Modern Life

The Way We Work Now: changes in education, healthcare, and creative arts

HP’s continuing film series documents the way we work today and the technology that is helping us adapt and connect.

By Garage Staff — September 9, 2021

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.

The Way We Work Now: Pregnancy in the Time of Telehealth | Episode 4

Creating together in isolation

Like millions of people around the world, Los Angeles composer Ali Helnwein and the musicians he collaborates with were forced to bring their work home last year. That meant no live rehearsals, no in-person recording sessions, and none of the serendipitous revelations that happen in the moment when musicians play together. Even as businesses around the country reopen, musicians are still struggling since live events have been cancelled and production schedules have been put on hold. 

“Having all of those musicians playing live together in a room is incredible,” says Helnwein, an Emmy-winner who composes scores for film, TV, and commercials. “It’s just not the same over Zoom.”

But, Helnwein and the musicians he works with have played on. From makeshift home recording studios in bedrooms, home offices, and quiet corners of apartments, they play their individual parts in front of laptops and webcams as Helnwein observes and offers feedback from a little square on their screen. Later, Helnwein assembles all the tracks into a complete, cohesive score. While remote recording is common in popular music, it’s new territory for many classical musicians.

The Way We Work Now: Creating Together in Isolation | Episode 3

Months of development in a single week

Pre-pandemic, Clara Remacha Corbalán, medical market development consultant and COVID-19 response applications lead at HP’s 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing lab in Barcelona, had been working with Abdel Hakim Moustafa at Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau on developing 3D-printed anatomical models to help educate patients and guide surgeons. Once COVID-19 hit, they quickly shifted to design and develop the protective gear Moustafa and his colleagues so desperately needed — all while working from a distance.


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With Remacha working from home and Moustafa powering through 12-hour shifts at the hospital, their rapid-fire collaboration became central to the design, testing, and approval of a new adjustable, 3D-printed face shield that could be manufactured locally and delivered immediately to healthcare workers on the front line. 

“Typically, we’re used to a sequential way of doing things, but in this case we were doing everything in parallel — design, testing, validating, certifying, and so on,” says Remacha. “We learned that things can be done much faster than you might expect if you have the right passion, the purpose, and the right team.”

The Way We Work Now: Rapid Collaboration to Protect the Front Line | Episode 2

Teaching poetry from a distance

When school buildings closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jana Maiuri, who teaches 6th-grade English and drama at Edna Brewer Middle School, one of the 116 district and charter schools in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) had to figure out who needs books, who needs a laptop? How is this all going to work?

Maiuri and her students worked through the ins and outs of distance learning together. They helped each other troubleshoot microphone and webcam issues, learned to use the chat function in Zoom meetings, figured out how to upload and download different file formats, and got to know each other in new ways, from their living rooms, bedrooms, and dining tables.

At the same time, teachers have been on their own learning curve, finding ways to tailor their teaching styles to a digital environment and discovering new possibilities along the way.

The Way We Work Now: Teaching from a Distance | Episode 1