Category Archives: communication

What was it I came up here for?

Many of us have those moments where you walk upstairs to get something, get to the landing and have no idea what it was you went upstairs for! We put the kettle on, get our favourite mug out ready for a nice cup of tea, only to come back into the kitchen an hour later with the tea still unmade. Someone gives us directions and within seconds we can’t remember whether it is left or right at the post box.

The causes of forgetfulness are numerous. They run from being overwhelmed with responsibility and demands to not paying close enough attention – we simply didn’t “hear” the instructions in the first place. Other times we are so distracted by everything that is going on around us that we are on overload and have too much to remember and can’t. But when should we worry that it is becoming more serious?

Forgetfulness results from changes in the brain and can be a normal part of aging or a symptom of another condition or disease. When you experience forgetfulness, you may find it harder to recall information or events, learn new things, or form new memories. As people get older, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain. As a result, some people may notice that it takes longer to learn new things, they don’t remember information as well as they did, or they lose things like their glasses. These usually are signs of mild forgetfulness, not serious memory problems. Abnormal forgetfulness isn’t only about failing to remember; it’s more complex than that.

Be concerned when you see a pattern of deteriorating functioning, not just correctable incidents of forgetting. Loss of previous abilities or negative changes in long-established, characteristic behaviour and personality patterns indicates a need to seek help. Understanding normal forgetfulness can help us adjust more gracefully to the challenges of healthy aging. We need to give ourselves and our loved ones more time to recall events, names, and words as we age, because “normal” recall can take longer. Knowing that can help us plan to build in extra time for certain events or tasks.

http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/forgetfulness

http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Memory-Loss-and-Dementia

http://www.ehow.com/about_5137621_causes-forgetfulness.html#ixzz32X7tjZtD

http://psychcentral.com/lib/when-to-worry-about-forgetfulness/00013100

Mr-Forgetful

The Written Word

By on 03 30, 2015 in Activitiescommunication

The art of communication has changed over the years and now a lot of it is done electronically, but is there anything better than receiving a handwritten card or letter in the post? There was a recent article in the press about a teacher who got his students, at the age of 14, to write letters to their future selves. These letters included predictions and dreams for their future. Twenty years later, he posted these letters back to all of the students that he was able to track down.

Can you remember what your dreams were for your older self? Have you changed? Did you reach your goals, or create brand new ones you never would have been able to think of when you were young?

Writing to your future self can be a fun exercise, and when you read the letter however many years down the line, it can bring back wonderful memories. If you were writing at a time when things were tough, reading the letter in the future can help you to realise the better place you have arrived at.

We have to be realistic as well. None of us knows what the years ahead have in store. The written word can live on for us, and help us to be remembered. It can also give our loved ones strength after we are gone. One example of how the written word can live on is in this lovely story of a woman who left a written message for her husband to receive after she had died. See more here, with many more stories online.

If you write a diary,  that can be a great way to check in with your present self, and you can compare different stages in your life. Even if you just note appointments, or make brief comments about what you have been doing, or places you have been to, it can be worth doing. The important thing to remember is that we can continue to go forward in one way or another, and goals can continue to be set, no matter how small.

So, go for it, get writing today!

Boy_Writing

Myageingparent.com provides us with 10 fun tips for grandparents at Christmas

Christmas is a great time for families getting together and different generations bonding over wonderful traditions. However, for the generations with the biggest age gap it can be difficult to find common ground and for them to find an activity that they will both enjoy. Here’s a few ideas for when the dinner has been eaten, the presents opened and the Queen’s speech watched on Christmas day or any of the surrounding dates.

Gifts they can both enjoy

If you are picking the present from your child to their grandparents try and choose something that they both might enjoy such as some of the ideas below. A simple game, or toy like a yo-yo, may be fun or sweets are likely to go down well!

Introduce each other to their childhood games

As with the yo-yo, there are likely to be games played by the grandparents in their youth that today’s children will enjoy. On the other side of the coin, Grandma may enjoy having a go on a game app on the tablet, or joining in with a game you play at home.

