Apr 15, 2020

Coronavirus: Technology in intensive care brings families together

Hospitals are relaxing strict bans on smartphones and tablets in intensive care during the coronavirus pandemic. One charity is aiming to provide 4G-enabled tablets to every intensive care unit in the UK, while some ICUs now encourage people to bring their phones. "To reduce the risk of infection, hospitals are currently restricting visitors, which means many patients don't have any contact with their relatives once admitted to intensive care," said Dr Meyer. Dr Jamie Strachan, a consultant in critical care, said: "This is a scary time for many. For patients unwell in hospital at the moment, not being able to see their loved one is heartbreaking. That's why I knew we needed a better way of ensuring both patients and staff could stay connected to relatives when they can't visit in person." One doctor, who did not want to be identified, told the BBC there had been a "Massive culture shift" in intensive care units since the coronavirus crisis, from strict policies of not allowing any devices to a current "Pragmatism" which sees doctors and nurses encourage patients to bring their own devices, and even chargers, in order to stay in touch with their families.

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