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Tech firms work with NHSX to reduce social isolation

Facebook and Samsung are some of the companies helping NHSX offer support to those most at-risk during the pandemic.

Tech firms are supporting the NHS and social care system in efforts to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of citizens that are most at-risk and need to self-isolate, as the Government is set to hold today an emergency meeting to discuss whether to extend lockdown measures.

techUK member Facebook is offering 2,050 Portal video calling devices without charge to places including hospitals, care homes, hospices and in-patient learning disability and autism units to help people keep in touch with friends and family.

The initiative is already in motion, with 50 devices deployed at pilot sites in Surrey. With support from another techUK member, Accenture, similar schemes will be launched in Manchester, Newcastle and other cities starting from this week. All will be able to keep the devices free of charge after the pilot phase.

“Technology has never been so important to providing one of life's most essential things – the ability to communicate with the people we love regardless of where they are,” said Ian O’Neil, NHSX Digital Transformation Director.

Samsung is also donating 2,000 smartphones for NHS staff to use in Nightingale hospitals.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen video conferencing tools be deployed at a fast pace within primary care, along with solutions enabling staff to work remotely and improving communication between teams.

Tech companies continue to provide offers of support to the NHS and social care system during the pandemic, and here you can find out more information about some of the avenues that those interested to help can explore.

On Wednesday, 15 April, techUK is also organising a webinar on how the industry is working with the NHS during this crisis, which you can read more about here.


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