COVID-19 patients
(Photo : GettlyImages/ SOPA Images ) patients and COVID-19 app

COVID Tech Connect, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to helping COVID-19 patients deal with loneliness while recovering from the virus.

The organization designed and created an app called TeleHome that allows patients to contact their loved ones via any device.

The nonprofit organization originated in 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

COVID Tech Connect

When COVID Tech Connect began, its initiative was to collect and donate hardware such as phones and tablets to hospitals where ICU beds were filled up with patients, and COVID protocols prevented people from visiting their relatives.

The organization has donated 20,000 phones and tablets to more than 18,000 hospitals and care facilities across the country.

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In an exclusive interview with TechCrunch, Ellen Becque, the product director at COVID Tech Connect, said that they never promoted the program.

The organization was flooded with requests for devices after health care providers asked thousands of COVID-19 patients to isolate.

The isolation has caused COVID-19 patients feel lonely. Thus the devices helped preoccupy them as they wait to get the all-clear.

In 2020, COVID Tech Connect raised $4 million in funding from numerous sources, including Google, Shutterfly, and TV host Ellen DeGeneres. They also accumulated $200,000 from a GoFundMe account.

Currently, the organization's fiscal sponsor is The Giving Back Fund, another nonprofit that manages donations from celebrities, athletes, and other high-profile individuals, according to PR News Wire.

Last year, the organization expanded into software and released an app called TeleHome. The organization launched the app in May, and it lets you perform a video call within a hospital.

The app rolled out during the most critical time in the pandemic. While some hospitals allowed visitors, some suspended or limited visits because of the delta variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of CDC still recommends hospitals and clinics to facilitate other ways for patients to visit with family, especially video or audio calls.

What Makes TeleHome Different?

The organization created the TeleHome app through a partnership with Caregility, which provides telehealth services for hospitals and clinics.

The space for video calling app is flooded, but TeleHome offers some services that make it different from the rest, making the helpful app for hospitals and clinics.

During the pandemic's peak, hospitals used apps like FaceTime to allow patients to talk to their families. In 2020, a study published by NCBI revealed that FaceTime calls made in the hospitals received positive feedback from the patients and their families.

Since the patients could talk to their loved ones, their recovery journeys were better and faster than those who did not get the chance to speak with their families.

However, hospitals often run into connectivity issues, and the FaceTime software limited calls to those who own Apple devices.

Fortunately, Apple's new iOS 15 operating system will allow Windows-based devices and Android devices to run FaceTime.

The TeleHome app, on the other hand, is compatible with all devices, and it secures better connectivity. This means that the calls have fewer chances of getting interrupted.

A hospital can request a login for free. As soon as the app is installed, patients can use any device to send a link through text to another person.

Once you click that link, it will take participants to a format in an internet browser similar to Zoom.

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Written by Sophie Webster

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