The COVID-19 pandemic is underscoring the value of technology and digital capabilities in healthcare. While the virus is causing unprecedented devastation and disruption, it is also fueling rapid advancements in healthcare technology that are likely to have a lasting and positive impact on care delivery.

Becker’s Hospital Review rounded up some of the new predictive analytics tools that hospitals have developed to forecast COVID-19 cases and plan resources accordingly. Notably, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia developed a platform that utilizes temperature and humidity data from 389 U.S. counties experiencing some level of COVID-19 activity to predict the severity of future surges.

Virtual care has also exploded over the last several months with survey data indicating it is here to stay. A CVS Health survey data from 1,000 people showed 48% were more likely to connect with a provider if the conversation was through digital messaging, 32% were more likely to communicate through telehealth and 30% were willing to use a virtual office visit.

Many patients adopted virtual care during the pandemic out of necessity but now it’s clear they want those services to stick around after the health crisis is over. An Accenture survey shed light on what patients like about communicating with their doctors digitally. Many noted that virtual care was more personal, more convenient and timelier.

Lastly, hospitals have traditionally relied on human clinicians to assign patients to beds and make decisions about when to send them home or back to the hospital. Now, with COVID-19 elevating the need to keep patients out of the hospital who don’t need to be there, providers are turning to Artificial Intelligence (AI) for support. STAT explored how the technology is helping them plan discharges and assess readmissions risk.