Protocol Manual: Health Care

Introduction: The post-pandemic health care revolution

Introducing a weeklong dive into the future of health care.

Doctors with masks

The pandemic has upended health care in the U.S.

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has upended life as we know it. More than 130,000 Americans have died, more than 2.5 million have been infected, and more than 40 million have lost their jobs. Cities have gone into lockdown, businesses have shut down their offices, sports and concerts and beach trips and family gatherings have all been canceled. We wear masks; we Zoom; we order cocktails to go. We stand in line to get into our socially distanced grocery store, rubbing our hands raw with hand sanitizer on the way in and on the way out.

And if we need medical care — for COVID-19 or for anything else — we find ourselves navigating a health care system that has seen dramatic transformation virtually overnight. Telemedicine has gone from a fringe idea to the main way people have been communicating with doctors; regulators have loosened rules to aid treatments; and ERs have turned to digital triage software to keep people safe in hospitals.

We may go back to the office or out to dinner some day. This will pass eventually. But the changes the health care system has already seen aren't going to go away when the pandemic fades — and they're only the first wave. In this Protocol Manual, we'll explore how COVID-19 is changing how health care is delivered today and accelerating the innovations of tomorrow.

We'll update this page every day with links to new posts in the series as they're published.


State of play: Health care after the pandemic

'Everyone is looking at health care differently': How medicine will evolve after the pandemic


Electronic health records haven't delivered on their promise. Could COVID-19 change that?

'A company like ours should not have to exist': How drug pricing needs to change to fit the modern world

What it's like to pivot a health startup in a pandemic


The pandemic has ushered in the future of health care, and it looks a lot like Zoom

Pivoting to COVID: How a weekend sprint helped one startup boost adoption


A special edition of Protocol's Braintrust: What it's like to pivot a health startup in a pandemic?

Talkspace was built for a moment like this pandemic


How wearables will shape the future of at-home medicine

The pandemic has caused a huge mindset shift in health care. An investor sees opportunities.

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