Do some of the Christmas cooking together

Maybe this could be the start of a new tradition, so while mum or dad take care of the main bits of the Christmas meals, Granddad and grandchild can prepare the dessert or one element of the main course. Just make sure the main cook is not too inconvenienced!

Put on a performance

For the more musical or theatrical perhaps Grandma can direct or star in a play or musical display with the grandchildren. A simple play about Christmas, re-enacting a favourite story or singing a few carols will provide some honest entertainment before everyone has their traditional nap.

Make some Christmas crafts

Christmas provides a great opportunity to get the arts and crafts kit out. See if Granddad wants to help to make some decorations or drawing some festive scenes. If it is in the days running up to the main event, they could create some Christmas cards to be exchanged on the day.

Take a favourite DVD

Films such as Frozen or other Disney favourites appeal to all ages. Have a family viewing of the little ones’ favourite film and watch Grandma become the latest fan of the animated classics.

Go for a ride out

This is one which can benefit from the help of care at home services. If there is another person to help out with the domestic tasks, then it is perhaps worth stepping out and seeing a local tourist attraction such as zoo or aquarium.

Complete a jigsaw puzzle

Here is one classic activity enjoyed by young and old. Bring a few puzzles of different levels to the Christmas Day gathering and see what they can achieve when they put their heads together.

Get the photo album out

It will be interesting and educational to show the youngest family members pictures of the family ancestry, especially ones which show the grandparents in their younger year.

Go for a walk

A nice brisk Christmas Day walk can help everyone digest the big dinner and the change of scenery will have benefits to everyone’s mood and health.

See the full article here

Yo Yo

Dell for Entrepreneurs

By on 09 22, 2014 in communicationTechnology

Dell for Entrepreneurs has announced its Founders 50 Fall 2014 cohort – the second class to join its Founders 50 initiative, and we are very happy to report that Visbuzz is included. We have been identified by Dell as a company to watch this autumn. Companies have been chosen based on their record of disrupting their respective industries through innovative products and creative solutions.

Dell believes entrepreneurs are the foundation for innovation, economic growth and job creation and works to empower entrepreneurs around the world to pursue their endeavours by providing them with the tools, technology and resources they need to be successful. Dell has a history of supporting entrepreneurs both within Dell, and externally, with Dell Ventures, Entrepreneur in Residence, and the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network – which have all given Dell the opportunity to further empower high-growth startups while  creating lasting customer connections.

The Founders 50 continues this effort while specifically honing in on companies that have technology as a backbone, are on the verge of becoming household names, have received venture capital or high-level angel funding and are poised for rapid growth and expansion, including sales, revenue or expansion in new markets. Founders 50 companies receive access to consulting and technology resources needed to scale; capital; marketing and branding support; sales enablement and the opportunity to explore new partnerships within Dell; as well as key networking and mentorship opportunities with business and industry leaders.

When Founders 50 companies complete their two-year term, they become Founders Club Alumni, joining more than 115 other companies who have participated including Skyera, CloudFlare, Everloop and Mass Relevance. 

Dell Founders 50 Fall 2014 Class
Dell’s Fall Founders 50 participants, of which Visbuzz is one, exemplify how innovative technology solutions can be used to effect positive change and catalyse business growth.

Find out more, and see a list of all 50 companies here.

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Visbuzz and Dell

By on 09 15, 2014 in communicationTechnology

Visbuzz has selected Dell to deliver our one-touch communication technology to the elderly, who may be isolated or suffer from restricted mobility.  The software, available through the cloud on Dell tablets, offers a single-function tool to connect people quickly and efficiently with those who matter most, from family and friends to carers.

In the UK, the aging population means that there are millions who are desperate to have more contact with those who matter most but lack the ability to physically visit or communicate easily in the increasingly digital world.

Following an introduction via the Dell UK Centre for Entrepreneurs, an initiative that provides access to funding, mentoring and Dell’s technical expertise and world class infrastructure to help developing businesses grow and scale quickly, we chose Dell OEM Solutions to take its system to a wider customer base.  With its belief that technology is underpinning and fuelling growth among entrepreneurs, Dell saw the significant potential of the system and worked with Visbuzz to integrate its offering onto preconfigured Dell Venue 8 Pro tablets on a set-up and fulfilment model. As a result, Visbuzz customers receive delivery direct from Dell and their tablets work with Visbuzz straight out of the box.

