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Powering a new post-pandemic paradigm

Jun 09, 2020 By Sally Gao

COVID-19 has profoundly impacted life and the global economy, with a more digitalized way of living emerging as the norm and online-based industries experiencing substantial growth. During the pandemic, 5G, AI, social media have all demonstrated their value, alongside remote applications for telemedicine, education, video, and work.

China's robust digital infrastructure has kept classes running and enabled companies to resume work and production. In Henan province, for example, specialist medical teams were able to promptly diagnose, treat, and conduct remote rounds for over 2,000 patients with COVID-19 in remote areas of the province thanks to the National Telemedicine Center in Zhengzhou and its telemedicine system. 

Moreover, the wide adoption of teleconferencing and live steaming has led many people to realize that traveling long-distances for business, face-to-face meetings, and offline expos can take place online instead. The result is likely to be more efficient, faster, less expensive, and better for the environment.

We’ve witnessed the adoption of online learning on the largest ever scale. However, it’s also come to light that the digital divide still exists and has even widened due to the pandemic. For example, while children in cities can access teachers, lessons, and resources remotely, many educators and pupils in remote areas lack broadband networks and devices, making online learning impossible.

The global surge in the use of digital technology since the pandemic has tested the digital transformation progress of enterprises and nations. We still need greater collaboration and innovation worldwide to help us use digital technology to mitigate the impact of global events and protect the health and well-being of individuals and society.

The way in which the pandemic has brought the world to a temporary halt will inevitably lead to a collective awakening and reflection, a realization that humankind, technology, and the natural world must coexist in a sustainable way – one that enables the healthy development of the planet and everyone on it. 

Right now, it’s unclear how COVID-19 will play out, whether it will become endemic and create a new paradigm or whether it will disappear. Either way, we must face the future empowered by technology.