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A selection of books, websites and blogs related to "Social Venture Forum"

“How to change the world” - David Bornstein

“Banker to the poor” - by Muhammad Yunus,Alan Jolis

“The art of the start” – Guy Kawasaki

“The world is flat” - Thomas L. Friedman

  • kivapedia.org -a great initiative to share with the Kiva community
  • kiva.org
  • About Microfinance
  • Tracks progress towards decreasing global poverty by 2015, Millennium
  • NextBillion.net
  • Ted.com
  • Skoll.org
  • ChangeMakers
  • SocialEdge.org
  • Omidyar Network
  • One.org
  • Acumen
  • Ashoka
  • PhilanthropyForum.com
  • theoryofchange.org
  • Wbcsd.org

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    Kalibrio has selected articles and events related to "Social Venture Forum" to inform, inspire and encourage to act in favor of harmonious development through Social Ventures.

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    Smart pillbox could be a lifesaver

    David Chandler, MIT News Office
    February 6, 2008

    In The World is a new column that explores the ways people from MIT
    are using technology--from the appropriately simple to the cutting
    edge--to help meet the needs of local people in places around the
    planet. If you know of a good example and would like the News Office
    to write about it, please e-mail dlc1@mit.edu.

    Tuberculosis has long been eradicated from the world's industrialized
    nations but continues to take a terrible toll in a few poor, rural
    regions of Asia and Africa. Every year, 10 million new cases are
    diagnosed and two million people die of the disease.

    It's not that new treatments are needed--medical science long ago
    figured out how to cure tuberculosis using a cocktail of antibiotics.
    The problem is getting the medicine to the people who need it and,
    most difficult, making sure they follow the six-month regimen of daily

    Failure to follow the regimen not only leads to likely death of that
    patient, but fosters the development of antibiotic-resistant strains
    of the disease. "The problem is, how do you get people to take this
    complex regimen," says Manish Bhardwaj, a doctoral student in the
    Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who works in
    the Microsystems Technology Laboratories.

    After a year of hard work and about eight revisions, Bhardwaj and a
    team of collaborators think they may have found the answer. It's a
    high-tech solution in a simple, inexpensive and easy-to-use -package.

    The first part of the two-component system is a kind of "smart"
    pillbox, called the uBox. It has 14 chambers that can each be loaded
    with several pills, which it dispenses from one chamber per day. To
    alert the patient that it's time to take the medicine, the box flashes
    its lights and sounds a buzzer. When the compartment is opened, the
    uBox records the exact time and prevents double-dosing by refusing to
    open again until the next treatment is due.

    After two weeks, a health care worker reloads the box and digitally
    records and transmits the information stored in it. Doctors and public
    health services can then get complete data on compliance, patient by
    patient, in almost real time, instead of having to wait until the end
    of the six-month treatment.

    "How do you know if pills are getting to the patients or if patients
    are taking them? Today, there's no good way of doing this," Bhardwaj
    says. If people fail to take all their pills, "it is possible to do
    harm by treatment that doesn't have good adherence." Even missing a
    few pills can lead to the development of resistant strains, which can
    then be spread by that noncompliant patient. "The people they infect
    have no chance." Typical treatment trials have compliance rates as low
    as 50 percent, according to World Health Organization statistics.

    "We want to make sure the worker is motivated," Bhardwaj says, and at
    present there's no way to tell which workers are diligent about making
    the calls and which ones may skip some of their appointed -visits.
    Accordingly, the uBox has an additional feature: a receptacle for a
    tiny key, like a headphone plug, which is carried by the visiting
    health care worker. At each visit the worker inserts the key, thus
    recording the fact that the patient really has been visited--another
    important gauge of compliance.

    The second part of the group's new system is a cell phone, called the
    uPhone. By using special software, health care workers can record a
    patient's temperature, weight, and answers to a list of questions
    related to symptoms, which adds to the set of detailed patient data
    analyzed by doctors monitoring the study.

    By looking at patterns of effects, the doctors can tell which field
    workers are achieving the best adherence rates with their patients and
    find out just what it is that those people are doing right. They can
    then be recruited to train additional workers.

    Bhardwaj has been working with MIT alumni Goutam Reddy and Sara
    Cinnamon on the engineering and electronics of the pillbox, doctoral
    student Bill Thies and alumnus Pallavi Kaushik on the uPhone software,
    and MIT seniors Oliver Venn and Jessica Leon on fundraising and

    Bhardwaj and Thiess went to Bihar province this January to begin their
    first field test of the product, conducting a training session for 22
    workers who will, in turn, train the field workers to distribute the
    pillboxes in the field. In March, they will return to India to begin
    the first actual field test with 100 of the boxes and 10 cell phones.

    If all goes well, a second round of testing, using 1,000 uBoxes, is
    set to begin. After that, it all depends on the results--and on the
    ability to raise funds for future deployment. Health officials in
    India are already keenly interested in this test, and Bhardwaj
    recently met with a representative of the Bill & Melinda Gates
    Foundation to discuss possible support.

    The Ven. Tenzin Priyadarshi, MIT's Buddhist chaplain, helped to get
    the project started and says, "I am hopeful that the uBox-uPhone
    project will revolutionize the way we understand and provide health
    care in rural areas of the world."

    While Bhardwaj is proud of the product his team developed, he is not
    proprietary about it. "We hope to make the uBox and the uPhone the
    standard of treatment in Bihar. We worked very hard to make something
    very simple and elegant," he says. "But we'd be delighted if someone
    beats us to it and builds a uBox cheaper. We hope other people will
    copy us."

    Source: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/itw-india-tt0206.html
    And to make a donation: http://www.firstgiving.com/ubox