Steve McNulty, CEO of Visbuzz, explained why the company chose Dell: “While Visbuzz can run as a stand-alone system for users to install on their own hardware, we realised that many of our target demographic do not already have their own product.  By offering a complete package with a robust Dell tablet, we’re able to ensure that everyone can benefit from our solution.  Dell OEM Solutions is committed to our vision and focused on helping us prepare our service for market as both a supplier and a promoter.”

As well as helping bring people together, Visbuzz also offers a cost-effective solution for health professionals to carry out consultations remotely.  In the first project of its kind in the UK, Dell tablets that support Visbuzz are already being installed by Halton Clinical Commissioning Group and Halton Borough Council in the homes of some of the area’s most isolated and vulnerable residents.  The project also teaches volunteers from the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), local authority and local community groups, such as the British Red Cross and Wellbeing Enterprises, how to use Visbuzz effectively in the users’ homes. Visbuzz is committed to leading innovation in its industry and has joined the Dell Founders 50, a highly curated group of CEOs and founders who view technology as a critical backbone to business success, to help achieve this goal.

Dermot O’Connell, executive director and general manager, OEM Solutions at Dell, gave an overview of the importance of Dell’s work with Visbuzz: “Digital exclusion is an increasing problem for those who are not natural adopters of new technology, such as the elderly. Visbuzz is a great way to introduce a new demographic to the benefits of technology without overwhelming them.  The customer doesn’t see a new-fangled device that they don’t understand; they see a familiar photo frame that can connect them to their loved ones by simply touching the image.”

See the Dell Press Release here.

 

 

Visbuzz and The British Red Cross

Visbuzz has been working with The British Red Cross in Halton. Here’s what they had to say about the project:

Partnership work in Cheshire helps beneficiaries combat isolation and loneliness in Halton.

The Cheshire health and social care team are hard at work to ensure that the roll-out and implementation of Visbuzz goes as smoothly as possible.

The Visbuzz device is being used to reduce isolation and loneliness. It offers a single task mobile touch screen that enables beneficiaries to connect face-to-face to those who matter most to them.

British Red Cross support worker David Warrener along with co-ordinator Joan Carter have completed training enabling them to install the equipment and assist beneficiaries to log-on and benefit from the Visbuzz experience.

Red Cross health and social care senior service manager John Morris explains “Halton’s loneliness strategy has acknowledged that loneliness impacts on an individual’s health and quality of life. Some estimates put the health impact of loneliness as equivalent to smoking fifteen cigarettes each day, of greater severity than not exercising and twice as harmful as obesity. The Visbuzz project will be piloted with a small number of local older people and will enable the Visbuzz users to keep in contact with family, friends and carers. The British Red Cross support at home team have been working hard with Halton Borough Council, Halton Clinical Commissioning Group and Visbuzz, to develop this interesting project.”

This photo shows David Warrener assisting beneficiary Ruth Barrow to contact her son Clive in Scotland through Visbuzz.

BRC

 

 

 

 

The benefit of asking questions.

By on 04 28, 2014 in communication

I recently attended a couple of ‘Hackathon’ events hosted by AgeUK. I had never heard of one before, so was interested to find out what happens. My interpretation of a Hackathon is an event in which computer programmers and others collaborate on projects to find innovative solutions to shared challenges. With the events that I attended, a major emphasis was on involving the end user, or beneficiary, to identify these challenges and involve them in coming up with solutions.

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak to a couple of people, who were over 50 and fitted the end user profile, about how the lives of the over 50s could be improved by using technology. I discovered many interesting things which reinforced my notion that no two people are the same, and different people use technology in different ways, however, if you find a solution that helps one person, it is likely to benefit many, many more.

One discovery effected me most of all. During our discussions, we looked at solutions already available, things which had already been invented to bridge a gap and make life easier. One of these was the folding walking stick. Not only was it able to fit in your bag, but it came in a range of FUN and INTERESTING colours.

