Frequently asked questions
Where can I purchase voICe and how much does the app cost? The app is downloadable in the Apple store of iTunes. Search at ‘voice intensive care’, ‘voice’ or ‘intensive care’. link to iTunes There’s a free trial with basic words and a paid, complete version. This costs €79,99. If you need a large number of voICe apps, you can purchase the app at the VPP program of Apple. https://volume.itunes.apple.com/nl/store.
Are there other competitive & comparable apps ?
There are 2 competitor apps, that work about the same way as does voICe;
1. Patient Com (by SCCM); costs around USD 12,-; simple screen, no voices, no colours, typing canvas, not specially adapted for children, but multilanguage (> 15 languages).
2. VidaTalk; same system as voICe, bilingual, costs around USD 85,- per app, typing canvas, not specially adapted to children.
In our experience, patients prefer one of these apps, depending on their motoric ability & their concentration power.
My advice would be; download the 3 apps and let the patient pick the one that suits him of her most.
How can I change the residence? Go to ‘settings’. Below the current location you can, by using the button -modify-, you can enter your new location. To change the explicit message, touch the button ‘record’ and speak the desirable message. Through play you can control if this has been recorded well. With the button -reset- you go back to the normal settings.
Does voICe also appear in other languages? The app was first published in the Dutch language. The English language version is available in june 2016 . Other languages aren’t in production yet.
Can voICe be installed on a different tablet (android)? No, for now voICe functions on the iPad (iOS).
How long can I record at ‘video messages’? Approximately 5 minutes.
For what iPad is voICe appropriate? Which one can I take best? The app requires iOS 6.1 or newer. The app isn’t about iPad 1! We advise hospitals to consider what they’re going to do with their iPad and choose the iPad with the right amount of memory.
Is the voICe also suited for my family member with aphasia? Try the free version of voICe first and look if this succeeds. After this, look if the swipe move can be made in a logical order. For example, by numbering ABC on a notebook. If that works out, you can learn to work with voICe. You can always contact us.
What is the difference between an ‘administrator’ and ‘user’? An user can log in and use the pictograms ‘preferences’ and ‘messages’. An administrator can manage the app: users can be seen, watch their preferences and erase them.
Sometimes I accidentally touch the screen with my arms or wrists, and unintentionally visit a different screen. What can I do against this? Try to use the app with a stylus. There are several styli available; thick, with good rubber grip. This way unintentional moves with the wrist/hand can be ignored. Make sure that catheters /lines are bandaged and can’t hang loose. Use a supporting pillow where the iPad can stand in sloping straight.
What is the condition of the hygiene when using the iPad in an organization? For protection of the iPad and out of hygiene protection we have, in the Radboudumc, chosen to place an Apple Smart Case (material polyurethane) around the iPad, in combination with a matte screen protector. This way the iPad is protected in a fair way against bumps and can still be cleaned with an alcohol cloth. In reality this works out excellent. An advantage of the matte screen protector is that this minimizes the reflection when someone is looking at your screen sideways, what occurs frequently in reality when 2 people are busy with voICe. A good alternative for the Apple Smart Case is the Griffin Airstrap Med iPad case, which has been developed in collaboration between doctors and nurses in the USA for the use in hospitals for example. Standard cleaning consists of – if visible contaminated- cleaning with a cleaning cloth and – always – disinfection with an alcohol cloth, comparable with the hand hygiene agreements.
With isolation prescriptions the iPad has to be handled conform these prescriptions when taking it into and taking it away from the room. If the patient at that room can communicate excellent with the app and wants to, it can be considered to assign the iPad to this patient and so minimalize the traffic of the iPad from and to the corridor.
Are there other tips and tricks?
- Store the iPad at an easily accessible but theft-proof location. Let nurses also be able to use it at the night shifts in order to get used to it. Download useful apps. (e.g. a pharmatherapeutic compass or anatomical apps)
- Implementation requires first of all awareness of the fact that the population of patients at the ICU changes, that patients wake up and need communication. Nurses and other care-professionals need to play an active role in this. Educate every caretaker who surrounds the bed, including paramedics. And educate nurses more often, because they’re frequently the communication initiators. Also invite speech therapists, if it’s allowed, to introduce the app to the patient.
- The app isn’t difficult. Touching the pictograms usually speaks for itself. When creating a code to log in, video and preferences pictograms, often explanation is needed.
- Specify first the correct patient category and then move on. (for example cannula-patients who have normal wrist/hand functions and are not sedated.
- Invite the patient’s family to introduce and use the app to the patient. First start by the 4 and then the 6 pictograms-screen, just to try if this works out.
Try also working ‘the other way aroud’ and show the patient the pictograms in the app, ask if the showm pictogram is an issue for the patient; this way, all the information about a patient’s needs can be discovered in 5 minutes without having to cope with motoric or concentration problems !