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Transforming Healthcare Communication

May 29, 2024
Two nurses talking to a senior couple

Master of Digital Media students design long-term care app to revolutionize healthcare communication.

Canadian long-term care facilities (LTC) are currently facing significant challenges that affect residents, families, and staff. Staffing shortages and inefficient call bell systems lead to delayed responses, while limited family connection causes frustration and isolation. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive solution, Providence Research teamed up with Master of Digital Media (MDM) students to design Oasis, an intuitive and accessible app that better connects families while improving the overall care experience in LTCs.

The Oasis app addresses the numerous challenges LTCs face, including staffing shortages, inefficient call bell systems, and limited family connection. The platform blends resident-focused solutions with data-driven insights that empower care providers to significantly improve the quality of life and satisfaction from patients, families, and staff. 

Screenshot of Oasis App

To address these challenges, the app will provide real-time insights for more informed staffing and resource allocation decisions. A dedicated tablet in each resident's room, serving as an informational hub, provides updates on care, activities, and routines, freeing up staff time to focus on critical needs. Additionally, the app facilitates personalized resident interactions through an "About Me" section, featuring resident profiles that enable staff to get to know patients individually, facilitating meaningful conversations and person-centered care.

Providence Healthcare’s idea was recognized for its outstanding use of adaptive technologies, leading it to be one of the winning pitches at Skunkworks: Hacking Aging, which will provide funding and support to bring this solution to life. Skunkworks is a unique innovation event series, hosted by Providence Research and Providence Health Innovation, Research + Engagement (PHIR+E) in partnership with St. Paul’s Foundation, bringing together a diverse range of participants to address local issues with global significance.

Skunkworks has been a Centre for Digital Media (CDM) partner for over three years to help develop some of these winning projects. 

Screenshot of Oasis App

“We’re excited to work with Providence Healthcare’s Skunkworks winning pitch,” says Jason Elliott, faculty at CDM. “Digital media and creative technology can play an integral part in healthcare innovations and our partnership with Providence Research and Skunkworks will continue to build solutions that patients, families, and healthcare staff are going to benefit from”.

A large part of the success of this app can be attributed to Providence Research’s collaborative approach with the MDM students.

“Designing an intuitive and accessible app, particularly for seniors, was a big challenge,” says Hannah Meng, MDM student and Project Manager on this project. “Our team bridged this knowledge gap with help from Providence Living and Providence Health Care, who granted us access to their residential homes, shared training materials, and facilitated connections with their dementia-friendly designers. Their support was instrumental in the success of this project and our collaboration demonstrates the power of user-centric design in enhancing the long-term care experience”. 

Team Photo of Sunnyside

Meet the team

Hannah Meng, Project Manager

Xin Ye, UI/UX Designer and Artist

Zoe Lu, UI/UX Designer

Kevin Wu, Software Engineer

Justin Koerner, Software Engineer 

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