by Rachel Massaro

toilet paper search reveals there's none

Among all the thoughts swirling in my head amid this crazy time, I’m thinking about the many innovations that may come out of the pandemic. After all, if necessity is the mother of invention, then now is our golden opportunity.

Increased comfort with telework given all this practice we’re getting is inevitable. And while I’m not sure we’ll have a realistic replacement for toilet paper (or nannies, which is really what I need right now!), there are many other cultural and technological shifts that are likely to emerge in the coming months and years.

Healthcare providers who had previously struggled with bandwidth and security to support video doctor’s visits have ramped up quickly over the past several weeks. This increase in telemedicine will undoubtedly provide easier and additional access to healthcare providers and/or specialists beyond our immediate locales.

What about how we develop vaccines? Or on the flip side – how we test for immunities (see Stanford’s groundbreaking work on COVID-19 immunity). Will we see more self-cleaning adhesives or other antiviral surfaces on door handles and faucets? Will manufacturers more commonly allow open access to their designs (or earlier gen designs), like PPEs? How about connectivity? Internet access is essential for life, school, and work in 2020, yet large swaths of the population across the country don’t have it.

And of course, there will be impacts on future emergency preparedness, as this pandemic has shed light on some of the major shortfalls to-date.

While this time is shrouded with uncertainty, sickness, and sadly death, it is hopeful to think of the good that might come out of this awful situation.

About the Author

Rachel Massaro is the Vice President at Joint Venture as well as the Director of Research at Joint Venture's Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies . You can learn more about Rachel on her bio page.

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Joint Venture’s blog is a laboratory dedicated to thought leadership. It’s a place where a diversity of voices may test concepts in advance of publication. We welcome posts from opinion leaders in their field of expertise in order to connect with Joint Venture’s spectrum of audiences.