TechKNOW Tomorrow – Remote Solutions in Education and Healthcare

Remote work is on the rise: “at the beginning of 2021, 32% of Canadian employees aged 15 to 69 worked most of their hours from home, compared with 4% in 2016“. If you read our previous article, you can see how working remotely is starting to become a permanent change in our society. And while many industries are thriving with this change, the education and healthcare sectors have struggled to adapt.

These industries are ones that previously required face-to-face interactions as a result of a lack of infrastructure. Since the spread of COVID-19, the education and healthcare sectors have found creative ways to provide much needed resources worldwide. How so? Let’s take a look!

Education

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, schools across the world were forced to close their doors last year. “Globally, over 1.2 billion children [were] out of the classroom” as of April of 2020. The education sector lacked the infrastructure necessary to teach students remotely, forcing educators to find new methods through e-learning on digital platforms.

Early during worldwide lockdowns, online platforms like BYJU’s and Lark started offering free or unlimited services to aid teachers with the transition to an online learning environment. Some examples of these services include “unlimited video conferencing time, auto-translation capabilities, real-time co-editing of project work, and smart calendar scheduling“. Companies are developing large cloud servers to meet the high demands of remote learning, which means more people that have access to online services.

Image by Compare Fibre via Unsplash.

Other programs like Bitesize Daily offer “curriculum-based learning for kids across the UK” with teachers that emphasize learning in a fun environment. Here in Canada, we have many educators turning towards

Other programs like Bitesize Daily offer “curriculum-based learning for kids across the UK” with teachers that emphasize learning in a fun environment. Here in North America, we have many educators turning towards tools such as “Zoom for daily live instruction, Screencastify for asynchronous learning, Seesaw as an elementary learning platform” and Google Classroom or PowerSchool for secondary students to make up for lost time in the classroom.

Remote learning allows teachers to reach “students more efficiently and effectively through chat groups, video meetings, voting and also document sharing“. Combined with the flexibility of working or learning from home at virtually any time, we may see these changes as a permanent solution to the issues created by COVID-19 in the education sector.

Healthcare

The healthcare sector is also undergoing rapid changes in response to COVID-19. In many places across the world – particularly in rural communities – access to physicians such as family doctors or psychiatrists can be either incredibly difficult or outright impossible. Part of the reason for this is the high costs involved in travel, insurance, or the service itself.

Remote healthcare is changing this for the better. For example, thanks to online support groups, the availability of health information on the internet, and virtual sessions with physicians, people across the world have access to healthcare that they otherwise wouldn’t have. Additionally, we can get prescriptions with a simple phone call and register for services such as an MCP card online.

Telepathology example by Remote Medical Technologies.

Other examples of telehealth efforts include ECGs that “can send real-time updates via [a] patient’s smartphone” to be analyzed later, or microscopic sensors attached to artificial hips or pacemakers that can monitor blood pressure.

So what does this mean for after the COVID-19 pandemic ends?

Today, we’re starting to see a return to physical classrooms and doctor’s offices with certain regulations in place, but that doesn’t mean that remote working and learning are disappearing. Particularly in rural communities where there are less physical locations for schools or physicians, we will likely see a mixture of in-person and online services.

. . .

At techKNOWtutors, we realize that adapting to technology isn’t easy. Although most services have closed, we remain open – digitally – to answer your internet-related questions. If you need help with improving your digital literacy, send us an email at techknowtutors@cscnl.ca or join our Facebook group and send us a message.

Better yet, sign up for one of our online classes that we offer for FREE every week! Until then, stay in the techKNOW.

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