Kanto Helps Connect Families through Virtual Nursing Home Visits
Kanto Living, the Canada-based A/V product mounting solutions manufacturer, was recently invited by digital signage solutions distributor 10net Focus to assist during the COVID-19 crisis in a project to help family members virtually connect with elderly parents and grandparents whom they are prohibited from visiting in person.
Kanto was requested to supply its rollable, self-contained, plug-and-play TV carts to nursing homes to enable families in making "virtual visits.”
Senior Kanto account executive Geoff Ireland noted, "we wanted to think about what we could do to help others at this time. The isolation that nursing home residents feel is tough enough during normal times. It borders on unbearable during the current crisis."
Through videoconferencing, the Kanto MTM65PL carts enable the residents to easily connect with their families. Traditional video conference calls in nursing homes face many challenges. Most of the resident seniors are not familiar with or comfortable using today's videoconferencing technologies, particularly on handheld devices. In addition to not knowing how to operate the equipment, the different platforms (such as Skype and Zoom) are foreign to them and the small screens and speakers are hard for the residents to see and hear. Keeping the camera aimed at themselves is also a major challenge using a phone, tablet or laptop.
In addition, the carts can be used by the staff for training sessions, keeping in touch with other medical professionals and other videoconferencing.
The cart can be rolled into a nursing home resident's room, and will automatically power up and load a videoconferencing platform of choice. The family at home hosts the meeting and provides a meeting code to the nursing home staff, who can then initiate a virtual visit.
The Kanto carts are fitted with large-format video displays that are big enough for the residents to see clearly, along with commercial-grade "huddle bars" that include a high-quality camera, a noise/echo cancelling mic array, a speaker system that can play loudly enough for the hard of hearing, and a computer that can be remotely accessed, should tech support be necessary. The cart's capabilities also allow remotely changing TV, software, or huddle bar settings.
Kanto's MTM65PL carts are able to accommodate all the components and hide all wiring, making them a completely self-contained, easy-to-transport solution.
In order to quickly reach as many residents as possible, 10net Focus chose to '"freecycle" as much as they could by pooling resources for the project. In addition to Kanto, other contributing vendors include Kal Tire, which donated computers, IT provider Novmega Technology and the Coast Hotel Tsawwassen Inn (owned by Century Group), which donated large screen TVs. Logitech, Yamaha and AVer Media provided the equipment for the huddle bar setups.
"We feel honored to do our small part to help alleviate just a little of the current isolation in our nursing homes and communities," Ireland concluded.