May 8, 2020

In Times of Crisis: Тechnology Innovations That Help the World

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We live in social distancing and a widespread quarantine due to COVID-19, to protect the health of everyone around us. Prior to the current situation, it was hard to comprehend how such a crisis could bring just about the complete halt of everything that makes the world go round.

The solution for both the world and the business, however, is to keep moving and to focus on endurance and innovation.

In fact, technology solutions have been emerging during the past decade, which if rolled-out more prevalently could prove to be a game-changer and they would allow keeping the wheels turning for many companies in the transportation, eCommerce, health, and financial sector. And, of course, see how their expanded implementation could have helped us prepare for a crisis like this, while we learn how to use the world anew.

The future of Land Freight: Autonomous Trucks 

With the surge of the pandemic, cross-border traffic restrictions came as one of the first measures in many parts of the world – Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Overnight border blockades produced massive lines of cargo transports waiting because the drivers had to go through additional inspections for the coronavirus. In the Schengen area of Europe, where people and cargo roamed freely prior to the outbreak, those measures were unseen for decades. According to The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the effect on delivery schedules and service quality has already led to:

 – Around 50% decline in revenue for over 15% of logistics firms

 – About 50% of companies report between 10-30% decline in services in local and foreign markets

Аs usual, technology has the answer – in the face of autonomous vehicles and the progress of AI technologies. The future expansion of the development and the use of autonomous vehicles can turn out to be the very thing that could have prepared the world for a crisis like the current one. Self-driving cargo trucks would only need to go through а sanitization without blocking the borders or requiring quarantine for long periods, as digital cargo manifests could also be relayed automatically to border controls as the truck leaves towards their destination.

The market for autonomous trucks is projected to reach 1,132.3 thousand units in 2025 and 81.8 thousand units in 2030.

Electronic Toll Collection to the rescue 

Another solution that would have given the world an easier way to keep going during the COVID-19 pandemic would be the wide-spread immediate option for remote toll payments and validation. Such solutions are already being used in the US (E-ZPass, SunPass), UAE, Scandinavia, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and others. With ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) systems, we get an alternative that would replace toll booths where all drivers are required to stop and manually pay toll taxes, and even for gas and drive-thru restaurants in some implementations. The more vehicles are equipped with them, the less danger for contamination and long delays.

The rise of eCommerce

With the temporary closing of many brick and mortar stores and commercial chains, eCommerce now serves as the backbone of many businesses. Businesses are faced with the immediate need to scale fast and secure, and companies like Scalefocus are the perfect partner in this endeavor.

This next-level of transformation includes not only the many options for setting up an e-shop but also the broad integration of:

 – Top-notch online payment systems like solutions for digital wallets

 – Last-mile delivery systems with AI technology and routes optimization

– Systems for autonomous delivery

– Campaign and loyalty management tools

– Integration of Bringg’s solution for brick and mortar stores, providing real-time visibility across their entire delivery ecosystem

Stepping up even further, technology for fully robotized Fulfilment Centers is already being used by some of the oldest retailers, not just the eCommerce disruptors of the past decade.

Healthcare: Remote Diagnostics 

Never before in human history has the call for high technology in healthcare been more acute. As the pandemic came, the need for software solutions in those sectors, turned out to be more than necessary.

Scalefocus already created a tool for remote diagnostics – the application ViruSafewhich cooperates with the government in a complex system. The goal of it is:

 – to inform citizens, experts, and government about the actual situation of the country’s total disease rate

 – to collect, summarize, and processes information in real-time through links to several systems and state registers

 – to provide relevant insights to institutions, who can use it to help people and make accurate predictions

Similar solutions could not only be the answer to the containment of the virus and the relief of the health system but for remote diagnostics and usage by GPs to follow their patients remotely.

Telemedicine is another tool popping up on the agenda of many decision-makers – technology and usage exist already, but its improvement and expansion throughout the world are crucial. In Europe and the US, the virtual visits to patients are now a matter of safety. Even more in the US, the federal government has lifted restrictions on telemedicine services for seniors, enabling their access to health care from their homes. Virtual medicine and virtual tools create a secure online space for doctors to see their patients, thus mitigating the dangers of the pandemic. Telemedicine could be the revolution that will allow for a big part of the population to be triaged virtually and redirected to the right specialist or receive secondary health care by their own doctor in a virtual environment.

In much the same way, something that only a year ago was a futuristic goal can turn out to be something that quickly becomes an integral part of our society, including:

 – The conversational AI-based triage and pre-diagnostics tools and their expansion

 – The full integration of such solutions through apps and/or wearable devices

Those things can not only help bring the number of patients going into the ERs down dramatically but would give the people and the treating physicians the answers they need in minutes – so we get the upper hand in the functioning of the health systems.

Banking: Digital platforms & Blockchain

Тhe current pandemic is the kind of shock that modern economies have never experienced before. For the banking sector, the need for innovation and the digital transformation was apparent even before COVID-19 and now turns out to be vital. Digital transactions have gone up by 3-4 digits. Virtual banks, where KYC replaces bank tellers are on the rise for the past 5 years, as mobile banking & digital wallets have replaced the traditional instruments. Contactless now means Apple Pay or Google Pay, whereas consumers no longer need to swipe their cards or carry banknotes, ridden with microbes. Instant small loan authorization, instantly, could be key. RPA in the back-office could replace the trouble of exposing core infrastructure to remote workers’ home networks or having to reorganize workspaces so that those are safe for all.

Digital & mobile banking platforms and other software solutions built around blockchain and digitalized payments turn out to be the globally needed tool that ensures smooth banking experience for customers at a time when everyone is advised to stay in. Digitalization of all operations in the sector is the way to

 – Boost efficiency with all operations safely

 – Removing the intermediaries to protect those most vulnerable

 – Bigger safety for public and private assets & finances

We believe that the digital world and high-technology in everyday life should only evolve with time to bring forward more opportunities. And in the midst of this crisis, this need is more than apparent. Тhe expansion, implementation, and usage of those and other software solutions could turn out to be the light of tomorrow – for the business and the industries as a whole. And for the whole world – now and in the future.

Scalefocus can help you build, support, and expand your business in times of crisis.
Contact us to talk about how.