Hold on: fun, interesting, colourful? Those hadn’t been on my list of requirements, but why not. We don’t reach a certain age and say “oh well, now I must be serious and only buy things which are dull, functional and fit a purpose”. It might just be me, but sometimes we can look at problems in society and put our fix on them, decide how we want to solve the challenges and think we know best. We must make sure we ask those that we are helping. This will enable them to feel included, and ensure that we find answers that not only fix problems, but are also wanted.

Laughter

Audiobook

The benefits of audio services

Audio books can be used to increase the pleasure and learning of many people in society, and have been found to have many benefits. They can be used to introduce students to books above their reading level, model good interpretive reading, and provide access to subjects and literature while on the go. Audio books can additionally help to reduce loneliness.

Listening to audio books can open up whole new worlds, and bring stories to life for people who may have failing eyesight, or find it difficult to sit, hold and read a book. You can become engrossed in a whole new world. The sense of achievement that can be experienced by learning a new subject or the joy of getting wrapped up in how your favourite character will develop. These feelings can be addictive, a welcome distraction and wonderful company, enabling you to experience a raft of emotions and feelings as you journey along with your new companions.

Listening Books is a charity that provides audiobooks to people across the UK who find it difficult or impossible to read due to illness or disability. Find out more here

It is not only books. Newspapers and magazines can also be provided in audio format. Being able to connect to the world, hear what is going on and keep up to date with current issues and good news stories helps us to feel connected and feel less isolated.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) offers several reading services, giving access to books, newspapers and magazines in a variety of different formats. RNIB benefits a wide range of audiences, find out more here

Audio books are available in a number of different media including cassette tape, CD, mp3 downloads and can also be found at local libraries, as well as to buy in most bookshops.

Audiobook

The Written Word

By on 04 07, 2014 in communication

The art of communication has changed over the years and now a lot of it is done electronically, but is there anything better than receiving a handwritten card or letter in the post? There was a recent article in the press about a teacher who got his students, at the age of 14, to write letters to their future selves. These letters included predictions and dreams for their future. Twenty years later, he posted these letters back to all of the students that he was able to track down.

Can you remember what your dreams were for your older self? Have you changed? Did you reach your goals, or create brand new ones you never would have been able to think of when you were young?

Writing to your future self can be a fun exercise, and when you read the letter however many years down the line, it can bring back wonderful memories. If you were writing at a time when things were tough, reading the letter in the future can help you to realise the better place you have arrived at.

We have to be realistic as well. None of us knows what the years ahead have in store. The written word can live on for us, and help us to be remembered. It can also give our loved ones strength after we are gone. One example of how the written word can live on is in this lovely story of a woman who left a written message for her husband to receive after she had died.  Click here to read the story.

If you write a diary,  that can be a great way to check in with your present self, and you can compare different stages in your life. Even if you just note appointments, or make brief comments about what you have been doing, or places you have been to, it can be worth doing. The important thing to remember is that we can continue to go forward in one way or another, and goals can continue to be set, no matter how small.

So, go for it, get writing today!

Happy woman writing

Two Senior Women Playing Dominoes At Day Care Centre

Keeping Active

Keeping active into older age is the key to staying fit, mobile, healthy and independent. Being active does not necessary mean getting down to the gym or attending your local keep fit class, although for some this is ideal. Being active can increase well-being and reduce social isolation.

Here are some ideas for keeping active:

Social Clubs – these can include lunch clubs, computer clubs and book clubs. People with a similar interest can get together and spend time on that shared interest. It could be as specific as dominoes or Scrabble, or as wide as tea and cake!

Art and Craft – learning a new skill, or continuing with a craft you already enjoy is a great way to keep active. There are art and craft groups ranging from knitting to drawing or card making. Arts and crafts are a  great way to spend time with people or just to enjoy in your own home. The joy of making things is that you can give them to others as presents and keep sakes, which boosts feelings of well-being.

Crosswords and Quizzes – these can be enjoyed as part of a group, or by yourself. It is always beneficial to keep challenging yourself intellectually, and  it’s fun to have a bit of a competition with those you know. Challenge yourself to see how many answers can you get without resorting to the dictionary or encyclopaedia!

