"a healthy dose of social networking just in time..."

The headline "SickKids receives a healthy dose of social networking just in time for the holidays" made me very happy, not the least because the arrival of Upopolis was a complete surprise. I first saw the news in a short Metro article and Zach made me smile - "“You hear nurses using words, words like febrile, so with this I can look it up" and get homework assignments, setup blogs, email and instant message. Zach again:
“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.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:18 AM

    And it would be incredibly simple to implement because Rogers and Bell both contribute a lot to Sick Kids and would be happy to provide free wireless service. Gift in kind, or non-cash donations are simple to give. In fact, I'll bet they'd compete to see who could do it first.

    I know they have some wired access in a few rooms because a few patients and parents have mentioned it. But most people are outpatients or don't have access to cables and need wireless....

    Good luck, this in one thing they really should push for.