Institut Cerdà has organised an online conference, “New mega-connected scenarios”, to assess how the Covid-19 crisis represents a turning point in the application of digital technologies and connectivity in our society. Representatives from the health, culture and training-entrepreneurship sectors met to discuss this hypothesis and predict the digital technology and connectivity related changes to come and future challenges to be met in their sectors.

The key speakers at conference were Joan Oller, Director General of the Orfeo Català Palau de la Música Foundation, José Maria Siota, Executive Director of the IESE Entrepreneurship and Innovation Centre, and William Arellano, Director of Information Systems at the Hospital Clínic.

According to the speakers, on the one hand, the crisis has led to an acceleration of the use and implementation of digital information and communication technologies, involving increasing numbers users, diversification across sectors and the development of more services. However, technology must be conceived as a means to promote a transformation in terms of content and products or services (diversification and enrichment) in these sectors.

The speakers highlighted that there is also a transformation in the relationship with the user or client resulting in a more user centred approach combining virtual and face-to-face experiences and enriched services. Paradoxically, achieving the objective of increasing service humanisation through technology, actually results in interaction with the community of users that will be more integrated as well as more diverse (in terms of geographic origins, in needs for personalisation of the service, in use capabilities, etc.).

The different speakers gave examples of experiences and good practices already tested or implemented in their centres. For example, at Hospital Clínic has trialled, remote surgery with 5G support thanks to the third 5G antenna in the world; medical remote assistance; robotization of cleaning and disinfection; virtual relationship between patients and family-, etc. IESE has experimented with virtual classrooms based on 5G technology and augmented reality and edge computing to enable immersive, experiential and remote training sessions. At the Palau de la Música, the Palau Digital platform allows contact with customers, offering an improvement in service and an expansion of content and products.

These sectors can drive these types of services and, in the near future, will develop new features and use cases that have yet to be envisaged. For this reason, public, private and social organisations must face numerous challenges including:

  • The development of infrastructures and networks that guarantee connectivity, capillarity and ubiquity
  • The adaptation of organisations to respond to service potential
  • Training of professionals
  • Inclusive policies to guarantee the accessibility of all users and avoid a digital divide
  • Collaboration and transfer to facilitate business development
  • Personalisation of financing mechanisms
  • Public-private collaboration

Video de la sesión