Category Archives: mental health

Be Prepared As The Seasons Change: What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Today, the weather has turned. We have been so lucky over the summer that the dark, wet weather we are usually so ready for comes as a bit of a surprise. We can hold onto the fact that summer was good to us, however as autumn turns onto winter, the days become shorter and many of us try to fight the instinct to hibernate.

The weather can have a big impact on our mood, and it is good to be aware of some of the reasons behind this so we can prepare for the winter season and how it can affect us.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern and is thought to affect about 2 million people in the UK.  The symptoms of SAD recur regularly each winter and usually start between September and November, continuing until March or April and are similar to those for depression.  These include a lack of interest in life, lethargy, feelings of anxiety and an inability to cope.

Treatments for SAD include counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and antidepressants, which are used to treat other types of depression. SAD can also be treated with light therapy which for some people can improve mood considerably. Light therapy involves sitting in front of, or underneath, a light box – a lamp in various designs with a very bright light.

SAD is thought to be linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter days of the year so light therapy can work by simulating the sunlight that’s missing during the darker winter months. The additional light encourages your brain to reduce the production of melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleepy) and increase the production of serotonin (the hormone that affects your mood).

You can find out more about SAD, symptoms and treatment from the NHS Choices Website.

SAD

 

The benefits of owning a pet

Owning a pet can be a great way to reduce loneliness and increase wellbeing. Pets make you feel loved and provide friendship. They can not only improve a person’s quality of life, but improve their health too. They have been shown to reduce the feelings of isolation and anxiety, and can lead to increased socialisation. If you have a dog, there is also the increase in activity of course.

When you walk your dog, people stop to talk to you and to your companion, you meet other dog owners, you get outside more and you generally feel better – even owning a goldfish or a hamster can be beneficial. Having a pet means that you have something to talk to, to share your thoughts and decisions with, something to come home to and to make you feel needed, appreciated and depended upon. For some people their pet is their sense of purpose and pride.

Pets are used in various forms of therapy, including helping people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to re-enter society. There is no need to explain to your pet what you’ve been through and there is no judgment of you, simply acceptance and company. Pets in residential homes have been shown to improve both patient and staff morale, and they can also provide a great source of entertainment and distraction. The national charity Pets As Therapy has volunteers who provide therapeutic visits (mainly with dogs, but there are a few cats too) to hospitals, hospices, care homes, nursing homes and special needs schools.  These visits bring comfort and companionship to thousands of people, reduce their feelings of isolation and speed up their recovery from illness.

Owning a pet can decrease depression, stress and anxiety and have medical benefits which include lowering blood pressure, improving your immunity to disease and even decreasing your risk of heart attack and stroke. There are many benefits of owning a pet, whatever the make or model you choose.

Do remember though, that sometimes they may eat your shoes!

dogs like to eat shoes

Spring has Sprung

By on 03 03, 2014 in mental health

Hopefully where you are reading this, there is a bright yellow light in the sky today. It has been quite a while since we were graced with its presence, but isn’t it a lovely sight! With the recent rain, floods and storms, you become more appreciative of the bright light that brings a touch of warmth and maybe even a smile. Let us welcome the sunshine!

The winter has been a strange one. Yes it has been cold at times, but mostly it has been grey. The weather can have a big impact on our mood, and with lots of people over the past couple of months having to face additional daily challenges associated with flooding, moods can be low.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern and is thought to affect about 2 million people in the UK (www.nhs.uk). The symptoms of SAD recur regularly each winter and usually start between September and November, continuing until March or April and are similar to those for depression.  These include a lack of interest in life, lethargy, feelings of anxiety and an inability to cope.

Treatments for SAD include counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and antidepressants, which are used to treat other types of depression. SAD can also be treated with light therapy which for some people can improve mood considerably. Light therapy involves sitting in front of, or underneath a light box – a lamp in various designs with a very bright light.

SAD is thought to be linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter days of the year so light therapy can work by simulating the sunlight that’s missing during the darker winter months. The additional light encourages your brain to reduce the production of melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleepy) and increase the production of serotonin (the hormone that affects your mood).

Let’s welcome spring with open arms so we can all feel more motivated and bask in the longer days.

Sunshine

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.   

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Improving your Mental Health

By on 02 17, 2014 in elderlymental health

There are many negative consequences of loneliness and isolation and one of these can be deterioration in our mental health and mental processes. A lack of social interaction and activity, and not taking an interest in our diet, can mean a decline in mood and mental wellness.

Foods which negatively affect mood and can increase feelings of anxiety include sugar, caffeine, alcohol and chocolate, while drinking water, eating vegetables, fruit and oil-rich fish can reduce stressful feelings and increase positive mood. I get it, we enjoy some of the things that aren’t good for us, but for how long? Alcohol is a depressant and the morning after we feel it, chocolate is great for the first hit, but how often do you wish you hadn’t finished the bar, layer, box? Getting more of the good stuff in your diet makes you feel good.

