Technology will continue to evolve, whether we need it to or not. That notion appears to be great news for a number of industries who are turning towards technology to improve how they serve their respective customer bases. The recent technological advancements within the real estate, healthcare, and grocery shopping sectors are likely to create an interesting end of 2021 and beyond.
Real Estate: The tech keeps coming
Real estate professionals have had no choice but to keep up with the latest tech trends in their industry, or they risk being left behind. Property technology, also known as proptech, is one of most well-known tech branches in real estate. Proptech is currently being used to help people purchase, sell or research properties, as well as let landlords do things such as control their building’s heating and cooling system, lighting, locks and more over the internet, according to Forbes.
Proptech is just one rising trend in the real estate industry, however. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has also become more advanced, which has led to more companies using chatbots and virtual assistants to answer customers’ questions in real time.
“Virtual assistants provide an ‘always on’ channel to respond to client questions in real time or near real time, at the pace of the client,” Mahi de Silva, co-founder and CEO of Amplify.ai, the developer of an enterprise-class conversational AI platform told RisMedia.
Chatbots’ 24/7 capability allows companies to no longer worry about missing after business hours messages.
Meanwhile, augmented reality (AR) makes it easier for real estate owners to show homes without going through the expensive staging process. Instead, an agent can use an AR platform like VisualStage to show their listings virtually and buyers can “decorate” the house as they see fit.
Digital Healthcare: Rise of online treatments
The COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot of people’s attitudes towards digital healthcare and investors noticed. U.S. digital health companies raised $14.1 billion in venture funding in 2020, according to Rock Health’s 2020 Market Insights Report. The raise was the highest in one year since Rock Health started tracking funding in 2011 and was a 72% increase from the previous record set in 2018.
The rise in telehealth use has been one of the noticeable tech trends since the beginning of 2020. Physicians offered virtual visits prior to the pandemic, but it wasn’t until lockdowns took place did patients begin to embrace them. Up to 30% of adults in the U.S. said they planned to use telemedicine during the early part of 2020, according to eMarketer.
There are significant cost savings tied to tele-visits versus in-person appointments as well. Healthcare providers save up to $1,500 per visit when they push patients from emergency departments to tele-visits, according to Healthleaders. Telehealth also brings healthcare access to more people who might not otherwise receive it either due to cost or proximity.
Just like with real estate, artificial Intelligence (AI) has developed a larger presence in the medical industry, especially for early diagnosis prediction, according to Forbes. Physicians are also using AI to spot potential illnesses before their symptoms appear. For example, a recent IBM report noted its AI model could detect breast cancer in 87% of analyzed cases.
“With AI, medical experts can make decisions based on their experience as well as data, taking their decision-making to a whole new level,” Vladimir Lugovsky, Forbes Business Council member and Co-Founder and CEO of digital product development agency Akveo wrote. “Thanks to AI, the future foundation of healthcare could be built around preventive measures rather than treatment.”
Shopping: Cash registers not required
When stores introduced self-checkout counters, it didn’t seem possible that the shopping experience could be any less interactive. It turns out it was possible as retailers like Amazon launched on-the-go grocery stores, tech publication Pocket-Lint reports. The Amazon Go concept uses a combination of AI, sensors and cameras to let shoppers enter a grocery store, grab their items and walk out. The store’s tech tracks items that are taken off (and returned to) shelves in the customer’s virtual cart. The shopper’s Amazon account is charged when they exit.
Starbucks recently joined the cashier-less store trend as well, according to Yahoo Finance and other news outlets. The coffee giant partnered with Amazon Go to bring the new Starbucks Pickup concept to one of its New York City locations. The store will combine the Starbucks’ order-ahead feature on its app and Amazon Go’s Just Walk Out tech to let customers get their beverages essentially hands free.
“Amazon Go and Starbucks share a common vision to provide innovative in-store experiences that are centered on the customer,” Dilip Kumar, vice president of physical retail and technology at Amazon said in a statement. “Customers have enjoyed the effortless shopping experience enabled by our Just Walk Out technology at Amazon Go where they can simply come in, grab something delicious to eat or drink, and just leave and carry on with their day without having to wait in line to pay.”
Customers have a few ways to enter the Amazon Go Market and the store’s lounge area. They can scan the “In-Store Code” in the Amazon shopping app, Amazon One or a credit card. Once inside, any item they grab is tracked through their virtual cart just like Amazon’s grocery stores.
“The new Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go is designed to provide our customers with an experience that delivers convenience and connection in an effortless way,” Katie Young, senior vice president of global growth and development at Starbucks said in a statement. “Our goal with this new store concept is to give our customers the ability to choose which experience is right for them as they go through their day, whether it is utilizing the Starbucks and Amazon apps to purchase food and beverages on the go, or deciding to stay in the lounge for the traditional third place experience Starbucks is known for.”
Stay up to date on tech with Faronics
The real estate, retail and healthcare sectors are all leveraging technology to increase their bottom line and serve their customers. Chances are they won’t be the only ones doing so going forward. Keep track of how these industries and others make the most of the constantly changing tech landscape by following the Faronics blog.