New Technology Helps Fight the Coronavirus (And Beyond)

“5G wireless is going to change the world.”

I’ve been saying that for a year and a half now. At first, it was really only us “insiders” who could see it – those of us who closely monitor technology trends. But I think it’s really going to hit home for people now that they see how 5G is helping with these coronavirus outbreaks.

The coronavirus is not what I want to be talking about right now. Just like it’s keeping people at home (whenever they can…and whenever they’re not out at the stores to stockpile goods), the coronavirus is also keeping great investments from realizing their potential.

But there is a silver lining. The outbreaks are slowing at their epicenter in China, as I talked about in yesterday’s MoneyLine podcast. In densely populated cities that already have thousands of COVID-19 cases, hospitals and first responders are pulling out all the stops to fight this virus. That includes some amazing technology that’s worth your attention, like:

Robotic healthcare. On Saturday, Wuhan’s Wuchang Hospital launched a smart hospital facility. There, quarantined patients are having temperatures taken, meals delivered, and halls patrolled by robots.

The doctors offsite receive updates and health metrics via the hospital’s 5G network. That’s potentially a lot of data… and, since 5G is 100 times faster than 4G wireless, doctors are able to get all that information in an instant. Robots are being developed outside China, too, specifically to fight the coronavirus – at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, for example.

Hospital support drones. Robots are also able to help with a lot of other manual tasks that normally fall to nurses or support staff. Every time one of Wuchang’s robots delivers samples to the lab…cleans and disinfects the facilities… or directs a patient to a doctor… it also helps keep an actual hospital worker out of harm’s way. That’s another example of the revolutionary potential of 5G, and why it’s going to stick with us – long after this crisis has passed.

“Smart helmets” for first responders. The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a fever and dry cough. Before you’re close enough to get coughed on, though, an infrared camera can identify an elevated body temperature. That’s key for police and first responders. And it’s why major Chinese cities like Shanghai started outfitting them with “smart helmets” in February.

Not only do the helmets take your temperature from 15 feet away, they take this data and report back… with 5G wireless connectivity.

But beyond the coronavirus “hot zones,” it’s not the flashy technology that’s having an impact. It’s the ordinary technology that we take for granted – or don’t use to its full potential. Now, more businesses and individuals are giving the technology a chance. And going forward, it could change the way we operate:

Virtual meetings. First of all, people are still working. They’re just teleworking if they can – and as much as they can.

Realizing this, Wall Street has been favoring “telework stocks” like RingCentral (RNG), which provides video calls and meetings. Even as the broad indexes began to break down in mid-February, RNG held up pretty well. At this point, the stock is still up 27% for the year, versus the 11% drop in the S&P 500:

Similar stocks like Zoom Technologies (ZOOM), which is a more recent IPO (from 2019), have exploded higher during the coronavirus panic, too.

But even better than teleworking is…

Telemedicine. This is something I’ve been on for a while, too. I added Teladoc (TDOC) to my Investment Opportunities portfolio in March 2018… and it ended up doubling in 2019. In 2020, it’s already up another 74%! That includes a 9% jump just today after Vice President Mike Pence announced that health insurers would pay for telemedicine doctor visits related to the coronavirus.

Every year, I wonder: Why sit in a doctor’s waiting room with sick people if all you need is a checkup, or something that can be easily diagnosed from home – with the right technology?

That’s what Teladoc provides. And that’s before you get into the more critical applications that experts are calling for now. Think robots that can monitor a patient’s IV bag… or “smart beds” that can turn patients or drive them down the hallway!

I could go on. But the bottom line is that these stocks have held up during the coronavirus, which is a great sign for investors. It shows that if you’re invested in the right stocks, you’ll do well – even when panic and hysteria happens from time to time.

I wouldn’t tell you to rush out and buy Costco (COST), Walmart (WMT), or Target (TGT) just because people are flocking to their stores to buy quarantine supplies.

Instead, I’m saying that you want to look at stocks that can have a revolutionary impact on pretty much every aspect of our lives, going forward. The fact that they’re shining in a crisis only makes their futures brighter.

P.S. In the big picture, the 100X faster speeds of 5G wireless are what allow for a whole Internet of Things (IoT), including healthcare. It’s not about faster downloads on your smartphone, though that’s a nice perk. It’s about technology that can work “at the speed of business,” like that old slogan from UPS. Click here for my free briefing on 5G and the right investments now for maximum profits.

Matt McCall’s MoneyLine Podcast

Click here to listen to Matt McCall’s MoneyLine podcast! This week, Matt breaks down the mass hysteria that is now hitting levels not seen in years. Everything from oil tanking below $30 a barrel to the coronavirus to yields plummeting. Did you know that fear levels have only been this high two other times in history? Well, both were great buying opportunities.

You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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