We have long asserted that a reasonable measure of how strong a
society is can be determined by how it treats its weakest. In that spirit,
a useful metric is the number of people that have persistent access to
clean water. Unfortunately, there is a universal relationship between
comparatively low access to clean water and high ratios of patients
per doctor. The ratio is calculated by taking the population of a
geographical area such as a county or state and dividing it by the
number of doctors alleged to be working in that area. This rather
cavalierly ignores complexities like specialists, closed practices and
porous borders. Then there are calamities like the recent floods in
Pakistan where there is plenty of water available but it is not clean,
and where, even if doctors were available, they may have very limited
facilities in which to treat the patients who do manage to come.
We turn to our newest application, GAZELLE, for some timely displays.