“It’s a fantastic time for women,” says Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President of HP's Office of Global Social Innovation at the DLDwomen conference 2012. “New rules will apply,” she adds. Zedlmayer is one of the rare female role models in tech who not only inspire others but also take action. She takes lab and business innovations and applies them to social causes.
As one of the founding friends of DLD, we've always followed her work to tackle critical social issues in education and health through strategic collaborations with non-profits and social entrepreneurs to serve developing communities around the world. She really deserves all imaginable attention for this outstanding personal effort.
One project she highlights in this interview with Lukas Kubina, HP’s Early Infant Diagnosis program, started 18 months ago. Alongside the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Africa, Zedlmayer improved the speed of HIV diagnosis for infants in Kenya. “When children are born, and their blood gets analyzed for HIV, often the test results get back after four months,” she says. “That’s about three months too late.” She cut down that time to 20 days for 65,000 babies in one year. This project demonstrates that technology has the potential to make a difference and save lives by getting accurate, timely information in the hands of the people who need it.
She puts ‘heart work’ into her projects. That’s what makes her impact grow throughout the world. “We’re taking this methodology, this reference case, to many other countries that really need the same kind of application,” she says. In countries like Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa the Health Ministry is already replicating what Zedlmayer started in Kenya.
That’s called having a true impact.