WiCare (Worldwide Innovative Healthcare) develops innovative medical devices that are clinically effective and affordable worldwide. WiCare identifies high-impact, proven medical treatments that currently reach only a small subset of patients and then develops cutting-edge solutions to deliver the treatment to a broader population. This approach yields results that improve healthcare and clinical outcomes in all markets, from world-class hospitals in the United States to rural clinics in the developing world. Its first device is the Wound-Pump, a low-cost mechanism that uses negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT) to treat chronic wounds. NPWT accelerates the healing time of open wounds by using a special pump and dressing to create a vacuum around a wound.
What inspired you to get involved with this work?
Knowing that I can make a significant, positive impact in the world with my medical devices, I feel as though it is my obligation to assure global access to them. I want to drive a for-profit business model across international markets, which also benefits the local economies. I aim to prove that there is a balance between profit and socially focused business that maximizes impact while increasing sustainability. With multiple product concepts in the pipeline, WiCare is the start of a global organization and not just a short path to an acquisition. To date, caregivers from over 50 countries have expressed interest in the Wound-Pump, including doctors and nurses from the developed world, from the U.S. military, involved with disaster relief, and from the developing world. For them, it would be irresponsible if I did not start WiCare.
What impact have you achieved on the communities you serve?
Our first product, the Wound-Pump, treats open, chronic wounds. The amount of money spent on wound care, the loss of productivity for afflicted individuals and the families that care for them, and their diminished quality of life come at a great cost. Additionally, the treatment of open wounds drains significant resources in all healthcare systems. The treatment of chronic wounds is an enormous burden to society, as the wound take months or years to heal and often result in amputations. Patients with amputations have a high risk of mortality. After receiving a lower-extremity amputation in the U.S., patients with diabetes have a median life expectancy of 27.2 months, and patients without diabetes have a median life expectancy of 46.7 months. Through our work in Haiti and Rwanda, we have positively impacted all of the factors above. Now WiCare is scaling our impact to make a noticeable difference worldwide.
How did the PSC play a role in your work?
I participated in the MIT IDEAS Global Challenge very early on in this project, before traveling to Haiti or Rwanda. Through the IDEAS events, I realized the real impact that my work could potentially have. It really drove me to continue to pursue it over the years and provided a community of support, knowledge, and motivation on global topics that I learned to truly understand — topics that are not a part of the typical university curriculum. This really prepared me during our field work in Haiti and Rwanda and created a solid foundation for me to stand on during this work. The award money allowed me to continue my work.
How has this work had a personal impact on you?
This work has changed my viewpoint on my future goals. Although I always wanted to start a company, I did not have social impact near the top of the list of my company goals, nor did I realize global business opportunities.