The Department of Intensive Care of the Radboudumc, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, developed a special iPad communication app for awake ICU patients using artificial respiration and for patients with a trachea cannula or an NIV mask. ICU patients are often unable to speak and have to communicate with their neighbors and the professionals by for example lip reading, writing or using a letter board or a keyboard/laptop. Because of several different causes, these methods are not sufficient enough for good communication. Looking at interviews of patients and their neighbors, we can conclude that these methods of communication are seen as very annoying. This causes feelings of despair and frustration for both the patient and the employees.
This communication-app for the iPad developed for ICU patients, named voICe, improves the communication for and with them. Using the app requires only a small amount of muscle power and locomotion, works intuitive and is simple and understandable for everyone. The app “learns” the choices of the patients and adapts itself to these. The communication app also has the possibility to record a video message for patients by a professional or a patient’s neighbor and contains a clearly visible clock and date indication.
The communication-app voICe’s development started in November 2012 and was introduced in the middle of May 2013 to the ICU of the Radboudumc: many other ICU’s in the Netherlands and the Dutch speaking part of Belgium work with voICe now. The English version of the app is released in March 2016