Computing students help hospice patients receive remote support

Bucks UTC students Charlie Steer and Will Mathew work on their tele-health care solution.
Bucks UTC students Charlie Steer and Will Mathew work on their tele-health care solution.

Patients with life-limiting illnesses are set to benefit from the skills of two computing students at Bucks UTC.

Will Mathew, 17, from Wendover and Charlie Steer, 16, from Aylesbury, are helping to pilot a tele-healthcare revolution at South Bucks Hospice so that patients can receive remote support.

The hospice team was looking for a way to use video communication technology to improve the services they could offer their patients and wanted to set up a pilot project.

Digital marketing company Framework Digital, which is supporting the hospice, approached Bucks UTC with this ‘real’ project opportunity.

Tomas Pukalski, director of Framework Digital, who is project managing, said: “Alan Bailey, head of computing at Bucks UTC thought this would be an excellent work placement project for the students and offered their support and use of the UTC’s resources. Via some android tablets, we asked the UTC students if they could explore video conferencing technology, find an appropriate solution and enable these tablets, so that patients could receive advice and support remotely.”

The students recommended using Skype, a familiar and straightforward option. Having tested the technology they rolled out the idea, as well as providing instructions to patients on how to operate the equipment. They also looked at alternative technologies which may be developed further in the future.