.
Talking to a doctor remotely is far more productive and timely for both the patient and medical professionals. However, medical boards have tightly regulated telemedicine for decades. Many laws that prevented easy, quick, and safe access to medical advice have been temporarily thrown out with the bathwater. In spite of that trend, 46 states and Washington, D.C. have issued temporary exemptions for telemedicine in the wake of COVID-19.
By removing barriers to telemedicine, regulators have expanded medical access, matched in-person rates for insurance reimbursements, and allowed doctors and nurses to consult with more patients from any state.
Schools may finally be embracing distance learning tools that have been widely available for years. Education has been one of the industries most resistant to technology. The educational bureaucracy has existed for centuries and is becoming an outdated model. It moves too slow in a fast-paced, ever-changing world where technological advancements are measured in months, not years. Some of what kids are taught in high school or even college is outdated before they ever enter the workforce.
Distance learning can be efficient, quickly adapted, and supplement in-class education. Plus, in the event of local, state, or national emergencies, schools will have the flexibility to change to a distance learning format in real-time without long delays to a child’s education.
At some point, the COVID-19 pandemic will pass. Businesses, lawmakers, regulators, and decision-makers will return to business as usual. When that happens, it’ll be an excellent time to remind them that if easing regulations and using technology worked during the most difficult of times, it also can in the best of times.
Work at home, telemedicine, and distance learning are just three examples of how technology is changing America’s culture and the way we do things. It’s just the beginning as many innovations will be developed over the next few years as a result of COVID-19.
What technology will be unleashed in the years to come? Who knows right now. If we’re responsibly open to whatever it is, we can make the world, our businesses, government, and lives better.
~Here’s to Your Prosperity!
Copyright 2020, AmericanProsperity.com