Over the past 100 years, humanity has witnessed the spread of several epidemics at the global level, such as SARS, Ebola and Spanish flu, and therefore Covid-19 is not the first pandemic the world has witnessed. However, the fundamental difference now, is the way to confront this epidemic compared to previous years, as we today rely on technology that makes things less complicated in this regard. The past few months have witnessed a digital transformation to varying degrees across all aspects of human interaction – from healthcare, to access to basic goods and services, to the continuity of our business and our social life.
The vital sectors in the MENA region are witnessing a radical technological transformation, as we are witnessing a widespread demand by hospitals and clinics to efficiently adopt digital technologies, in order to limit the spread of the virus, in addition to enabling remote learning and work processes. The various economic sectors, government agencies and specialized references contribute to driving the digital transformation currently taking place in the region.
The existing conditions are considered appropriate for companies to reassess their strategies for the near future, and it is expected that companies that adopt technology and tend to adopt digitization in their future plans are in a better position than traditional competitors, thus enabling them to seize the opportunity and lead the sector in which they operate optimally.
The pandemic has given impetus to many technological innovation initiatives, particularly in healthcare, starting with test kits and contact tracing. Technology is now enabling people to better understand the risks in their immediate surroundings and respond to the existing reality, by following social distancing policies and adopting other preventive measures accordingly. Successful examples include the Emirati Al-Husn app, which detects if an individual is in close proximity to someone who has been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19. The chatbot service, called the “virtual doctor,” poses vital questions that help it infer whether a person is at risk of contracting the Covid virus. With life gradually returning to normal, travel is one of the activities people most look forward to – and destinations, accommodations and restaurants are starting to prepare for their return after this crisis has passed. Hotels tend to adopt digitalization almost entirely through reservation and registration processes without the need to go through the front desk, allowing guests to avoid human contact as much as possible.