Thanksgiving: Innovating for our Future

This year, I am thankful I live in a world where things are better than they were 100 years ago.  I am thankful that 80% of the world has access to electricity, worldwide life expectancy has reached 70 years, death from natural disasters has dropped by half, extreme poverty has been cut by 50%, and 80% of children worldwide, by age one, have received at least some vaccinations (those facts can be found on Hans Rosling’s site or read his book “Factfulness”).

I am also thankful to live in the United States, where we have 2.5 doctors for every 1,000 people, and we have the resources to spend over $8,300 on healthcare per person each year. Our spending is 500 times more than Ethiopia, which exists at the bottom. We also have 113 times more doctors for every 1,000 people than Ethiopia does.

To put it another way, in the US, the ratio of population to doctor is around 400 to 1; in Ethiopia, it is 45,000 to 1.  Something to be truly thankful for if you are on-call this Thanksgiving: just imagine taking call for a patient panel of 45,000 with resources of just $16 per year!

With life expectancy just above 79 years in the US and a growing geriatric population, we need to continue to improve the world around us, and we need innovations and changes that create value and better clinical outcomes.

We will not achieve the results we expect unless we expand our abilities and our technologies.  The number of physicians in the US relative to the population has been largely unchanged for the past 25 years, and shortages are likely to occur, as well as increases in the ratio of population to doctor. 

In the field of wound care, Vohra has created augmented intelligence tools, and we have leveraged machine learning to expand the ability of physicians to care for patients efficiently and to heal wounds rapidly. Using a multi-disciplinary team approach to wound management, our physicians coordinate all aspects of wound care from diagnosis to dressing to resolution.

Leveraging technology and predictive wound healing algorithms allows for both virtual and physical bedside physician care. Through technology and innovation, we have expanded the reach and access to limited specialized resources. This Thanksgiving, what will you be thankful for, and what do you want your future and the future of health care to be?