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2020 was a whirlwind and as uncertainty of things going back to normal continues into the New Year, we thought we’d focus on something more exciting, such as tech predictions for all the cool technology we can look forward to seeing this year. Particularly Digital Health, video conferencing, Virtual Reality (VR), and remote work & hybrid work.

1) Continued growth in E-health

The global Digital Health market is expected to witness a 37.1% spike in growth in the year 2021 and thereafter will continue to grow and reach US$508.8 billion by the year 2027 …”

The COVID-19 pandemic has all but ensured the acceleration of e-health in 2021. Last year saw the rise of digital health skyrocket as governments and hospitals looked to implement new ways of treating patients, including alternative ways of delivering healthcare and telemedicine. Advances in out-of-office care have proved that remote consultations are not only possible, but also easy and often preferable. This will no doubt be a preferred way to access healthcare services in the coming years.

Indeed, online video conferencing platforms, like Zoom, have been increasingly used for medical consultations including emergencies, diagnosis, follow-ups and even COVID testing.

It’s not just video tech that has been leveraged. According to experts, VR technology has become a reliable and powerful tool for the medical field. Physicians are finding VR useful for practicing new procedures, it is being used currently to treat chronic pain, and PTSD, educational institutions are using the tech to train future doctors and surgeons have been using it to test different techniques for difficult procedures. This year we can expect more advances in VR, with global market of digital health VR is expected to grow to $2.4 billion by 2026.

Another market that is set to grow immensely is wearable devices with the head of digital health at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, Patrik Sundstrom, estimating it could reach more than $27 million in 2023. From oximeters that monitor the amount of oxygen in the blood for respiratory patients to heart rate sensors and sweat meters that help diabetics monitor blood sugar level, wearable devices are empowering people to take charge of their own healthcare and that has never been more necessary than today.

2) Remote Work and hybrid offices

Almost everyone who worked in an office has experienced remote working in some form over the past twelve months. As we move through 2021, this is only going to become the norm with offices across the globe closing up for good and becoming entirely remote.

According to a survey conducted by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, 55% of respondents said they would prefer a mix of remote and on-site work. This “hybrid” approach could become quite common alongside technologies that support distributed workforces.

These technologies include cloud solutions, which proved essential for surviving the pandemic, and companies seeking long-term success and resilience will continue to invest.

3) Accelerated adoption of AI

“AI adoption will continue to gain traction in 2021 with emphasis on decisions that are not at the mercy of seismic shifts resulting from the ongoing pandemic. ” – Kimberly Nevala, the AI Strategic Advisor at SAS

As we predicted last year, the budding prospect of artificial intelligence (AI) in business has been debated and discussed with much enthusiasm.

Gone are the days when AI was something we only experienced in futuristic films. Over the years it has become an integral part of how we work and in the past year, it has only accelerated.

As more businesses look to adopt AI, 2021 will likely see the use of broadly applicable and high-value use cases like AI-enabled Document Processing. More businesses are also likely to adopt an AI-first approach to drafting their company strategy and creating new business models.

Tesla is a good example of this. The tech company has tightly focused on its customer’s buying, usage, and maintenance patterns. This in turn has seen them launch a successful AI-powered insurance offering that outperforms competitive services from rivals.

As the year really gets underway, the time is now to ensure you’re shifting gears to stay relevant and competitive. If you aren’t sure what technology is best suited for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our customised consultancy offering is suited to investigate and meet individual business demands. We’re based in Sydney’s CBD so pop in and see us any time.

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