One of the unexpected silver linings around COVID is that it exposed major cracks in the U.S. health care system. While that may not seem like a silver lining, Dr. Shantanu Nundy – physician, entrepreneur and author of the newly published book, “Care After Covid: What the Pandemic Revealed Is Broken in Healthcare and How to Reinvent It” (McGraw-Hill Education, May 4, 2021) – has a more optimistic view.
“In the past year, the frontlines of care had no choice but to quickly adapt using technologies like telemedicine and new care models like drive-thru and at-home testing. The system changed in a good way. My book is about building on this catalytic moment to further accelerate those changes so more people have access to effective and affordable care,” says Dr. Nundy, Chief Medical Officer at Accolade, a health technology company dedicated to keeping people physically and mentally healthy. “My ultimate goal is to take everything I’ve learned and help fix what’s broken in health care.”
Long before the pandemic, Dr. Nundy saw AI produce profound results when he was director of the HumanDx project, a MacArthur Foundation-recognized open source platform that leverages the collective intelligence of medical professionals and machine learning. Even then, he urged the health care industry to embrace the power of AI to better serve patients and improve the system and, most importantly, to address the growing problem of medical mistakes, for which patients, doctors and health care companies pay a high price.
Dr. Nundy’s primary focus is on making sure everyone, regardless of socio-economic status, has timely access to quality, effective and affordable physical and mental health care.
“By strategically designing and implementing technological solutions, we can do more than we are doing now, and do it better, including decoupling payment from location. For example, if a person receives professional nursing care at home, that should still be covered by insurance,” adds Dr. Nundy, who has shared his expertise with such organizations as the World Bank Group, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Medical Association.
Mental Health and a Safe Return to Work
In preparation for a post-pandemic return to work, Dr. Nundy has been helping Fortune 500 companies across sectors design and implement integrated programs that address both the physical and mental health needs of employees at all levels of the organization. His mental health approach, which provides remote coaching to people on the way in and out of mental health programs, offers policymakers and the health care industry a promising way to scale mental health services.
“COVID first arrived as a physical illness,” says Dr. Nundy. “The second stage is the mental health aspect, the emotional trauma from social distancing, loss of loved ones, the long-haul effects that stay with people. Companies will be dealing with this, especially in the C-suite. We need a more systematic approach to elevating mental health.”
Advance Praise for “Care After COVID”
“The COVID pandemic has challenged us all to reimagine the healthcare of the future. This book makes a compelling case to start in the community and in the home, and with patients themselves. Shantanu has a knack for seeing around the corner and being able to bridge where the system is today to where it needs to be. In this new book, he shares a powerful framework that healthcare leaders globally can use to accelerate progress on health for the world’s most vulnerable.” — Mickey Chopra, MD, PhD, Global Solutions Lead for Service Delivery in the Health Nutrition and Population global practice of the World Bank and former Chief of Health at UNICEF
“Few physicians have accomplished as much as Shantanu Nundy to reinvent medicine—from pioneering improvements in teamwork in operating rooms across the world at the World Health Organization and building the world’s largest open medical project with tens of thousands of doctors to revolutionizing employer healthcare at Accolade. This new book translates Shantanu’s vision for the future of healthcare into a pragmatic and highly applicable guide for employers, technologists, policymakers, and patients to transform our healthcare system after this terrible pandemic.” — Marty Makary, MD, MPH, Chief of Islet Transplant Surgery and Professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins and New York Times bestselling author of “The Price We Pay”
“Dr. Nundy’s book is a must-read for anybody who has tried to understand how we can take a catastrophe such as the pandemic and our lack of a national response and try and emerge as a stronger nation. His insights are practical yet sophisticated because he brings his clinical instincts, his business acumen, and his heart to each page. There will be a number of books that reflect on 2020 and beyond, but “Care After COVID” should be at the top everyone’s reading list.” — Kavita Patel, MD, MSHS, NBC News contributor, MSNBC columnist, and Nonresident Fellow at the Brookings Institution
“Shantanu is a remarkable bridge-builder between care now and care for the future. He is the rare and brilliant guide we need to cross successfully at a time of massive change. His book is required reading for all decision-makers in healthcare.” — Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement