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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A majority of doctors say the pandemic forced their organization to make tech upgrades that normally would've taken years, according to a Google Cloud poll provided exclusively to Axios.

Why it matters: While health care has typically moved at a cautious pace when it comes to adopting new tech, COVID spurred a digital transformation.

The poll of 300 physicians happened to have been conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Google Cloud just before the pandemic began in February 2020. They returned to follow up with docs in June 2021.

  • Unsurprisingly, telehealth adoption was one of the biggest changes with its use jumping from 32% to 90%.
  • 62% of doctors said the pandemic forced technology upgrades that normally would have taken years.

Reality check: "Despite the technological leaps this year, most physicians still believe the industry lags behind in technology adoption," wrote Joe Miles, Google Cloud's managing director for healthcare and life sciences.

  • More than half of docs said the industry lags behind gaming (64%), telecommunications (56%) and financial services (53%) when it comes to digital adoption.

Go deeper: Virtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off in pandemic

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Nov 17, 2021 - World

Auckland lockdown to end

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: Mark Mitchell - Pool/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced pandemic travel restrictions on the Auckland region imposed in August will lift next month, but travelers must provide proof of vaccination or a negative test within 72 hours of departure.

Why it matters: Those who fail to comply with the requirement face an NZ $1,000 fine (U.S. $700) and police will be responsible for enforcement when it takes effect on Dec. 15, Ardern said at a briefing Wednesday afternoon New Zealand time.

Nov 16, 2021 - Technology

Google argues it owns cloud playlist patents in Sonos suit

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Google has filed new breach of contract claims against Sonos in the latest chapter of a long-running dispute over a smart speaker partnership gone bad.

Why it matters: The ongoing dispute between Sonos and Google has caught the attention of Congress and other regulators. How it plays out will be of interest to those investigating claims of anti-competitive behavior by Big Tech firms.