Net Health CEO Josh Pickus highlights problems and solutions in his latest Medium commentary
There are far too many unnecessary amputations due to diabetes and other chronic wounds, says Net Health CEO Josh Pickus in his latest commentary posted to Medium, a global online publishing platform for ideas and insights.
In his November post (Can We Stop Needless Diabetic Amputations?), Josh notes that while there have been improvements in many areas of healthcare, as an industry, we are failing when it comes to needless amputations due to diabetic foot ulcers.
The Latest Stats Are Troubling
Somehow, in an era of so many promising innovations in healthcare, there’s been an increase in amputations among younger people over the past few years.
One reason is that we are seeing an increase in Type 2 diabetes, the kind that can and should be prevented. The statistics are more alarming in underserved markets.
For example, ProPublica reports that black patients lose limbs at triple the rate of other demographics.1 And, of course, hospital and clinic closures in rural communities further exacerbate the problem by hindering access.
Net Health’s data supports these findings. With one of the world’s largest wound care databases, Net Health can dig deep into data to identify statistically valid and useful trends.
Our analysis from 450,000 de-identified wound care patients also shows that black Americans make up a disproportionate number of eventual amputees (13%) relative to their representation in the overall wound care patient population (8.9%).
Josh’s commentary focuses on good news, as well.
Many positive stories have been featured in our Wound Care blog that highlight what dedicated clinicians are doing and the advances in care they are making.
Let’s Make a Difference
And, of course, we believe – because we see it daily – that advanced technologies can help healthcare organizations and providers make tremendous strides to improve wound care and fight unnecessary amputations.
We are seeing exciting news come out of Australia – home of one of the world’s first virtual hospitals – in their use of Net Health’s Tissue Analytics to connect people in rural areas with providers through their smartphones. It’s a fantastic story we’ll be talking about more soon.
Plus, there are our predictive technologies like the Risk of Amputation Indicator that are also helping providers identify and intervene early in non-healing wounds.
These innovations represent great strides forward. But, the battle to prevent needless amputations is one that will take all of us working together to educate, support and share technologies and ideas.
We’re open to discussing ideas, from wound care pilot programs in underserved communities to donating tech to existing worthy organizations. Let’s work together to make a difference.
1 ProPublica, “The Black American Amputation Epidemic,” May 19, 2020