Wednesday, March 27, 2013

#Upopolis launch at Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre

Did you know Canada..  today I visited the Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre (the same hospital I just had my little man at 8 weeks ago, who knew I'd be back so soon!) for the launch of Upopolis.

Founded and created by Kids’ Health Links Foundation and powered by TELUS Health, is the only private, secure and trusted online social network designed just for children receiving care in hospitals. Upopolis provides familiar features of social networking, such as personal profiles, micro-blogging, instant chat, group chats, multiple photo uploading and event calendars. In addition, the platform gives patients the opportunity to stay up-to-date with their schoolwork, navigate through child-friendly health and wellness information and connect children with similar experiences and interests.

Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre the first to launch Upopolis in Southwestern Ontario, the first launch of 2013 and the first launch of Upopolis 2.0 - full of even more fantastic features like groups where children can connect with others that have received a similar diagnosis - I do believe this is my favourite feature, allowing kids to know they are not alone.

(a great demo by a current in-patient of Children's Hospital)

Free to use, this is a fantastic tool for children to use during their treatment, and can continue to use and connect with new found friends even from home.  Research has shown that fear, anxiety and stress experienced by children and youth in medical care can affect treatment outcomes. The potential for adjustment difficulties is inherent regardless of the particular illness.  Through the power of innovation, knowledge and communication, Kids’ Health Links Foundation’s programs help to improve the mental health and preparedness of children by alleviating their stress, isolation and loneliness.

KHLF and TELUS Health launched the first Upopolis program in 2007 at McMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton and since then it has expanded to eight additional hospitals and health organizations across Canada. More launches in 2013 to watch for include Montréal Children’s, Janeway Children’s (Newfoundland), Eastern Health Center for Youth Mental health and Addictions (Newfoundland) and Central Health Center for Youth Mental health and Addictions (Newfoundland).

I hope my children never need to use this service, but as a parent I am so happy it's available and know how useful, comforting and relaxing this will be to kids while in the hospital and during treatment.  What an exciting venture with KHFL and TELUS Health, I am so honoured to have seen it welcomed into Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre.

Stay up to date with these great people on Twitter:   TELUS Health: @TELUSHealth, TELUS: @TELUS, Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre: @CHFHope and Kids’ Health Links Foundation: @KidsHealthLinks.

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