Meet the companies tackling nine of humanity's biggest problems -- and making millions saving us from ourselves.
Problem #7: Epidemics
Problem #7: Epidemics
The background: Avian flu, SARS, HIV/AIDS, and other diseases could wipe out entire populations. But early detection and quick response are tough in many developing countries.

The solution: A techie, a social entrepreneur, and a former government official teamed up to launch Voxiva, a real-time epidemic-tracking system for isolated places with little or no technology. Health-care workers access the network through the Web, cell phones, landlines, and even radio. Health authorities analyze their reports and respond. India purchased Voxiva to track the spread of disease after the tsunami, Rwanda is using it for HIV, and Indonesia has started a pilot program to help speed up reporting of avian flu.

The payoff: After five years the Washington-based firm has nearly 100 employees and offices in the United States, Peru, and India. Though privately held Voxiva won't disclose revenue, company officials say it's growing by double-digit percentages each year.

The opportunity: Tracking epidemics is just one emerging business. There is rising demand for long-distance learning systems (via phone or PC) that sharpen field workers' skills, and for systems that link big-city specialists with remote areas.

Global Warming

Oil Dependency

Hunger and Malnutrition

Dirty Air

Dirty Water

Overfishing

Epidemics

Drug-Resistant Infections

Waste Disposal
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.