Opinion: A surprising pandemic side effect: It has improved health care

Much of our focus over the past year has rightly been on the widespread failures related to the pandemic. But we’ve taken for granted just how flexible the American health-care system showed it can be in a crisis. Before the coronavirus, doctors, patients and policymakers had largely grown cynical about the prospect of bringing real changes to the front lines of care. But over the last year, we finally learned that the right role for innovation and technology should simply be to increase the care in health care. In many respects, my mom’s story mirrors the fundamental shifts that have occurred — shifts that are not yet available to everyone but that point to a future when health care finally works for us.

The author of this opinion piece, Shantanu Nundy, is a primary-care physician, the chief medical officer of Accolade, which helps people navigate the healthcare system, and the author of "Care After Covid: What the Pandemic Revealed Is Broken in Healthcare and How to Reinvent It.”

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