“It’s really user-friendly. It’s a bit more than Facebook. You can connect with other patients and friends as well, so you can keep up with them. You’re able to feel as normal as you can.”
Upopolis tags itself as "a healthy space for kids to connect" and the factsheet describes it as software as a service from the private foundation Kids' Health Links Foundation hosted by Telus on a private network at several Canadian hospitals since 2007 - it is specifically for kids to communicate with family, friends, teachers and classmates and access medical information and hospital events and resources. There is no public registration so I expect referrals are initiated with hospital and care centre staff. Techvibes writes about Christina Papaevangelou and her father Basile working to find "ways to help kids in care stay connected" and developing a partnership wtih McMaster Children’s Hospital and TELUS. Kudos to all who made it happen!
Readers of the blog may remember an earlier post about the large international forum AbilityOnline which I joined just over a year ago. So far no news of the planned upgrade and the website has news from 2007. It is sad to see such important communities trapped in hard to update one-off web platforms.
Two years ago when I spoke to SickKids technical services about family-staff web communication it was confirmed the hospital was seeking a social media platform. I am pleased they chose a patient inspired software made in Canada and along with Care Pages, SickKids now supports patient to patient and family to public communication. The tools cry out for hospital wide wireless, a service rolling out in other Canadian paediatric hospitals. Expect computers in family resources areas and on the floors to be saturated. Free wireless supports hospital family diversity since families with means have a Rogers or Bell wireless stick.