Singing – there is nothing better than a good sing along. Music can help to motivate you, reduce stress and stimulate memories. There is also the benefit of being able to enjoy music when you are alone, making you feel less lonely. Why not put on a favourite song and have a sing along in the front room?

Some useful links in relation to keeping active:

http://www.elderlyactivities.co.uk/

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/health-wellbeing/keeping-fit/getting-moving-/

And for those who want to get physically active for the first time, the NHS offers a useful guide to getting started for older people: http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Exercises-for-older-people.aspx 

Two Senior Women Playing Dominoes At Day Care Centre

 

Tackling Loneliness

In the first project of its kind in the UK, Visbuzz is working with Halton Clinical Commissioning Group and Halton Borough Council to install Visbuzz units in the homes of some of the area’s most isolated and vulnerable residents. The project also involves training volunteers from the CCG, local authority and local community groups such as The British Red Cross and Wellbeing Enterprises in how to use Visbuzz effectively in the users’ homes.

This is an amazing opportunity to influence positively the lives of isolated and lonely individuals. In previous posts I have discussed the importance of social interaction, meaningful contact and face to face communication and this project brings together all of these aspects, with a view to collecting and collating evidence to further support work in this field.

Loneliness is not simply a matter of connecting with people, it is about connecting with the people that matter.

For those of you who are new to Visbuzz, our vision is a world in which loneliness does not exist. Visbuzz connects you face to face easily and simply with those who are important to you; just by touching their picture. We have used the most up to date technology, making Visbuzz as simple to use as possible. Visbuzz allows you to connect to your loved ones through a computer tablet with one touch, reducing loneliness and increasing wellbeing.

Not only can Visbuzz help those who are isolated, vulnerable and lonely, but Visbuzz can also give their carers, family and friends, peace of mind and reduce their worry levels.

Loneliness can affect all of us at one time or another, and is not just someone else’s problem. Together, we can go further towards a world in which loneliness does not exist.

Is loneliness affecting you or someone you love? What ways have you found to combat loneliness? Let us know in the comments section at the bottom of this page.   

  http://www.thatmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/elderly-people_0.jpg

 

 

Moving Forward with Technology

By on 02 10, 2014 in communicationTechnology

Technology is advancing at a tremendous rate, with new inventors beginning to think outside of the box on what is needed to enhance lives and our world around us. It seems that nothing is impossible – if you can think of it, you can make it. Innovation is all around us and can be seen on a daily basis. With social media (You Tube, Facebook, Twitter) it is cheaper and easier to go to market and raise your profile. No one is exempt.

Homeless man Leo Grand launched his own app to decrease the number of cars on the roads with a view to reducing CO2 emissions; there are heating systems for your home that can sense who you are and change the temperature of the house accordingly. What’s next – Drones to deliver your pizza? They may well be on the way.

We are using technology differently, with the expectation that we can get access to anything we want, instantly and with minimal effort. Not only can we get it now but we can get it personalised. Technology is becoming specific to the individual. Computer games track your preferences, and shape your game accordingly. When you are browsing the internet you see adverts based on your search history, recommendations based on your previous grocery shop. A walk through you local shopping centre leads to texts from the shops you are passing with offers just for you.

The opportunities are endless, and with new investments and advancements in all types of technology, the sky is the limit. Films like Robot and Frank (2012) where Frank gets his assistance robot to help him in several heists, the new Robocop movie (2013) and Her (2013) where Theodore falls in love with his newly purchased operating system, give us a peek at what the future could be like. Are we ready?

advanced technology

Solutions to Loneliness

Last week, the Cardiff Blues Rugby Team donated 30 tickets to the Royal Voluntary Service (http://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/), for volunteers and older people to go to the game. For lonely people, it is not, as the Royal Voluntary Service highlighted, solutions to loneliness are not always about a cup of tea.

For some people, the solution to loneliness is tea and cake, just look at the work by Contact the Elderly (http://www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk/), but for others this isn’t going to cut it. The solution needs to fit the individual otherwise the help being offered can lead to increasing loneliness rather than eradicating it.

