The Pandemic caused by the Coronavirus accelerated the arrival of the fourth industrial revolution in Costa Rica, based on the use of technological tools and services. E-commerce, telework, telemedicine and virtual education have experienced accelerated adoption in the last month, where even Costa Ricans have launched their own developments and innovations. Mobile applications and national websites, as well as the production of goods and inputs through nanotechnology and 3D printing, are some examples of this situation.
Some brilliant examples
Scientists and students from the University of Costa Rica, the National University and the Technological Institute created, using plastic polymer printers, known as 3D, protective masks, parts for respirators and capsules for the intubation of patients, which have served for the care of the emergency.
In turn, the national companies Xenith Group and Grupo Babel, launched chatbots, which allow Costa Ricans to carry out automatic checks based on apps accessible through WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, which, through artificial intelligence fundamentals, provide guidance on the possibility of having contracted Coronavirus .
Health and education
In the health and education sector, there has been a massification of videoconferencing and collaboration tools, allowing health centers to offer teleconsultations, as well as schools, colleges and universities, especially private ones, to offer virtual education to their students.
This has been possible thanks to the giants of the technological world such as Microsoft, or and Amazon, decided to temporarily release their collaboration tools, Teams, Webex, Chrime, respectively, for free.
An example is CoopeVictoria, an association of coffee growers and sugarcane producers in Costa Rica, who migrated to telework through the Microsoft Teams application, as well as the 1,400 students from Lincoln School who receive classes through this software.
Goods and services
The goods and services sector has benefited from the expansion of electronic commerce, given the impossibility of moving to shopping centers, restaurants, stores and warehouses, as a result of measures such as the sanitary vehicle restriction, which prevents the transfer of people in certain hours and that limits the operation of shops.
That is why e-commerce stores already established in the country such as Unimart.com, TiendasUniversal, GolloTienda and TiendasEkono, expanded their catalog of goods and services to include products that were not sold before the health emergency, such as groceries, personal hygiene items and cleaning at home.
For small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), local options have been released to enter online sales, through free tools such as Oriolmarket and Nidux, which help to incorporate them into the world of electronic commerce.
For all this to work properly, it is necessary to ensure the continuity of fixed and mobile telecommunications services, as well as monitoring and attention to the opportunity of breakdowns to ensure the connectivity of Costa Ricans.
For this, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications created an advisory panel with the main telcos that operate in Costa Rica to, if necessary, buy international bandwidth and output or redistribute local data and Internet traffic, to maintain adequate service.