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Pandemic Trends: Survey Reveals Long-Term Adoption of New Technology

DeVry University Measures Changes in Tech Habits and Fluency Due to COVID Pandemic

NAPERVILLE, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today will mark the one-year anniversary since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, ultimately turning the world upside down. Even with vaccines becoming available, the pandemic continues to reshape the nation’s health, family, work, education and social experiences — with technology playing a dominant role.

In a recent survey by DeVry University, findings demonstrate the role that technology played in both people’s mundane and significant life experiences. The survey also identified the technologies that will most likely continue to be influential in a post-COVID era.

Personal devices and entertainment systems have been a lifeline, but not all smart tech was essential.

  • Over 80% of respondents named a technology they couldn’t live without since the pandemic began.
    • 56% selected their personal computing device
    • 41% named their smart TV
    • 21% chose their video gaming system
  • Interestingly, the following home-based technologies were not as highly prioritized:
    • a smart home surveillance system (8%)
    • a smart thermostat (5%)
    • tech-enabled exercise equipment (4%)
    • a robot vacuum (4%) and
    • AR/VR technology (2%)

Over 70 percent of respondents celebrated, learned and mourned virtually.

  • More than two out of three respondents (69%) took part in virtual events over this past year. Most commonly attended included:
    • 31% kept a doctor’s appointment online
    • 21% joined a virtual birthday celebration
    • 21% attended a digital work conference or training
  • 38% of respondents experienced major life milestones virtually, instead of in-person. Most significant were:
    • 14% experienced the death of a loved one
    • 13% experienced a change in employment
  • While living in the pandemic is mostly virtual, most will resume IRL (in real life) post-COVID:
    • Only 5% expect to experience future major milestone events virtually
    • 8% plan to attend future major life events virtually.

New technology skills acquired and expected to be used post-COVID to connect, eat and stay healthy:

  • 64% of respondents learned to do something with technology for the first time.
    • 57% used video conferencing to socialize, work or communicate with family
    • 23% used a telehealth service
    • 19% ordered groceries online
    • 16% read a menu with a QR code
  • Post-COVID, 81% of respondents plan to continue using the technology they’ve learned to:
    • Use video conferencing to socialize (19%), work (23%) or communicate with family (25%)
    • Schedule an appointment (41%)
    • Order takeout via an app (33%)
    • Order groceries online (29%)
    • Use telehealth services (26%)

While the COVID-19 pandemic has turned our world upside down, it has held a significant role in shaping our tomorrow by accelerating our technology skills, knowledge and adoption. The survey findings show that some pandemic tech behaviors will outlast the COVID-19 pandemic.


This online omnibus survey was conducted by Ipsos Observer among a representative U.S. sample of 1,005 adults 18 years of age and older. The survey was live on February 18-19, 2021.

About DeVry University

DeVry University strives to close society’s opportunity gap by preparing learners to thrive in careers shaped by continuous technological change. Founded in 1931, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs onsite and online within six areas of study: Accounting, Business, Healthcare, Technology, Liberal Arts, and Media Arts & Technology. The university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC, To learn more, visit


Anne Unger

DeVry University

Natalie Berkey

Communications Strategy Group


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