In west London, they have numerous solutions to end loneliness, including Men’s Sheds (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T8RTis6JGI) where it is easy to build relationships as those involved get to know each other through the DIY projects and work they do together. Age UK Milton Keynes (http://www.ageuk.org.uk/miltonkeynes/) offer coach trips for those over 55, and local churches can be found to offer a range of community services from mother and baby clubs to creative threads (knitting & needle work clubs).

There is also always the opportunity to learn new skills. Age UK highlight that there are now more than 600,000 learners over 60 in England alone. There are local computer clubs, evening courses, and courses available on line or through the internet. Future Learn (https://www.futurelearn.com/) offer a range of on-line courses from a range of universities free of charge. Sometimes, the support of a befriender, volunteer or family member may be required initially but people are never too old to learn!

The key to solving loneliness is building up meaningful relationships. As Kim Culbertson puts it: ‘People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don’t think that’s true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world’.

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The benefits of face to face contact

There are so many ways to communicate now that we have a choice of how to connect with different people. You can still write a letter, (and oh how nice it is sometimes to receive hand written personal post), send an e-mail or use a telephone.

We now also have the ability to speak face to face with a video call through computers, laptops, tablets and phones.

With a video call, you can catch the non-verbal cues of communication that can be missed through a letter or a telephone call. We can see body language, the emotions portrayed on the face, an infectious smile or a sadness that needs soothing.

According to Professor Albert Mehrabian’s work on communication,

7% of the message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in the words that are spoken.
38% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is paralinguistic (the way that the words are said).
55% of message pertaining to feelings and attitudes is in facial expression.
This means that if we communicate by letter or e-mail, we lose 93% of the message being portrayed – who hasn’t re-written that e-mail umpteen times because you don’t want them to misinterpret your meaning… With talk on the telephone we get more of the message, but still lose 55% of the message – the part that is portrayed through facial expression.

The benefits of a video call also mean we can join in. We can see little Sally playing the recorder, help Christopher with his crazy maths problem, see the scarf Nan knitted, and share the moment. Face to face communication helps people feel more included in the lives of others, and in turn enhances their own.

Visual Main Revised2

Visbuzz moves forward

We moved further forward with our vision of a world in which loneliness doesn’t exist on Monday, when we spent a fantastic day with some of our Visbuzz Champions in Halton. The day was focussed on ensuring that the best possible service is delivered to the lonely and isolated in the community, enabling them to connect with those that matter most in their lives. At the touch of a picture, they can chat with their loved ones face to face and so communicate more frequently with ease.

We demonstrated that with one touch, Visbuzz can make individuals feel included and connected – a simple way to help end loneliness.

The testimonials from the day were heart-warming and encouraging, with Visbuzz being recognised as a vital tool to increase inclusion for the lonely, vulnerable and distressed in our communities. Watch this space!

How can mHealth actually help me?

visbuzz-logo

“mHealth” is a key word that has been flying around cyber space for some time now with large corporations outlining how it will increase profits and decrease government expenditures, but what I really want to know is how can it benefit me and my family?

Indeed, the Federal Communications Commission’s mHealth Task Force has found that wireless and remote access to health records and electronic prescriptions alone could make $29 billion over the next decade. Undoubtably, on an enormous scale, mHealth is going to help healthcare systems worldwide improve the service to millions of people, but what about in my home and for my loved ones? What difference can be made?

Visbuzz has created a unique device that personalises communication that can be applied to improving healthcare. The mobile software system connects the primary user to the people that matter most to the, including, perhaps, their doctor. At her bedside the primary user has her complete support system; friends, family, doctor, nurse and therapist, all of whom can provide care and love any time of the day. This innovative method of communications is a well-needed replacement to the current and traditional care-home environment. Visbuzz identified unmet needs in the market where isolated individuals needed easy access to their loved ones without the difficulties of using complex technology. Results have been positive from the pilot studies that healthcare organisations across the UK are embracing the solution, as well as individuals with personal needs of their own.

