TIME Magazine Oct. 18 announced its 2018 Health Care 50 list, a cohort of the most influential people in healthcare, with Indian Americans Atul Gawande, Divya Nag and Dr. Raj Panjabi among the honorees.
“The American health care system has been plagued for decades by major problems, from lack of access to uncontrolled costs to unacceptable rates of medical errors,” the TIME editors wrote in a report unveiling the list.
“And yet, real as those issues remain, the field has also given rise to extraordinary innovation,” the editors added.
The 2018 list was used to highlight the people behind those ideas: physicians, scientists and business and political leaders whose work is transforming health care right now, the magazine editors said.
To assemble our first annual list, we asked our team of health editors and reporters to nominate people who significantly changed the state of U.S. health care this year. Then we evaluated their work on key factors, including originality, impact, and quality, TIME said.
The list was broken up into four separate categories, including Public Health, Treatments, Cost and Technology.
Gawande, named in the cost category, was chosen for changing corporate coverage. He was tapped to lead a new nonprofit health care venture that will cover the more than 1 million employees of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, according to the profile.
“Though few details are public, it’s said to focus on transparent, low-cost corporate health care,” the report said.
Nag was chosen for “putting a doctor on your wrist.” Named in the technology category, Nag, who is not even 30, is leading Apple’s special projects focusing on health.
Nag’s team developed ResearchKit, an open-source app developer for doctors and researchers to share patient results and clinical data, and this fall it announced groundbreaking new tools for the Apple Watch: the Series 4 includes an emergency-response system, in case the wearer falls and doesn’t respond, and a medical-grade EKG heart-rate monitor, TIME said.
Panjabi, also in the technology group, was named for improving rural healthcare. A Harvard Medical School professor who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Liberia, Panjabi co-founded Last Mile Health to recruit and train community health workers in areas that lack local health services.
Last Mile’s efforts were crucial in fighting Ebola from 2014 to 2016, and now Panjabi is raising $100 million to build Community Health Academy, a mobile platform for training health care workers remotely through video and audio instruction, the profile said.