In the spring of 2020, it became clear the way we work would be forever changed. We decided to document how people in fields as different as healthcare, education, and creative arts were managing — and even thriving — through collaboration, innovation, and technology. In this ongoing film series, The Way We Work Now, we celebrate those reinventing how their job gets done.
A new era in healthcare
Telemedicine or telehealth — delivering medical care and advice via video, phone, or messaging through a patient portal — isn’t new, but it hadn’t been widely adopted before the pandemic.
For Taylor Clancy, an emergency room nurse in Boston, her first online appointment with her obstetrician meant maintaining safe distance, avoiding a drive to the office, and being able to wait on her own couch and finally getting to see her doctor’s smiling face. “A lot of prenatal care is talking about what to expect, how the mother is feeling, and any concerns they have,” says Katherine Matta, Clancy’s obstetrician, who is part of the Steward Health Care Team with an office at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston. “Video has been great for that, and you can tell patients are happy to be able to talk face to face.”
Telemedicine has emerged as an option that could reshape the way doctors and patients interact. Joseph Kvedar, professor of dermatology at Harvard Medical School and chair of the board of the American Telemedicine Association says that the hybrid model of care that emerged out of necessity during the pandemic, with patients seeing doctors both in person and remotely, has been a bright spot for doctors — a stopgap that could end up giving us more accessible, more patient-centered care. Telemedicine is the gateway to reimagining what healthcare could be like.