Much as we talk about living in a golden age of technology, it took a pandemic to truly supercharge innovation. Very few years have generated such total upheaval in practically every element of our lives. And then there’s the impact on industry ― it’s hard to think of any vertical untouched by the world-changing events of 2020.
So, if we’ve come so far in such a short period of time – albeit under duress – in 2020, what does that mean for 2021, once the dust has (hopefully) settled? If 2020 was a year of make-do and mend, how do we build on that and shift closer to ‘thrive’ rather than just ‘survive’? In this article we’ll look at three areas of work and business and examine what the COVID revolution of 2020 could mean for 2021. And if you’d like to know more about any of the topics covered here and keep up with the very latest thinking, don’t miss The Lenovo Webinar Series. Hear some of the finest minds in their fields discuss the best practices for solving your key business challenges.
There’s change. And then there’s 2020 change.
As a sector, healthcare is au fait with change. The industry has moved at pace, particularly over the last 40 years, for a variety of reasons ― rising life expectancy, growing heart and pulmonary conditions, expanding populations, a shortage of health professionals and more. As a result, healthcare is nearly always reacting to new ideas and technologies.
But 2020 forgot about evolution, opting for revolution instead. Fortunately, R&D departments responded accordingly. Take virtual care, for example.
Virtual care is an area Lenovo Healthcare Solutions have worked hard to develop in recent years, going even further in 2020.
Virtual care has been happening for years in a variety of forms, but we expect a significant expansion in 2021. Designed with the management of chronic care in mind, virtual care encompasses a mix of AI and biometric devices monitoring home-based patients, critically managing patient behaviour, uniting the spread of medical experts to deliver a consistent care plan.
We fully expect Microsoft Teams to play its part in the deployment of virtual care. Much more than just an IM tool for the traditional workplace and configured for the healthcare sector by Lenovo, Teams is the fastest growing Microsoft product in history. It’s also looking like a core component of practically every virtual care solution in 2021 and beyond.
For starters, we may finally see a truly joined up patient record system. Test results, x-rays, ultrasounds, records and notes can be kept and shared among medical professionals in the one place. Even prescriptions are kept on file, so the whole team has total visibility of the patient’s medical plan. The potential to raise the standard of care has never been greater.
Similarly, virtual rounding is also Teams-based. Allowing physicians to dial into a Teams meeting with patients, virtual rounding is a modern take on ‘morning rounds’, where the doctor pops in on each patient, one after the other. In the modern equivalent, each hospital room is kitted out with its own communications device for patients to take calls from their medical team. It’s a great way to have those important 1-2-1 conversations particularly during a pandemic, reducing potential exposure. Amongst other things, it records calls, allowing post-op patients to refer back previous conversations.
It’s fascinating stuff ― and if you’d like to find out more about the changing face of healthcare, don’t miss our webinar, Discover the path to secure, virtual healthcare.
What about the traditional workplace?
Have we left the traditional office environment behind? It’s certainly been turned on its head. Transformation projects usually scheduled for several years were carried out in days. Remote working very quickly became the norm… but it all happened so quickly, how can we take things to the next level in 2021?
The will is certainly there. 77% of businesses are open to allowing workers to keep on WFH once things return to normal. And you can see why ― 15% have reported productivity increases in the last year.
WFH certainly puts additional strain on IT teams. Remote workers are going to have to take on an element of IT management themselves, to learn how to manage those smaller issues. IT departments don’t have the manpower to attend to every single request.
But with so many people working from home, we do expect to see a boom in next generation screen aids and productivity peripherals ― docking stations, multiple monitors, enhanced audio for video calls and tools like Lenovo’s ThinkSmart View, a collaborative smart device that tackles the administrative tasks that waste your PC’s resources.
The right flexible working tools correlate neatly with productivity. Discover how in our new webinar, Lead the way in remote workplace transformation.
Education had a tough 2020. Remote learning had been on the agenda for a while anyway, but learning institutions were forced to switch up their offerings almost overnight, in a similar vein to those long-term transformation projects delivered in a few days.
The pandemic has acted as a reminder of the importance of educational continuity. Stop/start learning doesn’t work for anyone. That’s why we’ll see (and are already seeing) teaching solutions for every learning environment, be it in a traditional student/teacher/classroom environment, a hybrid model with some pupils in the physical classroom and others at home, and a purely remote model which sees students and teachers united only digitally.
Roma Tre University recently chose Lenovo as its distance learning partner. 220 classrooms are now kitted out with Lenovo’s ThinkSmart hub which acts as a bi-directional gate for students, allowing teachers to effectively ‘stage manage’ the entire lesson. Lessons can be recorded for later consumption and critically, remote students can interact and collaborate with their in-classroom counterparts, thanks to the ubiquitous Microsoft Teams. We think this model will become widely adopted in 2020.
Give teachers the right tools, and they can deliver the best learning outcomes for students wherever they are. Make today’s classrooms work for you is our specialist education webinar – watch it, and find out how in 2021, more lessons than ever will begin with a click.