In addition to eating the right things, there is more and more research showing how exercise improves mental health and cognition. Exercise makes you feel better; you get a sense of achievement over getting started and proving you have the will power. And for most people exercise releases some nice helpful hormones which make you happy. It also increases blood flow to the brain, helping mental functioning. With some types of exercise you can also get to meet others and build relationships. Physical exercise has been found to ease depression, slow age-related memory loss and prevent Parkinson-like symptoms.

Anyone can do some form of exercise and feel the benefits. Actor Christopher Reeve made sure he exercised whenever he could even though he was a paraplegic. Twelve years after his fight with Chris Eubank resulting in six brain operations, boxer Michael Watson completed the London Marathon in 6 days, 2 hours, 27 minutes and 17 seconds. No one thought he would walk, write or talk again but he defied those expectations.

You don’t need to run a marathon to feel the benefits – just get moving.

Mental Health

 

 

Steve writes for myageingparent.com

Steve has written an article for www.myageingparent.com where he discusses the creation and benefits of Visbuzz. See the article below, and at http://www.myageingparent.com/keep-touch-using-technology/

Keep in touch using technology with Visbuzz.

  • Many of us worry about older relatives and ageing parents, especially if we live far from them and can’t easily pop in for a cup of tea or a quick chat. I felt just this way about my mum. I also felt guilty because I knew my mum’s loneliness was causing health problems, but I couldn’t see how things could change.Visbuzz 4
  • Loneliness has a real impact, not only on those concerned about ageing parents, but also the organisations and people who provide care and services to them. I am learning what many health professionals already accept; loneliness often leads to depression and physical illness, particularly in older people who may be less able to sustain their mental or physical wellbeing. If they are frail or have other conditions, it makes it harder for them to socialise, or be active
  • Some estimates suggest that 30% of GP call-outs are to elderly people, whose real need is for company. They need not live in a remote location; loneliness can be just as acute in our inner cities, where an older person may not know the people across the landing or next door
  • Since my Dad died a few years ago, my mum had become less mobile, less interested in travelling, or doing anything which interrupted her usual routine. Our family is spread around the country and, although we all did our best, no one could be with her all of the time. She is fiercely independent, wanting to stay in her own home, but the combination of isolation from her family and living alone meant she became lonely and her emotional and mental health began to suffer
  • Faced with the prospect of years of trying to balance the needs of my family, my business and my independent mother, I tried many ways to help her and also to reduce my guilt at not being able to be with her all the time. Carers and ccommunity workers cater for her physical needs, but it was her psychological and emotional needs I wanted to provide for. She wanted to be included and connected to those who mattered most to her. But how?
  • I noticed that regular visits from family resulted in great peaks of happiness, but then, once the family departed, deep troughs of unhappiness and depression. In reality, no visits at all may have been an appropriate way to keep her health stable. But we could not contemplate not seeing our mum, so we continued to visit regularly and my mum’s health deteriorated. She fell more often and her general health was wors,e which meant more hospital visits. She was often short tempered, especially with my brother, whom she saw most often, because she felt unwell much of the time. She became increasingly cantankerous . As this was happening, so my sense of guilt and worry deepened.  My two siblings felt the same. How could we make our mum happy AND keep her emotional and mental health stable?
  • It was obvious that finding a way to reduce her isolation would improve her general health, so I looked at several possibilities. These included Skype and Facetime. However, signing on to both of these is complex for people who are not used to working with computers and they were difficult for my mum to use. She found it hard to remember the processes to follow and was easily confused and frustrated
  • There was another problem too. My mum has arthritis in her hands and so using a keyboard, mouse or electronic keypad is difficult for her. That meant that none of the existing phone or PC programmes for video calls really met her needs. I tried setting up Skype on a computer in her home, which I controlled remotely. However, she disliked this arrangement, as she felt it interfered with her independence, as she had no control over accepting the video call or not. That was when I realised that it was up to me to find a solution as part of the package of support that was already available to her
  • The solution had to increase contact with my mum without taking away her independence. Also, it had to make sense for the whole family. I invented a way that my siblings and I could connect to my mum using a tablet computer. For my mum, using it is as simple as touching the screen. It has really enhanced my mum’s life, increasing her happiness and reducing her susceptibility to illness and bouts of depression
  • For my mum, the tablet computer is just like a picture frame, a part of the furniture and not a scary piece of technology
  • Research suggests that it takes 3 to 4 weeks to create a new habit, so I made sure I went to see my mum regularly for the first month, and we used the device together to speak to my sister and brother. This way she became accustomed to using the one touch device (I call it Visbuzz) and I was always there to help if she needed me
  • She soon became confident with Visbuzz. She could see that she controlled the technology, not the other way round, and that there was nothing to be worried about.  During this time my mum commented that she was having a little trouble with the arthritis in her hands and wasn’t always able to touch the screen with accuracy or firmly enough to use it comfortably, so I introduced a stylus to make the touch screen as accessible as possible
  • Now we can see her daily, we can include her in family gatherings, she can join us at mealtimes without travelling and without having any complex technology to worry about
  • Sometimes the things we need to solve problems are not out there. If they exist at all, they might not be available in our area, for example, voluntary organisations offering befriending services are not nationwide and statutory services may recognise the problems associated with loneliness, but simply don’t have the capacity to offer older people the company and support they want
  • So it’s up to us to think of ways around challenges like this. I have looked at how to address the challenges of modern living through the technology we now have. If you think of something that can help your ageing parent, the likelihood is it will help others as well, so don’t be afraid to come up with your own solutions
  • Many people are in the same situation with their parents as my siblings and me. We would love to hear about your experience. so please share them with us on our forum

