Innovation, Telehealth, and Space… oh my!

After listening to a presentation about the future of innovation in Ireland, I learned how innovation can be a new way of thinking, not just a new innovative product or technology. One example of someone with an innovative way of thinking was Sally Ride. Sally was the first American woman in space, the youngest American astronaut to go to space, and the first space traveler known to have been gay. I think Sally deserves to be called an innovator because she was able to break down gender barriers and challenge cultural norms on the path to achieve her goals. Her success in being an astronaut gives hope to girls and women everywhere knowing that they too have the opportunity to follow their dreams. As I look to innovation today, the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly changed our world and has led to accelerated innovation. One such innovation that I have observed during these COVID times is the use of telehealth services. Telehealth allows for patients and physicians to more quickly and easily meet with each other for health solutions. I myself have used telehealth appointments more since the pandemic. They can have some limitations when a physician needs to physically examine you, but for check up or follow up appointments, telehealth visits can be more effective and efficient for all parties. I think innovation in telehealth technology will continue into the future as a result of its popularity due to the pandemic. Also from the pandemic, I have observed more usage of no-contact ordering and cashless transactions. Delivery services, such as Grubhub and UberEats, have no-contact delivery options which have become quite popular due to the need created from the pandemic. Additionally, more and more businesses encourage cashless transactions for purchases since the pandemic due to less contact in the exchange of tender. These innovations are not new to our society, but they have become more common and implemented more widely, and I think that we will continue on this path towards a cashless, no/low-contact society.

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