New App, TeleHome, Connects Hospitalized COVID Patients With Loved Ones Through Virtual Visitations

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With a mission of connecting isolated COVID-19 patients to their loved ones, COVID Tech Connect announced the launch of its new, free, HIPAA-compliant, video conferencing app, TeleHome. Created in partnership with veteran telehealth provider, Caregility, the free app makes it easy for healthcare professionals and caregivers to assist patients in setting up virtual visitations with family and friends. The app is now available free for download in the Google Play and Apple App Store. To use the app, healthcare professionals need to request free user accounts through the COVID Tech Connect website.

Since its inception in March 2020, COVID Tech Connect has donated 15,000 smart devices to hospitals and care facilities in all 52 states and territories across the nation. These efforts were made possible, in part, from raising more than $4 million in charitable donations — including a grant from Google.org, and financial donations from an anonymous donor and thousands of individuals via the project’s GoFundMe campaign — to further its mission of connecting all patients with their loved ones, on any device, anywhere.

“TeleHome was born out of a need for caregivers to virtually connect patients with their families, without compromising hospital security measures,” said Anjali Kumar, co-founder of COVID Tech Connect. “After speaking with over 1,000 hospitals who received device donations from us, it quickly became clear that healthcare professionals needed a user-friendly, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing solution. We sought the expertise of Caregility to design a software solution that would complement our hardware donations to further serve our mission of connecting COVID-19 patients in isolation to loved ones safely and securely.”

TeleHome App Now Available In App Stores
Unlike other video conferencing services, TeleHome was designed to help caregivers connect isolated patients with loved ones on any device. Developed in partnership with industry telehealth veteran, Caregility, the new HIPAA-compliant app ensures that patient privacy is protected and that no patient data is stored on the device. All video calls made through TeleHome are hosted on a web-browser, making it easy for family and friends to join without having to download an app or log-in. Caregility partnered closely with COVID Tech Connect to donate engineering resources and technical infrastructure to make TeleHome possible.

Benefits of using TeleHome include:

Easy connection: TeleHome offers patients a simple and intuitive way to launch a private video call with any family member or friend.
HIPAA-compliant: Unlike other video conferencing solutions, TeleHome never stores patient information between calls, wiping the device clean after each session.
No download necessary for call recipients: Through the app, patients send a one-time text message link to their friends or family members, inviting them to a video call that is hosted on a web-browser.
Conference calling: Patients can add an unlimited number of family members and friends to their video call.

“We wholeheartedly support the mission of COVID Tech Connect to help COVID-19 patients meet virtually with their loved ones during quarantine,” said Pete McLain, Chief Strategy Officer at Caregility. “We are humbled and honored to do our part in launching the TeleHome app and making it available for free.”

“With visitations shut down, it has been very hard on our patients and their families, as well as on our staff,” said Marianna Harris, CEO of Osborne County Memorial Hospital. “The devices we received from COVID Tech Connect will enable us to provide a deeply needed connection for our patients and their loved ones, giving us all a sense of normalcy during these trying times. Now with the new TeleHome app, our staff can easily support this connection in a safe and secure way, anytime and anywhere, for years to come.”

About COVID Tech Connect
COVID Tech Connect was founded with a mission to connect critically ill COVID-19 patients with their loved ones by donating smart devices to hospitals, care facilities, and hospice centers across the country. Since launch, the organization has distributed over 15,000 smart devices to hospitals and care facilities in need. To date, the project has raised over $4 million, including a grant from Google.org, an anonymous donor, and thousands of individuals through the project’s GoFundMe campaign. COVID Tech Connect is a sponsored project of The Giving Back Fund, a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, with help from CAPC, Presto Foundation, and private donors. COVID Tech Connect also partnered with Charge Power to help patients stay connected by donating 20,000 universal cell phone charge cords to hospitals.

About Caregility
Caregility is dedicated to delivering care to wherever the patient is located through the use of the Caregility Virtual Care Platform.  Designated as the #1 2021 Best in KLAS Virtual Care Platform (Non-EMR), our core telehealth offering is a purpose-built ecosystem for the entire healthcare continuum. The Caregility Virtual Care Platform provides secure, reliable two-way audio and video communication designed for any device and clinical workflow, in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

Today, Caregility supports more than 4 million video sessions annually and has deployed over 9,000 access points of care systems across the US. From critical and acute, to urgent and emergent, to post-acute and ambulatory, and to the home, Caregility is helping transform the delivery of patient care everywhere.