Throughout the pandemic WiFi SPARK has worked closely with Visionable to allow patients in the NHS to stay connected to their loved ones. Championed through WiFi SPARK’s SPARK® Media package, Visionable: Connect is a secure and trusted video platform that ensures healthcare professionals, patients and family members can stay connected throughout hospitals stays.
At a time when digital inclusivity is paramount, Visionable: Connect remains free and accessible to all. Being rolled out on NHS Trust-owned tablets that can be loaned to patients or via personal devices, Visionable: Connect allows everyone to access the video calling platform, whether they’re tech savvy or not. Patients, or those caring for them, simply send an SMS or email through the software with a video call link going straight to their loved ones; instantaneously being able to see and hear them, providing the kind of support and comfort that only loved ones can.
Until the end of June, Visionable is providing its Connect platform free of charge, ensuring patients can remain in touch with those they love as national restrictions continue.
Visionable: Connect premiered through SPARK® Media at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust last year. Working with a number of technology providers, WiFi SPARK was able to deliver the virtual visiting solution within a week. The partnership with Visionable was essential because many of the patients most in need of a video calling solution didn’t have accounts with the mainstream video calling sites or smartphones. Patient empowerment is a key driver in the work that both WiFi SPARK and Visionable does, putting the power in the patient’s hands and facilitating a connection is why they do what they do.
Visionable CEO, Alan Lowe commented back in 2020, “we developed the Visionable mobile app so hospitals could offer virtual visiting to patients whose friends and families may be unable to visit them. As soon as we heard that the team at WiFi SPARK was working on the SPARK® Media: Unite product to address the particular needs of patients during the COVID-19 outbreak, we wanted to help; and we are delighted to be part of this initiative”.
SPARK® Media: Unite is the SPARK® Media extension that facilitates the video calling software. Entertain and Print are two other packages that enable patients and staff free access to TV, radio, games and print media.
Nearly a year on from the first national lockdown, Visionable has seen tens of thousands of video calls made using Visionable: Connect, and subsequently patients, family members and healthcare professionals have been able to remain quickly connected.
Steve Killick, WiFi SPARK’s Project Manager, spent an extended period in hospital himself. He noted that, “having experienced social isolation due to a two-week inpatient hospital stay, 167 miles away from home, video calling was essential to my own mental wellbeing. Being able to see my two young boys, aged five and six, and my wife over a video call to say goodnight every evening was the highlight of my day”.
Steve recognises his technical background makes accessing the platform relatively easy for him, however, he is “delighted to have assisted in rolling out a solution which can provide that same experience to anyone no matter their technical ability, age or mental capacity”.
Steve hopes that “the new webservice can now provide wider usage of this platform to allow more parents to say goodnight, more loved ones to wish happy birthdays and more friends to simply connect and chat with those that mean the most”.
As hospital beds remain full, virtually uniting families remains at the heart of the Connect solution.
The Visionable: Connect video calling solution is available through SPARK® Media for free until the 30th of June. Trusts who wish to continue using the solution to offer digital inclusivity to the most in need after this period will need to contact their WiFi SPARK Account Manager.