Interview with Dr. Shafi Ahmed about how to give the majority access to safe surgeries.
4.8 billion people have poor access to safe surgery. A third of the world die of conditions that can be treated by simple operations.
The proportion of population without access varies widely: with 95% of South Asia, Central, Eastern and Western Sub-Saharan Africa without access to surgical care.
In contrast only 5% of the richer western countries lack access. It’s amazing what we can do, but not everyone is able to afford it.
A million extra surgeons will be needed to fill this gap
How will we train these surgeons? How will we share the relevant information?
How will we fund the training and running of these surgeries? Dr Ahmed is now looking at these questions, which we can base on hard data following the April 2015 Lancet publication about access to surgical care. Ahmed's plan is to use new technologies, such as Oculus VR, to help train medics in parts of the world where it is most needed.
We reported about him and his organisation, Medical Realities, before and met Ahmed and his team at the Digital Health Live conference in Dubai again for an interview.
Dr Ahmed performed the UK’s first live-streamed surgical procedure with Google Glass to 13,000 people from 115 countries.
He hopes to use tools like Google Glass to transmit live surgical operations to answer some of these questions about medical training.
Viewers commented on everything: 'The colon procedure was done in under an hour which was impressive considering the case, but I thought the surgeon hurried a bit', commented surgical blogger Skeptical Scalpel. Opening up the information also opens up the channel to criticism.
Dr Ahmed is taking some bold moves - using tech for medical education to try and fill the surgery access gap.