The pandemic has helped engage people with their health – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-06-17 04:35:08 –

AA month ago, one of our patients, a man in his mid-40s, visited the clinic directly for the first time in more than 12 months. For the past few years, he has suffered from empty hypertension and has always seemed to wobble at the edge of a stroke. But this time his blood pressure was perfect.

the difference? During the pandemic, I couldn’t take care of it at the clinic, so I bought a sphygmomanometer and used it frequently. With almost daily feedback, he realized how important it was to take his medicine on time, and that certain foods affect his blood pressure. He also didn’t want to go to the hospital if he suffered from a sudden health problem, so he was more motivated to make changes and realized that he didn’t have enough doctors to get Covid or take care of him. There was a risk of doing it.

As doctors who believe that people are ultimately responsible for their health and need a larger institution to direct their care, we have long lacked progress, established paternity, and I learned the powerlessness that has permeated the healthcare system for years. The pandemic turned it over.


For the first time, you can get a glimpse of a new kind of patient. It is a patient who can overturn the health care system and lead to improved care over the next few decades. This may mean:

A better relationship between daily activities and health

Almost half of the dead Each year, it results from personal behavior such as smoking, malnutrition, lack of exercise, and heavy drinking. Little was known about the treatment or prevention of Covid-19 in the early days of the pandemic.


If people wanted to avoid getting infected with the virus, they had to rely on themselves and their habits. Many have become more cautious about protecting themselves, such as washing their hands, social distance, and staying away from others during illness. We have long known that washing hands and wearing masks limits the spread of aerial infections such as: influenzaHowever, it was not until this crisis that many people actually changed their behavior to do so. It’s no coincidence that the flu infection was interrupted in the year the world adopted masks. One-hundredth reduction in cases.. Imagine what other illnesses you can prevent if we all make more informed and careful choices in our daily lives, such as lung cancer, cirrhosis, and type 2 diabetes.

Better navigation of the healthcare system

Over the past year, almost all of us have had a hard time finding a Covid-19 test or vaccine for ourselves or our loved ones. In the early days of the pandemic, Americans were forced to open our health care system, the black box. People searched test sites, made reservations, and checked in to virtual waiting rooms.

At the same time, health has become a community initiative. People faced each other for help in understanding the medical system. Group chat exploded when test site availability was opened. People have found a creative way to pick up no-show appointments. Others have played more formal roles, such as contact tracers and volunteers at vaccination sites. In effect, people have begun to take more responsibility for the health of their communities.

Much progress is still needed to gain a better understanding of US healthcare.Not everyone was able to learn these important skills because of Lack of connectivity or digital literacy, It left a lot from tests and vaccines. But as we saw in our own patients, Newly discovered motivation and motivation for learning..

Better understanding of medicine

Overnight, the new virus ordered headlines. Many people read about Covid-19 every day and heard about it in the news, and it quickly became the center of our lives. What was the latest case number? What are the latest signs and symptoms to watch out for? Are new treatments and vaccines under development?

For the first time, basic biostatistics terms such as specificity, sensitivity, and pre-test probabilities have been incorporated into normal conversation. Concerns about false positives or false negatives have led the world to realize that not all medical tests are perfect.

As testing and vaccine development begins, people read about the FDA’s device and drug approval process, clinical trials, and the limitations of their research. Digesting medicine has become a normal part of preparing for appointments for our patients. This is a skill that goes far beyond a pandemic to help patients. For example, the analytical lens can be applied to other medical topics such as the limitation and role of mammograms in breast cancer screening, the importance of vaccines and primary prevention.

More ownership of health

For healthcare providers and their patients, organizing medical information is essential for effective care.

During the pandemic, there were few virtual and face-to-face bookings, and resources were diverted to hospitals and emergencies. For many, it has become difficult to see their regular providers, and if they manage to get in, they have to make sure it’s a comprehensive visit. did not. Before the visit, I had to prepare a list of questions or order and run a lab test.

People have also increased self-care. Many of our patients purchased medical devices such as sphygmomanometers and pulse oximeters and subscribed to meditation and remote monitoring apps on their smartphones.Download health app during the pandemic 25% increase.. There is a risk of overdoing this — people diagnose or treat themselves without proper access to medical expertise — this is a welcome change.

Defender of the voice for change

The pandemic has exacerbated the serious and long-standing failure of the US healthcare system. For years, American care has been inaccessible, unfair, and failed in many people’s primary care and mental health. Covid-19 first revealed these issues to many Americans.

Many were frightened to find that black, Latin American, and Native American communities were two to three times more likely to die of Covid-19 than white Americans, but during pregnancy in these communities. And the same is true for infancy deaths. Years other than pandemics.. There were also worse results for individuals and the elderly living in poverty and rural areas.

Medical care in the United States will not improve unless people demand it, as it does during a pandemic.when Headline reported People who were charged more than $ 1,000 in a single Covid-19 test requested a refund. When the vaccine did not reach the elderly at home, people insisted that health care workers go to their homes to deliver the vaccine. Most recently, people have pressured the Biden administration to choose to save lives in India over patent protection. As doctors, we hope that patients and people across the country will continue to make better demands on policy makers, health systems and providers, and these inequality will be addressed at the national level. ..

AThe above five shifts are moves in the right direction, but do not mean that the system has been transformed. Not everyone was equally involved or activated during the pandemic. Many of those unaffected by these changes come from vulnerable communities where current systems are no longer functioning frequently. Individuals who live in poverty and face systematic and personal racism without internet connectivity or digital literacy. For many of these individuals, the failure of the health care system exacerbated their health problems — not good.The future of care Must It is comprehensive and clearly designed to empower people without strain.

The pandemic gave us a glimpse of a more enthusiastic and rejuvenated patient. If our country really wants to build a future of patient-centered medicine for everyone, it is our duty to make the most of this moment.

Shantanu Nundy is the attending physician, chief medical officer of Accolade, and author of “Care After Covid: The Pandemic Revealed is Broken in Healthcare and How to Reinvent It” (McGraw-Hill Education, May 2021).Felicia Sue Resident of UCLA Internal Medicine and author of the next memoir about her journey as a new doctor with the surge of Covid-19 and as a daughter with a diagnosis of life-changing cancer for her father.

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