Researchers have found that this technology can be very helpful to people living in the slums of Rio.
A study conducted in Rio de Janeiro has now shown that using mhealth technology for monitoring patients who are living in poor urban neighborhoods can help to increase the access that those individuals have to healthcare services while decreasing the amount of spending required to provide that care.
The study was conducted in one of the city’s hillside “favela” slum regions using the latest technology.
The New Cities Foundation conducted the research, which looked into the impact of bringing the latest mhealth mobile diagnostic tools to the elderly and the sick residents of the Don Marta favela in Rio. This shantytown is built up the side of a steep hill and is greatly underserved by conventional healthcare.
The mhealth study ran for a length of 18 months with the help of one of the slum’s clinics.
The mhealth research was called the Urban E-Health Project. It provided a clinic’s staff with a backpack that contained nine different mobile diagnostic tools, including those for various health measurements such as to track glucose levels and blood pressure. This allowed the staff members to take these measurements during the weekly house calls that they made to 100 patients who were elderly and had reduced mobility and chronic diseases.
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The mhealth backpack also included additional tools, which included an ultrasound unit that is small enough to fit into a pocket, as well as a meter that could measure the heart rate and blood oxygenation level of a patient. These tools enabled the clinic staff to be able to provide healthcare in a fast and accurate way, with the ability to perform the tests on site. The result was that the treatment of common conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure was improved.
The research team released a statement that said that “Equipped with the backpack, clinic staff could walk up the community’s narrow streets and perform in-house visits and detect up to twenty different diseases within minutes.” The mhealth equipment allowed them to make quick and easy diagnoses so that more serious medical issues could be better prevented so that there was a reduction in the instances of strokes, heart failure, and other health problems.