We\Visit: Combatting loneliness with video calling
Do you have a loved one in the hospital? Is it not possible to visit? Are they quarantined because of the coronavirus? Are they in a hospital far away, or are you unable to travel? Visiting a loved one who’s critically ill: normally that’s possible, but due to the coronavirus, visiting ICUs is no longer permitted. The result is a lonely fight behind closed doors.
We\Visit is an online open source platform for relatives to connect with patients and clinical staff through video calling by appointment. With We\Visit families can visit their loved ones in hospitals even during isolation or across borders. We\Visit is unique in facilitating the process of planning and setting up the video connection, and reducing the workload of overworked healthcare professionals.
With your donations to non-profit We\Visit Crowdfund, you can put a huge smile on the faces of families in such difficult times. Help us maintain and expand our service with your donation. Every little bit helps!
For more information and details please visit our website: https://wevisit.hospital/
Or send an email to: email@example.com
Read more about our story: https://www.tudelft.nl/en/stories/articles/wevisit-combatting-loneliness-with-video-calling/
It all began on a Friday afternoon, shortly after Dutch Prime Minister Rutte announced the ‘intelligent lockdown’. Elif Özcan Vieira, who works for the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE), received an emotional email from Reinier de Graaf Hospital in Delft and immediately felt the hairs of her arms stand on end. The hospital was in dire need of a communication tool for its ICU. The patients were not only suffering from the coronavirus but also from loneliness. However, this emotion-laden problem needed technical knowledge. Merijn Bruijnes, Willem-Paul Brinkman and Otto Visser at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS), drummed up a number of fellow scientists, students, and representatives of Dutch Foundation for Family and Patient Centered Intensive Care. The team soon came up with the idea of video-calling including a planning tool so that the nursing staff would not have to do this extra task. Together with students from both faculties, a prototype was developed in weeks!
- Project leaders: Elif Ozcan (IDE, Asc.prof.) & Merijn Bruijnes (EEMCS, Postdoc)
- Initiators: Reinier de Graaf Gasthuis (Bjorn Okkerse, Sven Schoufour)
- Advisory board: Willem-Paul Brinkman (EEMCS, Asc.prof), Otto Visser (EEMCS, Lecturer), Margo van Mol (ErasmusMC - nurse, FCIC & ICConnect - family association), Prof. Catherine Bolman (OU), Femmes van Limpt (former IC patient), Birgit de Bruin (TUD - JIP), Mark Neerincx (EEMCS, Prof.)
- Student volunteers: Cédric Willekens (CS), Georgios Andreadis (CS), Marek Torbus (IDE), Kevin Chong (CS), Tina Ekhtiar (IDE), Yoshi van den Akker (CS), Mara Stefania Coman (CS), Asja Mucha (IDE), and others.
Our main goal is to develop an online open-source platform for connecting families to quarantined patients and implement the platform as a fully functioning product. We aim to make We\Visit available on an international level for any healthcare facility (e.g., medical centers, regional hospitals, care homes, hospices). We have been working on the platform since March 23, with support from the TU Delft COVID-19 response fund. With the financial support that we have received and with the help from volunteers we have completed the following goals (we will update this when new goals are met!):
- Video calling functionality.
- Family scheduling a video call with their loved one.
- Security audit. Ensuring privacy and security of patients and care facilities.
- Pilot of video functionality with patients and families in the Reinier de Graaf gasthuis.
- We witnessed an emotional impact on patients in the pilot. Patients shed tears of happiness when they were connected with their family through We\Visit.
- Hospital back-end administration of timetables, tablets, patients and rooms for online visits.
- Heuristic usability evaluation.
Currently, in May 2020, we are working on:
- Process the outcomes of the heuristic usability evaluation.
- Facilitate easy roll-out for other care facilities.
We are very grateful that we were able to do so much already, but we want to do and offer more! Your contribution will go towards maintaining the We\Visit platform, rolling it out to many more care facilities, and creating new functionalities. Your contributions will support TU Delft students who will have the chance to be part of a big consortium and gain work experience in an academic setting while helping people in need.
With your funding we can progressively meet these goals:
- Eur 7500,-.
Maintain and serve the We\Visit platform in 2020. That means servers, web domains, answering questions from care facilities that use the platform, maintaining the code, etc.
Roll out We\Visit in other care facilities. We want to include different care facilities (medical centre, regional hospital, elderly home, and palliative care facility).
- Eur 10.000,-.
Start an effectiveness study answering whether the We\Visit platform reduces loneliness of patients and risk of post intensive care syndrome.
- Eur 15.000,-
Develop ‘message in a bottle’ function that further supports the emotional wellbeing of the patient.
- Family sends audio/video/picture messages to the patient
- Healthcare professional sends non-medical update to family
- Eur 20.000,-
Facilitate care facility-initiated contact with family, for example when a patient is feeling better or wakes up.