Intel Launches Online Community to Connect Caregivers
With a goal to connect and assist the more than 50 million caregivers in the United States, Intel Corporation today unveiled ConnectingForCare.com, the first online community of its kind for family caregivers, nurses, social workers and others to share information and provide emotional support, filling a void in today’s healthcare system.
Developed by Intel in collaboration with the National Family Caregivers Association, ConnectingForCare.com uses the Internet to build a sense of community among caregivers through interactive forums, personal profiles and links to the latest research or treatments. The forums will allow caregivers to engage with one another at any time, ultimately leading to better coordination of care between the various groups. The Web site launches today in the United States and can also be accessed in the United Kingdom at ConnectingForCare.co.uk.
“Family caregivers are providing 80 percent of all of the long term care for people with chronic illness and disabilities,” said Suzanne Mintz, president and co-founder of the National Family Caregivers Association. “Caregivers are often the primary providers of this care, so it is crucial that we work to establish better lines of communication between all members of the care team. We are excited to work with Intel on Connecting for Care to facilitate the flow of information while showing family caregivers that they are not alone.”
Tens of millions of Americans currently serve as family or professional caregivers, including campaign spokesperson Ian Ziering of “Beverly Hills: 90210″ and “Dancing with the Stars.” As one of the 50 million Americans who provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aging family member, Ziering serves as a caregiver for his father, who has experienced kidney failure, and has witnessed the urgent need for improvements in communication and resource sharing that can lead to better care.
“When my dad’s kidney failed, my brothers and I became instant caregivers without any past experience or knowledge and we were forced to navigate a world totally new to us,” said Ziering. “In the role of caregiver, I’ve often wished that I could better connect with other people who share my experiences – whether about a specific treatment option, maneuvering through the healthcare system or even for emotional support – and ConnectingForCare.com is a place for people like me to do that.”
ConnectingForCare.com is part of Intel’s commitment to finding new and innovative ways to apply technology to support today’s caregiving population and improve health outcomes. Since 1999, Intel has focused on research-driven solutions for improving the care of aging and chronically ill individuals in home and clinical settings. This research continues to drive a variety of product offerings, aimed to assist those with various conditions as well as members of the care team. For example, the Intel Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) platform, a reference design for an easy to use tablet PC that incorporates a barcode scanner, digital camera and wireless connectivity, was designed to enable nurses to access patient records at the point of care. The MCA platform helps nurses spend more time with patients, remain connected while on the move and manage the administration of medications.
Intel shares a vision with healthcare leaders of using technology to enhance the healthcare experience, increase quality of care and reduce the burden on the healthcare system. This campaign is a natural outgrowth of Intel’s focus on people-centered innovation, providing a way to not only improve the quality of healthcare and reduce the burden of caregiving, but also a way to connect people and build a sense of community.
“Intel respects and honors the important work of caregivers around the world,” said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Digital Health Group. “By developing ConnectingForCare.com we hope to not only celebrate this dedication, but also to use our expertise in technology as a tool to support and encourage the community to share information and ultimately improve the quality of life for patients and their caregivers.”
ConnectingForCare.com provides various ways for caregivers to find information and interact with one another. Highlights include:
— A page called My Connections where caregivers can create a personal profile and join a variety of networks based on their specific needs and interests. Users can directly connect with other caregivers within their networks to share stories, tips and support.
— Forums and message boards where caregivers can discuss issues or concerns and pose questions to the community, linking caregivers to each other in an active dialogue 24 hours a day.
— Information centers on a range of chronic diseases and conditions where caregivers can search for information and connect on health-specific topics. Within these centers, users can add comments and link to the latest research and resources on caring for individuals with specific conditions, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, COPD and heart failure.
— A section called Spotlight on Caregivers where patients, loved ones and fellow caregivers can share their stories and publicly honor caregivers who have touched their lives.
To learn more about Intel in healthcare, go to www.intel.com/healthcare.
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