05/09/2013 10:25 am ET Updated Oct 01, 2013

The New Cities Foundation Urban E-Health Project Results Are in

I am pleased to share the first findings from the Foundation's Urban E-Health Project in Rio de Janeiro. These results will be published later today but I wanted to share them here first. I'm also delighted that Bloomberg BusinessWeek and other publications will be covering this report in the coming days.

This report is the culmination of an 18-month pilot project in Santa Marta, a favela in central Rio. As you'll see from the results below, this project highlights the great potential economic, clinical and social benefits of deploying e-health technology in previously underserved urban areas.

The pilot project was led by the Foundation and run in partnership with the Municipality of Rio, and with NCF Founding Member GE. The Department of Clinical Medicine at the State University of Rio de Janeiro collected the data and conducted the analysis for the study. The pilot was further supported by NCF Founding Member Cisco.

Key Findings

1. Economic Impact

The study shows that e-health technology enhances patient monitoring and leads to better management of diseases. This in turn leads to direct savings including, for example, a USD 200,541 saving per 100 patients per year attributed to avoidance of kidney failure.

2. Clinical Impact

Regular health monitoring programs that incorporate e-health can lead to a significantly lower prevalence of certain clinical conditions -- in particular, strokes, heart failure and kidney dysfunction.

For example, for patients in the control group, there was a 14.8% prevalence of hypertension complications, compared to 0.82% for patients in the e-health pilot.

3. Social Impact

The project's e-health backpack markedly increased efficiency for healthcare workers. For example, the time taken to obtain blood test results dropped from 15 days to 3 minutes.

Equipped with the backpack, clinic staff could walk up the community's narrow streets and perform in-home visits and detect up to twenty different diseases within minutes.

Increased efficiency led to high satisfaction among healthcare workers and patients alike.

The executive summary of the report is available here and the full report can be found here.

The full report is also available in Portuguese here.