Latest guest post by Charlie Fletcher
The implementation of tech is nothing new for most industries. However, recent innovations have boosted the impact of tech — particularly that which impacts health and safety. The health and safety of the public, consumers, and workforce is of utmost importance at all times but especially in the wake of a pandemic and flailing economy. Here are five industries where technology is providing the means to keep business afloat and people safe.
Health & Safety Innovations: 5 Industries Where Technology Is Making a Difference
1. Public Safety
The public safety industry includes organizations that protect the public. Professionals that work within this industry include emergency medical responders, firefighters, and law enforcement officers. Modern innovations in tech, like drones and 5G connectivity, have made this business of safety even safer.
For instance, drones have revolutionized firefighting. Drones can be used during training, assisting in controlled burning and data collection. Artificial intelligence (AI) is used to predict the probability of wildfires, as well as detect them when they occur. Then, real-time data from drones near fires helps responders know where to allocate resources. Some of these drones are even able to drop fire retardant on hot spots.
These flying, camera-equipped machines can also be used in search-and-rescue operations. This increases rescue efficacy and decreases hazards for first responders. Cameras on the drones show firefighters what paths are safe to take and how to best rescue anyone trapped in the fire. The drones also amplify cell signals, allowing responders to communicate efficiently on-site.
Enhanced connectivity is a large component of health and safety. Even with its drawbacks, social media is another example of tech that has provided benefits for public safety. Top social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok are used to disseminate public health information at more rapid speeds than ever before. Law officials even utilize these platforms to post mass updates on public policy.
Connectivity has enhanced the healthcare industry, as well. While misinformation can be spread on social media, helpful information for the public can also be spread more quickly. The public is more connected to healthcare resources than ever before thanks to tech. Rural areas that may not have had access to adequate healthcare can now use telehealth services.
For example, teletherapy in rural areas has not only improved access to therapy for more individuals but also decreased the risk of unnecessary illness spread. Using tech to have a virtual therapy session opens up possibilities for healthcare professionals and citizens, alike.
Healthcare institutions also benefit from tech. The Internet of Things (IoT) in healthcare is advancing constantly, allowing healthcare machines, wearables, and monitoring software to consistently communicate crucial patient information. This means less human error and more chances to boost public health.
3. Construction and Manufacturing
Along with public health considerations, tech has enabled the enhanced safety of employees. Some industries, like construction and manufacturing, are more prone to hazardous conditions. Drones can keep tabs on productivity and safety hazards in the workplace. Then, the machine tech that the construction workers are using can provide them with warnings. This decreases the instance of injury and enhances efficiency.
In addition to protecting employees, AI can also predict gaps in productivity, optimizing workflow. This increases safety while enhancing the construction and manufacturing companies’ profitability. Simulated construction and manufacturing jobs during training can also help workers go to the job site more prepared than ever.
The pandemic has also forced the education industry to innovate. Even though this industry is arguably behind technologically and financially, educators and the government have a responsibility to protect the safety and well-being of children in the education system. This was amplified by the increased risk of disease spread during the spike in COVID-19 cases. Technology-facilitated virtual classrooms mitigate this risk while still providing engaging education.
Although Irish schools don’t use tech as much as the rest of the EU, there are still strides being made toward enhancing education with digital tech for learning. In fact, the Educational Research Centre has launched a policy called the Digital Strategy for Schools. Students and teachers can benefit from greater access to fast internet and education tech, like student tracking portals, virtual classrooms, VR, educational podcasts, laptops, tablets, gamified educational apps, and smart boards.
Banking has utilized virtual platforms for years now, but it is ever-changing and, typically, for the better. Financial information is sensitive, and banks are using technology to keep that information safe — for the public and for the reputation of their organizations. Encrypted transactions and secure platforms prevent hackers from releasing or using financial data. Cryptocurrency for personal finance is also advancing as financial concerns are on the rise. AI can track spending and forecast earnings in the stock market, among other things.
Keeping Abreast of Tech Advancements for Health and Safety
No matter what industry you are in, keeping your ear to the ground will help you stay aware of new and upcoming technology. This way, you can allocate business resources to upgrade to the newest systems, keeping employees and the public safer than ever.
Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer passionate about workplace equity, and whose published works cover sociology, politics, business, education, health, and more.
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