Patients at the Prince of Wales hospital in Sydney have received iPads and wireless internet under a charity initiative by managed service provider ASG.
In conjunction with Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA), ASG today launched the ConnectAbility Program, allowing patients with spinal injuries to access entertainment and information during long hospital stays.
Patients suffering spinal cord injuries typically spend six to nine months in rehabilitation.
ASG’s $35,000 donation to SCIA provided for 20 iPads and the purchase and installation of a wireless network in the hospital’s Spinal Rehabilitation Unit.
The iPads are modified for individual use through additions such as stylus-like writing aides, and are owned by the patient. The devices come with a $20 pre-loaded iTunes card and 2 year AppleCare warranty.
POWH patient Jacob Forbes was one of three to receive an iPad under the SCIA’s initial trial, and said the device had offered relief from tedium and isolation during his five month stay.
Patient Jacob Forbes with MP Bruce Notley-Smith
Forbes fell 15m from a balcony in September 2011. He has spent 18 months recovering and is able to leave his wheelchair to walk independently.
NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner today announced the program would be extended nationwide to hospitals where SCIA has services.
ASG marketing manager Helena Krel told CRN the program would be deployed in the Royal North Shore Hospital and its Rehabilitation Unit before the end of the year.
The Good Guys will supply the SCIA with iPads at a $50 discount per device.The POWH spinal unit’s wireless network is available via TPG.
ASG provided the initial installation and product purchase with SCIA responsible for the monthly payment.