Personalised mHealth looks at each person in their own right with their needs as the foremost important factor in their care. Visbuzz creates an environment where the primary user can connect to those who matter the most, in a place they are comfortable and without the stressors of technology as a burden. These traits have the potential for doctors to implement continuous monitoring, lending insights to lifestyle habits and dynamic physiological changes to improve the health of the primary user. Of course Visbuzz is not just a medical advantage with the use of doctors, research continually finds that recovery is much more likely when the patient is happy and connected to friends and family.

Get back in touch with your loved ones today, talk to Visbuzz.

mHealth: a new vision for healthcare

visbuzz-logo

Whilst new reports say UK economic growth revised up to 0.7%, the long road to recovery still remains a critical challenge. One area where there is certain room for improvement in within the healthcare market. The 2013/2014 budget for healthcare is £95 billion, and increasing each year, calculating 18% of the total government spending. It is therefore imperative that we look at ways in which we can cut healthcare costs. We are in a spiral of healthcare costs as expectations of patient’s are high and financial resources are tight. However there is help at hand in the form of mobile applications and technology.

The modest costs of implementing mHealth applications could significantly lower healthcare costs across the UK and the world, resulting in happier healthier patients and more financial leeway to look at preventative medicine. Currently only a small amount of government funding has been allocated to mHealth and social health where patients can access healthcare advice and information from their phone and tablets. Being connected to ones doctor using an electronic device and reducing the need for face to face interaction for simple check ups or questions will inevitably reduce the time and costs for the patient and also for the healthcare organisation. A report by The Boston Consulting Group and Telenor Group found that costs relating to data collection in healthcare organisations could be reduced by 24% when using mHealth. They found that mobile devices could be used for remote diagnosis, speeding up of processes, avoiding duplication and saving between 20-30% in administrative fees.

However, there are the cynics about introducing mHealth as a primary method of communication between a patient and their doctor. Willa Field, Chair of the HIMSS Board of Directors, pointed out that elderly people are unlikely to adopt new technology without incentive and there are privacy and security concerns that go on alongside. It is important to recognise these limitations and find a way that will improve the service for all users.

Visbuzz is a mobile technology device built onto a portable tablet with a primary aim to connect people with those who matter most to them. It leaps over the hurdle of questions about incentives, understanding technology, costs and security through being built for one purpose only: to connect to your loved ones. Steve McNulty originally built Visbuzz to speak to his mother on a more regular basis without the complexities of explaining technology and having a high premium price to go with. This unique combination of factors that Visbuzz has to offer will largely contribute to reducing healthcare costs, improving communication and overall wellbeing of the primary user.

Please get in contact today to find out more about Visbuzz and how it can help you and your loved ones.

The Impact of Technology on Healthcare

Mobile communications and multimedia technology are playing significant roles in giving patients responsibility to their own healthcare, which in turn improves adherence to prescribed medications. With regards to mHealth and adherence trends, Aunia Grogan, CEO of Atlantis Healthcare said, “Technology is at the heart of what we do,” in developing treatment adherence. “The strategic use of technology is critical to effectively deliver mass personalisation, ensuring the right patient receives the right message at the right time, in the right way.”

Research has found that non-adherence is an individualised belief of the patient about their illness and their prescribed medications. The first step in changing the behaviour of the patient is to initially reframe the beliefs. Grogan says, “mHealth is increasingly important to channel and deliver relevant and meaningful interventions that can drive long-term behaviour change.” However, she emphasised that for the treatment to be successful, the patient needs to be actively engaged with his or her own recovery. For many patients it can be difficult to access their doctor on a regular basis, increasing the likelihood of their noncompliance due to not being properly informed about their medications. It is important that we use the technological devices we have available for the benefit of patients who have difficulty in accessing healthcare.

A new technological device available on the market now is Visbuzz, a game changer within the communications space. Visbuzz is a tablet application that gives people the opportunity to connect with those who matter most to them without the fuss of technology. Whilst multimedia technology is the driving force behind Visbuzz, the primary user does not need to be competent in technology at all. In fact, to call someone it is as easy as pressing the contacts picture on the screen. This ties in extremely well this improving adherence in those who are reliant upon medication but find it difficult to travel to healthcare organisations. Using Visbuzz, patients can communicate with their doctors to manage their healthcare program and improve their happiness and wellbeing.

