Seven NHS Trusts are using technology developed by WiFi SPARK to help connect hospital patients with their loved ones during the coronavirus outbreak.

The trusts have rolled out an initiative where tablets pre-loaded with a basic set of calling and entertainment apps are loaned to patients free of charge. It is being lead by WiFi SPARK and Visionable.

This includes video calling via Visionable:Connect, a secure video calling platform that patients, their families and friends can use without having to register or set up an account.

Patients, or those looking after them, simply need to send an SMS or email message with a video call link to their loved ones, and can be in touch with them as soon as they click the link to join the call.

The seven trusts part of the initiative are:

  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  • The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
  • East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust
  • Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust

WiFi SPARK was able to deliver a virtual visiting solution within a week, working with a number of technology providers.

Bruno Botelho, director of digital operations at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said “Patients in our hospital need to experience human connections with their friends and families.

“We’re very grateful to WiFi SPARK and Visionable helping patients see their loved ones and share special moments at a very difficult time in their lives. We’d also like to thank the hospital charity CW+ and its generous donors for their support.”

The full solution consists of Samsung tablets pre-loaded with the SPARK Media platform, which gives patients access to a pre-defined list of video calling apps, games, and entertainment. The video calling apps include commercial offers, such as Skype and Hangouts, as well as Visionable:Connect.

Vsionable recently welcomed Rachel Dunscombe as its chief technology officer to lead its video collaboration platform strategy.