Technology and medicine have enjoyed a great partnership for thousands of years in helping to provide the best healthcare possible to patients. Continuing that tradition, Canadian telecom provider TELUS has teamed up with the Kids Health Links Foundation (KHLF) to offer a brand-new Internet-based service to juvenile patients at Toronto’s Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. The new service is based on the idea of using social networking as a means to help patients during their time of need.
The project involves the creation of Upopolis, a private and secure social networking portal developed specifically for children in the hospital. It allows kids to create personal profiles and blogs, play games, chat with friends, and help kids connect with others suffering from similar illnesses. It even offers a unique feature that helps them stay current with their schoolwork. And for kids who want to learn more about their own diseases or conditions, Upopolis also offers plenty of links to get them started in their research.
According to Holland Bloorview CEO Sheila Jarvis, the average hospital stay for many of the children is 61 days. For them this amount of time can seem like an eternity if they feel alone and isolated. Such feelings can also hinder recovery and keep kids hospitalized longer. By providing them with the new Upoplis portal, health experts hope that the Internet can be used not only to relieve those feelings of isolationism, but also help speed recovery through a more positive environment. We’re hoping they are successful.