Steve is the founder of Visbuzz. He has been a company CEO/MD for over 20 years and is an experienced coach and facilitator.  He works with senior team members in growing businesses to help them become better leaders making better decisions and achieving better results. Steve supports a number of charitable organisations and is also actively working towards ending loneliness If you’d like to know more about Visbuzz, either visit www.visbuzz.com, or call us on 03337 729637

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.

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Loneliness

Loneliness is being talked about more and more within the media, among policy makers and by society as a whole. Has there been an increase in loneliness, or are we understanding and talking about the concept more? Maybe it’s a little of both.

Loneliness can affect the new mother who has no adult contact, the isolated grandmother whose last conversation was 4 days ago, the recently widowed husband who isn’t sure what routine means anymore, or the working professional who goes home to an empty house. No one is immune. Some people value their solitude, but when does solitude turn to loneliness? Families used to live in the same house, same street – at most a couple of streets away in the same village. Now we have cousins in Australia, sons and daughters in Scotland, brothers and sisters in America.

Popping round seems to no longer be an option, and individuals are turning to other avenues of support and contact where family once was. Even if you do have people around you, unless you feel in control and view these contacts as meaningful, you can still be lonely. Who wants to be talked at, made to feel inadequate or made to participate with an activity just because someone thinks it’s what you should do, what you need.

The key lies with being able to connect with those you want to, when you want to, how you want to. A coffee with Frank, a game of cards with Joyce, a film with Jenny, a chat with Aunty Catherine….

There are some fantastic options out there to reduce loneliness, with businesses, charities and communities becoming more focused on making sure the hard to reach, isolated and lonely are reached, and in ways that make them want to engage.

What would you like in place to make you less lonely? What ideas do you have to help others?

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Our Big Society

 In 2010, the Government promoted the Big Society as a way of putting power in people’s hands. The launch of The Big Society was to encourage and enable people to play a more active role in society and come together to improve their own lives and the lives of others.   Irrespective of political stance, the idea of supporting people who care about their community and want to get involved in improving the community around them cannot be a bad thing and comes in many guises.  

Ultimately, people care for, and want to help, other people. There are already a range of community based services, including those working towards reducing loneliness and increasing inclusion within society, and within these, volunteers play a key part. Volunteers have always been integral to delivering services on the ground. They are now taking a more central role within community services, with some organisations being made up of between as many as 50% and 100% volunteers. Through volunteering, people can gain a sense of civic responsibility, get the chance to realise and develop their skills and at the same time see the difference they make within their own community. 

As Lynne Berry, chair of the Commission on the Voluntary Sector and Ageing says, ‘Charities and voluntary organisations are in the business of hope, of changing the world for the better. They are also committed to challenging injustice and righting wrongs; they are about creating an inspiring future’. 

Without volunteers giving their time, energy, and resources, the Big Society would not be able to exist, and community care would look like a very different landscape.  

So, thank you to the volunteers out there, keep going. 

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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!

Bringing healthcare home

Mobile health (mhealth) is the key word meaning to deliver healthcare through mobile communication devices. Using personal wireless technology, medical care and information can be brought to the home of the patient. Visbuzz has created a platform that turns a smart device into a communication portal to connect you with those who matter most. It allows friends, family, doctors and therapists to engage with those who find it difficult to make frequent journeys.

A big challenge for carers is making high-quality healthcare accessible and available to everyone. With an ageing population the key is to put the care back in the hands of the patient through preventative measures. Visbuzz gives patients the control and power to connect to those they need and want to, without the feeling of intrusion. With extra functionalities of leaving “text messages,” patients can schedule meetings with family members with a simple touch screen method. Giving friends and family of patients the key to unlocking the difficulties in staying in touch with relatives that live far away could be the answer to improving wellbeing, healthcare and life satisfaction.

The economic driver in using Visbuzz is the reduction of hospital visits, bed space and doctors time as well as long journeys from family and friends to stay in contact. Using the portable device to connect and stay connected to those who are most important will reduce these factors and improve the lives of patients and their families.

Get in contact today to find out more about how Visbuzz can change your relationship with your family today. Connect to those who are most important to you.

How can mHealth actually help me?

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“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

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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.

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 [...]


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