Hundreds of millions suffer from a visual impairment or hearing loss but don’t have access to the necessary medical products. David’s mission is to help these people by making healthcare affordable, accessible and sustainable for all by partnering with manufacturers to reduce costs and hospitals to provide care free or below cost.
*Number of WINGS shown is the accumulated total.
*Numbers shown for BLUE CLASS, SHARE, MILE DONATION may take time to update.
A curable and preventable problem afflicting millions
The number of people who are visually impaired is estimated to be 285M, of whom 39M are blind. Most of this blindness is curable and preventable. David works with many programs to enable affordable high-quality eye care services. He set up Aurolab which has helped over 35M people see again with an affordable intraocular lens. He also developed high-volume, quality eye care programs available to the poor including Aravind Eye Hospital in India - which performs over 400,000 surgeries per year, 50% of which is provided free or below cost. David has played a key role in developing major eye care programs and training centers in China, India, Nepal, Egypt, Tanzania, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Guatemala.
Creating affordable access with innovative technology
466M have a disabling hearing loss and this number is expected to double by 2050 due to aging populations. WHO estimates that 72M people worldwide need hearing aids each year, but only 10% in need will get them, with coverage less than 3% in low and middle-income countries. David co-founded Sound World Solutions, a social enterprise currently valued $25M+ to make novel fitting hearing aids. The device is affordable (lowest price is free) to low-income people as a hearing aid and sold in the US as a premium Bluetooth device. You can download the app to your smartphone and wirelessly test your hearing.
Providing meaningful mobility
There are 10 million adults and children in the developing world that require a prosthesis to walk and physically function, yet WHO estimates only 5-15% have access to a prosthetic device. In many under-resourced countries, this becomes a vicious cycle, where disability leads to poverty, and poverty further restricts individuals from receiving the care that would allow them to lead healthy and productive lives. LegWorks is a for-profit social enterprise co-founded by David that makes an affordable prosthetic knee that is directly addressing this problem.
David graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor in General Studies (1978) and a Masters degree in Public Health (1982). Since then, he has worked with many organizations to make medical technology and health care services sustainable, affordable, and accessible to all. He is a MacArthur Fellow, Ashoka Fellow, and is recognized by Schwab Foundation as a leading social entrepreneur. He is also on the faculty of Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute and is a recipient of the “Spirit of Helen Keller” award for humanitarian efforts in blindness prevention.