Here at Rods&Cones, our aim is to make surgery accessible for everyone around the world. It’s been our mission since the very start.

After learning that so many people don’t have access to the right medical care, we decided to structure our business model in a way that ensures our smart glasses are re-used in the developing world.

Take the African continent: with a population of 1.2 billion people. It’s estimated that approximately 95% do not have access to safe and affordable surgery! Patients there are also twice as likely to die following surgery compared to the global average – despite a similar complication rate to the worldwide average.

This just isn’t acceptable. We must act now.

The Current State Of Play

Pre-COVID, it was common for western doctors to provide healthcare and conduct surgery in developing countries for two weeks each year. While it’s great that they’ve been able give their time so generously, what about the other 50 weeks of the year – when these patients don’t have access to specialists?

The African Surgical Outcomes Study (ASOS) reported that the ‘specialist surgical workforce,’ (the total number of specialist anaesthetists, surgeons, and obstetricians per 100,000 people) was 20 to 50 times lower than the recommended minimum number needed to provide safe surgical care. That means that more than 80% of Africa has less than one specialist anaesthetist per 100,000 population!

Also, most deaths happen after patients leave surgical wards. This could be due to something called ´failure to rescue’ which is when patients who develop complications are not identified in time. Inadequate training and staff shortages are all possible factors here. Diseases also require rapid response, so it’s essential to empower local doctors with smart glasses so that medical officers and nurses can deal with conditions safely and effectively.

Africa is just one example. We´re seeing situations like this happening across the globe. Over 500,000 people die in developing countries from all sorts of small, preventable issues which require minimal intervention – like appendicitis. But unfortunately, without the right training and equipment, more people will die.

That’s why I believe the work we´re doing at Rods&Cones will help thousands, if not millions of people across the world get the right access to the right professionals.

The Long Road Ahead

If we can provide our smart glasses to a healthcare professional, who can then access our platform and speak to an experienced specialist then, just maybe, we’re able to prevent another unnecessary death.

We’re currently working on refurbishing thousands of smart glasses. After one year of usage, each pair is redistributed into affordable healthcare initiatives – that is our commitment.

Simply by using Rods&Cones smart glasses, doctors can help save lives instantly without the need for travel – which is especially crucial in our COVID-19 world in which hospitals are at full capacity and understaffed. If we can help bridge that gap by helping hospitals connect remotely to more doctors across the globe, then our work will become much more than just a convenient solution.

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