To make the difference for one of your family members, contact Visbuzz to understand more about how easy it can be for them to connect to those who matter most.

The Healthcare Revolution – Will you ride the wave?

The healthcare system is undergoing a serious and well needed re-vamp and update using digital and mobile technology. Will you ride the wave of the revolution?

When emails came to our attention in around 1993 I was quick to adopt the new technology, although somewhat alien I could see the potential long-term usage of connecting to people through electronic letters rather than picking up the phone for a quick question. Now, two decades on, there are over 3 billion email accounts and it has quickly become one of the most efficient methods of communication. In 2013 we are continually developing new technological applications to help our everyday lives, and the new big area of development is healthcare. Adopting this new and seemingly alien technology may seem difficult now, but those who do will reap the rewards in the years to come, healthcare professionals and patients alike.

Traditional healthcare organisations use pen and paper to record notes, long waiting lists for simple tests and home visits for check ups. The medical staff are overworked and underpaid, tired and angry at the governments, and are looking at new innovative ways to improve patient care. Leading healthcare organisations are guiding the sector into the future of care through technology and transformation to create a more effective, efficient and reliable healthcare service.

mHealth, as defined by Professor Istepanian as the use of “emerging mobile communications and network technologies for healthcare”, is a common word found amongst healthcare blogs and magazines. People are looking up and smelling the roses about the new advances in healthcare to see how it can benefit themselves and those they love, but it can be difficult to choose out of the hundreds available.

Visbuzz can provide you with a unique approach to personalised care that meets the needs of you and those who are most important. Visbuzz is a simple interface device that brings communication to life through video calling tailored to those that are technologically hesitant. I know the feeling of heavy guilt when I can’t pick up the call from my Mum when I am busy through the day. I know there has to be a balance between your own life and those you care about. Giving freedom and simultaneous control to her through scheduled calling and messaging applications takes away the chance of interruptions in my busy day but also gives her the promise of talking soon.

Take advantage of the hundreds of new devices and technological developments in healthcare and consider using Visbuzz to connect with those who matter most.

The story of Visbuzz


My story begins, as many do, with a vision for a better place for those I love.

The heat of the midday sun shone through the window, burning me crimson as the traffic slowly ploughed on. The radio blared out some old rock hits from the 70’s intermitted between reports of a roadblock on the motorway. I lost count of how many hours I had been sitting there and I daren’t think about the journey home. How I envied those on the other side of the road, blistering along with their roofs down and hair blowing. ‘Perhaps I’ll have next weekend off’ I ruminated. But even as the thought entered my mind, guilt crept over my shoulder and sat heavily in my chest for the remainder of the crawling journey.

Once I had arrived at the house I grew up in, my Mum could see the stress in my face, my body language. Immediately she apologised and said that I shouldn’t have come all this way just to see her. For the rest of the short visit there was an uncomfortable knowing that this was less than ideal for both of us. We both carried guilt. For my Mum it was the thought of dragging me down the motorway most weekends, and for me, the thought of not doing that.

The story’s knight in white armour is Visbuzz, a product I invented initially to connect with my Mum in a way that was straightforward to understand and effective to use. Visbuzz is a tablet with an integrated application for the user, like my mum, to connect with those who matter most. The simplicity of the interface means that for even technology novices this device is easy to use, by simply pressing a picture to call!

Visbuzz dams a hole in the market where there is increasing demand and decreasing support; personalised care in homes for those who need connectivity. With studies carried out all over Britain, results have come back pretty glum. Half of over 65 year-olds do not see their families more than once a month and 1/10 elderly people in the UK suffer from “intense loneliness”. This common finding is both shocking and moving – moving me into action to help my mum and those in her position. Visbuzz is a single-task device that connects people with those who matter most to them.

The story of Visbuzz continues to give everyone the opportunity to have a device that can connect them to the people they love, the communities they know and the professionals that can help.

A world in which loneliness doesn’t exist – can it happen?

We have a vision…


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