Voxiva's Social Responsibility Initiatives

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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG048
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 2001 - 2005
Pub. Date : 2005
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Voxiva
Industry : Information Technology, Healthcare
Countries : Peru

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"Voxiva is at its core focused on solving big public problems so that the company's financial success and humanitarian success are one and the same." 1

- Paul Meyer, CEO and Co-Founder of Voxiva.

"By deploying a low-cost phone-based technology that extends Internet-like functions and information to poor and rural communities in the developing world, we believe Voxiva represents a great model for the successful use of ICTs (information and communication technologies) for development goals." 2

- Paul Meyer, CEO and Co-Founder of Voxiva.


In August 2002, Nancy Marcos (Marcos), a nurse in a public hospital in San Vicente de Canete, a village in Peru, was shocked when she noticed that a patient had symptoms of measles. This was because there had not been a single case of measles in Peru for nearly nine years. Fortunately for Marcos, there was help at hand.

All she had to do was dial a toll-free number immediately and, using a pilot program set up by Voxiva,3 enter codes corresponding to the diagnosis. She then had to leave a message that would be instantly disseminated by both voicemail and a color-coded Internet tracking system. The system, 'Alerta' immediately warned the Peruvian Ministry of Health and doctors in surrounding areas of the incidence of measles. If this case had occurred a year earlier, Marcos would have had to prepare a report on it and send it to the Ministry of Health. She would then have had to wait for their response. Since most of the rural areas in Peru lacked Internet access, employees in hospitals often had to rely on paper medical reports that took weeks to get to the health ministry in Lima, Peru's capital.

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With action not being taken on time, and medical treatment from the health ministry being delayed, the disease spread to a large number of people.

However, this situation changed completely after Voxiva entered Peru in 2001 and introduced 'Alerta,' a system that enabled the doctors and nurses based in villages of Peru to use public telephones to send medical reports and also ask questions and get answers using voice mail boxes.

For this innovative initiative, Paul Meyer, Co-founder, President & CEO of Voxiva, received the 2003 Technology in the Service of Humanity award instituted by the Technology Review magazine.4 Meyer was chosen from among the 2003 TR 100,5 a group selected from the world's top innovators in technology and business. Accepting the award, Meyer said, "The thing I find important is the desire to find big problems and try to solve them.

Voxiva's Social Responsibility Initiatives - Next Page>>

1] Jonathen Weisberg, "How does a Mouse Roar," www.law.yale.edu, 2005.

2] Sarah Parkes, "Bridging the Digital Divide," www.businessweek.com, October 14, 2003.

3] Voxiva is a voice and data solutions provider that develops easy-to-use phone and web-based solutions. The company aims to provide ICTs based services to improve health, safety, and well being of people.

4] Technology Review delivers information about emerging technologies on the verge of commercialization.

5] Technology Review chooses 100 young businessmen with notable achievements in transforming technology in industries such as biotechnology, computing, energy, medicine, manufacturing, nanotechnology, telecommunications, and transportation.


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