The Place Of Technology In A Time Of Crisis

The Place Of Technology In A Time Of Crisis
The Place Of Technology In A Time Of Crisis

In a world abound with crisis, humanity has never relied more on technology than in the past 3 years since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Besides still reeling from the economic effects of Covid-19, the world is also dealing with the ramifications of climate change as evidenced by the massive floods in Pakistan and wildfires in the US. To wrap it all up, the Ukraine War has also disrupted markets across the world as sanctions on various sectors including banking, manufacturing and energy continue to bite.

In the midst of all this, we have relied more and more on technology to get things going – for instance, technology solutions such as Google Meet, Zoom, Slack, Skype or Microsoft Teams have seen increased activity as the world dealt with restricted movement and remote working.

Today’s post looks at some of the tech innovations that are reliably helping in these tough times.

What Technology Solutions Can We Rely On

Be it a health crisis, food crisis, warfare, economic crisis or climate change, there’s virtually a technology solution suitable for every instance.

1.    AI and Robotics in Global Military Apparatus

With current estimates of the cost of war making it a trillion-dollar crisis, the global military apparatus is starting to see a lot of transformation as technology is leveraged to strengthen capabilities. In an effort to reduce the chances of annihilation in case of war, countries are optimizing their military defenses by replacing conventional warfare with hybrid approaches.

Some of the tech trends that are changing global military apparatus include:

  • Robotics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • IoT

These three tech trends are being used to change the course of wars by increasing precision through enhanced connectivity.

2.    Use of Drones in Firefighting

Due to climate change, the impact of heat waves is being felt like never before, with wildfires increasingly becoming a global problem. Combined with the changing landscape conditions, we are faced with an increased risk of fire, as evidenced by frequent forest fires experienced by almost all continents in recent years.

These forest fires have had devastating effects as conventional firefighting methods proved inadequate. However, there is hope in using drones for forest fire fighting. A swarm of drones is expected to aid or replace firefighting aircraft because of the ease of deployment and ability to be used at night or during the day.

Drones can be used in various ways during firefighting operations:

  • Assessment of the scene of fire prior to entry by firefighters.
  • Thermal cameras on drones can scan and show operators possible hotspots since smoke reduces visibility. This improves the efficiency of rescue operations.
  • Drones can help to monitor the spread and direction of large forest fires, enabling emergency services to alert people in the line of the fire to evacuate early.
  • After the fire has been put out, drones can be used to assess the extent of the damage.

A swarm of firefighting drones using relocatable servicing platforms does not need a nearby water basin, unlike aircraft, which can only perform a limited number of water drops. More importantly, drones are unmanned and hence do not provide any risk to human life during firefighting operations.

3.    Virtual Digital Spaces

The consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic saw a rapid growth in the adoption of online technology solutions for business and governments worldwide. E-commerce websites, virtual meeting platforms, NFT marketplaces, and even online casinos are just some of the digital spaces that saw an unprecedented growth in customer engagements during the pandemic.

Today, there’s a likelihood that humanity has learnt serious lessons and our options will undoubtedly expand when it comes to digital spaces providing reprieve in time of crisis.

4.    Telehealth and Electronic Medical Records (EHR)

Telehealth technology is a modern approach to patient-centred care aimed at protecting patients and physicians with a wider reach of caregiving. Telehealth can be quite the lifesaver where distance is a critical factor or in times of a global health pandemic such as Covid-19 or Ebola where movement is restricted.

The use of communication and information technologies in delivering health services is more efficient, given most families own at least one digital device. These portable devices with webcams enable video conferencing to facilitate communication between patients and physicians. This reduces the risk of infections from patient to patient or physician and guarantees service provision even by physicians who are in quarantine.

This remote provision of health care services also has the added benefit of covering multiple virtual patient visits by a tele-physician.

What’s more, telehealth requires the revamping of clinical documentation and the billing process. For this reason, technology has also stepped in with automated revenue cycle management (RCM) and electronic health record (EHR) systems. These automated digital workflows have streamlined telehealth service delivery and optimized it to tackle any health crisis.

5.    Smart Agriculture for Food Security

Climate change and water scarcity have greatly affected the agricultural sector, plunging the larger world population into food shortage, starvation and malnutrition. However, technology has started redefining how farmers engage in crop cultivation to mitigate some of these challenges.

Today, we are seeing mobile applications, hydroponics, and digital training on how to improve crop resilience and yield.

Technology innovations in the agricultural sector are being implemented through:

  • The use of satellite imagery and drones to detect pests and weeds enables timely response.
  • Genetically improved seeds that are resistant to disease, drought and faster maturation.
  • Crops grown in greenhouses with controlled temperature and artificial lighting.
  • Storage facilities with cooling facilities to prevent postharvest losses.
  • Automated irrigation systems that have increased the acreage of irrigated farmland, especially in Africa. This is done by advanced sensors which collect information about the soil and water, thus determining the right time to irrigate farms.