VidaTalk Provides a Voice to COVID-19 Patients

The COVID-19 pandemic renders about 3% of its victims unable to breathe requiring a ventilator and suddenly speechless. In the US, to date, that equates to nearly 1,000,000 more people requiring intubation and technical ventilation in one year.
Can you imagine being unable to speak while in the process of dying or struggling to survive? Reported as the most common and distressful symptom when intubated, the sudden inability to communicate causes extreme uncontrolled anxiety and incites fear, panic, anger, frustration, sleeplessness, and distress, resulting in physical restraint, misinterpretation of pain/symptoms, and medication and treatment errors.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, delirium rates tripled, due in part to the isolation from their families. Some facilities report delirium rates as high as 80% up from 7-20% as a baseline. Delirium is a prominent, proximal outcome to increased length of stay, increased morbidly, mortality and increased costs.
For some patients, where hospitals had already deployed assistive communication resources for mechanically ventilated patients, these resources provided a means for them to communicate effectively. However, with healthcare systems overwhelmed, Vidatak and Acuity Medical pooled their resources along with support from a GoFundMe Campaign and offered the EZ Boards and VidaTalk to hospitals across the US at no cost during the most chaotic and critical 4 months of 2020.
Several publications have highlighted VidaTalk’s impact as an effective communication tool with mechanically ventilated patients as a critical component of evidence-based, patient-centered care and family engagement and improving patient and family satisfaction.
VidaTalk is currently available in 10 different languages with pre-programmed translations delivering both text and speech output when selections are made and includes pain assessment capability with multiple pain scales. The company is releasing more languages this month and recruiting healthcare partners to work with as they iteratively develop and expand their app features. These include multilingual provider-to-patient communications, a number of new Telehealth integrations and capabilities, patient diary and robust data analytics.
“The Ann Arbor, Michigan community has been an integral part of our early success and we want to acknowledge this community and give back how we can,” stated Dr. Patak, CEO of Vidatak. 
Yesterday, Vidatak announced that it is extending its free access through June 30, 2021, to every Michigan hospital that enrolls before March 31, 2021. 
“VidaTalk is a critical tool for hospitals to support their patients and healthcare staff, and has become even more important during the pandemic,” said Skip Simms, Ann Arbor SPARK senior vice president. “SPARK is proud to have been an early investor in the company and recognizes the significant benefits it’s providing now.”
For a Free Trial, email lance.patak@vidatak.com.
VidaTalk was developed with government support under Federal Grant Number NR014087 awarded by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research.
Source: Vidatak, LLC