The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services announced Thursday that 300 iPads have been donated to its four hospitals so isolated patients can have virtual visits with family and friends during the coronavirus pandemic.
The donation -- done through a cross-sector collaboration between the Annenberg Foundation, Brilliant Corners, Los Angeles County and MobileDemand -- will ensure patients and their families to be able to connect virtually, despite restrictions in visitor access to the hospitals, officials said
Doctors and nurses will be able to place iPads in the rooms of patients with COVID-19 and other critical illnesses, allowing them to communicate with family and friends.
MobileDemand has provided protective health care iPad cases, which have adjustable easels attached for patients who are too weak to hold a tablet, freeing up health care staff from having to hold the devices for patients.
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"The engagement of loved ones during hospitalization has been shown to improve clinical outcomes," said Dr. Christina Ghaly, the DHS' director. "Clinical staff identified a role for virtual visiting through technology in order to facilitate this family involvement. The generous donations by the Annenberg Foundation and MobileDemand will help support this critical element of our patients' care."
Wallis Annenberg, chairman, president and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation, called it a "wonderful example of how philanthropic organizations, nonprofits, government and businesses can collaborate and meet an important need in our community."
"Being able to offer an opportunity for comfort and connection to those suffering and to alleviate some of the stress from our frontline caregivers is of utmost importance," Annenberg said in a statement.
The county Department of Health Services operates four hospitals -- LAC+USC Medical Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center -- along with 26 health centers.