Thunderbird Case

GlobalMed: Telemedicine for the Rio Olympics

Case #: 
Project management,general management, healthcare management, international management
Karen A. Brown, Nancy Lea Hyer, Nathan T. Washburn

Manoel Coelho, Director of Global Business Development at GlobalMed in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, was looking ahead to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and the opportunities the Games would offer for raising international awareness of the role and value of telemedicine. He worked closely with Dr. Antonio Carlos Marttos of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, who was the chief spokesman for the telemedicine initiative. Coelho’s challenge was to assist Marttos in pitching the general idea of telemedicine to key decision makers, while also keeping his company in the line of sight as the preferred vendor. As Marttos envisioned it, mobile, suitcase-sized telemedicine units would be positioned at key venue sites throughout Rio to serve the needs of athletes and spectators. Telemedicine would allow for on-site diagnosis and connections to physicians at Rio hospitals, as well as to physicians in the home countries of athletes or spectators. GlobalMed embarked on the Rio Olympics project as a key initiative in its strategic mission to expand globally. The company, founded in 2002, had moved carefully and deliberately to establish its credibility in smaller projects at the Pan American Games in 2011 and at the London Olympics in 2012. Exposure via the Olympic Games would not only benefit GlobalMed, but the entire telemedicine industry. If the project moved forward, Coelho would need a comprehensive but adaptable project plan, including a thorough assessment of potential risks and challenges.


This case has been developed for use in courses on managing projects. Students are challenged to understand the Rio Olympics project in the context of an organization’s global strategy and consider its relevance to the company’s project portfolio. In assessing the project’s feasibility, students must first develop a compelling “why” statement for the initiative, critique and build on current plans, assess risks, and determine appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs).

U.S., Arizona
9 pages
Private /Field
General Management