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A McKinsey Study showed that in just the first three weeks of 2021, we jumped five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption. When we consider the year we have just come through, it is pretty easy to understand why this mind-boggling statistic stands true.
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2021 is clearly a year of recovery for the world and for the business space from a pandemic that has devastated the entire planet for so long. However, as is the nature of man, we have learned to adapt. Some Industries have done more than adapt, they have thrived by leveraging the immense possibilities of tech to solve their most pressing mid-Covid worries.
Related: 4 Entrepreneurs Who Refreshed Stale Industries and Made Millions
Much has been written about these tech-revivals, but the focus below is on the opportunities they now present to new startups and entrepreneurs in a fast-changing world, as these three industries are going to feature clearly in this evolution:
This was and still is easily the most over-extended industry during this pandemic. It is little wonder that it also accounts for a massive amount of tech-driven evolutions during this time.
The stats on telemedicine adoption are staggering. In 2020, only 10% of US residents had replaced a doctor’s visit with telemedicine in the 12 months prior. In 2020, we saw that digit get bumped up to 60% of residents willing to try Telemedicine. 48% of Physicians also confirmed this bump by admitting to treating patients virtually within this period.
The most recognized name in telehealth, Teladoc reported a 50% weekly growth in service subscription. Prior to the pandemic, there was a huge gulf between patient acceptance of telemedicine and the medical consensus.
While patients were skeptical, the American Journal of Medicine had already declared that 75% of doctor’s visits were unnecessary and could be handled over the phone.
That gulf has since been reduced as the effectiveness of telehealth has been demonstrated. This instantly opens up doors for more software startups to create businesses tailored specifically for doctor-patient relations. There is still massive room for improvement in this space with many doctors resorting to Skype for consultations.
The possibility of connecting health monitoring gadgets such as Fitbits to telehealth software so physicians can remotely check patients vitals has been explored by a few startups, but the room is still glaringly empty in a manner of speaking.
Just like with telehealth, people weren’t really utilizing remote learning as such before the pandemic until it was all they had. The adoption of virtual learning was rapid and imperfect. Rapid, because of the lockdowns that were implemented and the closing down of schools, but imperfect because the edtech industry wasn’t quite ready, and neither were the students and teachers.
The challenges that popped up were to be expected; tech literacy, software performance limitation, limited acess for students, etc. Over time, schools have had to make do with what they have as companies like Edsights, Pronto and even Apple and Google have fought to answer the begging questions.
Edsights, for instance, had taken an entire year to acquire its first 16 clients (Universities), but added an additional 30 in the three weeks after the virus outbreak in the US and they, like others, had to evolve very fast to solve all the problems they were facing.
A large part of the e-learning occurred over Zoom which, though a great teleconferencing tool, isn’t tailor-made for education like the less popular Edsights platform.
Pending a release of a “Zoom for Education” app, the market is open and begging for innovation in edtech. The reason is because schools differ, class levels differ, courses differ, teaching styles and requirements differ, and education as a concept differs substantially from general teleconferencing.
The room for innovation is clear and this opens the door for startups in 2021 to address the issues of this diversity and produce solutions for education going forward.
The entertainment industry’s relationship with the pandemic was mixed. The giant tech platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney Plus benefited massively from an upsurge in usage due to the pandemic. It can be said that this was the fruit of their foresight. The music/comedy/stage performance aspect of the entertainment industry has always thrived on physical presence.
The pandemic forced entertainers to re-imagine what performance means and deliver it to a virtual audience. The world of entertainment moved online and it was a rocky ride. Virtual concert/performance tickets have been used long before Covid hit, but exclusively virtual events proved to be a real challenge.
The other shift that occurred in the industry was the leveling of the field in terms of grabbing attention of fans. With the suspension of physical events, major labels and brands could not gather the momentum that tours and concerts gave them. This gave upcoming artistes, comedians and brands leverage to compete for attention and actually get it.
One clear example is the 2020 breakout rap star, Bruh Bruh, and his rise to prominence. Like many others, his strategy boiled down to great marketing coming to play on his top-notch music and video content. The viral growth of his content and acceptance of his music bore a testament to the immense possibilities of tech when mixed with talent.
In the absence of physical presence, it all boils down to who markets best on social media and who is able to create and deliver more top-notch content.
2021 is likely to still continue the trends of virtual events and this opens immense opportunities for young entertainers and brands. It also opens a massive opportunity for the development of software that can accommodate more participants in a reasonable, workable way.
These three Industries are clearly not the only ones that have seen immense opportunities created. 2021 is a year of a great reset, and it is likely that more and more opportunities will present themselves to entrepreneurs who are looking for a way in or brands who are looking to expand.
Related: Opportunity For Startups in Manufacturing, Logistics and Supply Chain