As a veteran I have a special fondness for programs that assist and aid our wounded and disabled veteran warriors. Whether it is physical therapy that is needed, medical care or mental health related our soldiers deserve to receive any help necessary to get them as healthy and functional as possible. I was interested when I found information on a place called The Western Blind Rehabilitation Center (WBRC) on the website with a link to the 2016 WBRC annual review to the right side of the page https://www.paloalto.va.gov/services/wbrc/program.asp
The WBRC mission statement states: “The Western Blind Rehabilitation Center serves Veterans and Active Duty Service Members with vision impairment through a comprehensive evidence-based rehabilitation program that promotes independence and community reintegration…” From my reading of their 2016 FY assessment I was impressed by the programs they offer to veterans and their families that include among other things an iProgram designed to coach these visually impaired men and women on the use of iPhones and iPads. I noticed in one section of the report that they do provide Technology Security and Safety Tips which is a common sense measure. One concern I have about this or any other clinic or rehab center that uses iPads in their programs is the security of the devices to prevent iPad theft or tablet theft if they use Android devices. It is my desire to see these locations use a Bug Tag to prevent criminals from stealing such a valuable asset.
iPad theft is a very real problem for medical facilities. The devices are small enough to slip into a purse or a jacket pocket. There have been documented instances where thieves have removed devices mounted in hospital lounges for patron use and the devices have been stolen in spite of being in the open and under camera surveillance. At risk is the device and the cost it carries along with any potential client information that may be on a device. For public use devices people will log in to their Apple accounts or they sync up with their personal device and forget to log off. For those that are being used for a patient or client there is a good chance patient data is maintained in the device. It could be something that seems as innocuous as name, address or phone numbers or it could be HIPPA protected information that is stored in an iPad or computer tablet. Should a criminal get that information the patient is at risk and the facility faces possible fines and lawsuits from the Department of Health and Human Services. The good news is a Bug Tag can prevent such thefts from taking place. A Bug Tag uses electronic article surveillance (EAS) technology that can interact with EAS towers to initiate an alarm if a tagged device is carried near a door. An alarm elicits an immediate response from staff workers who can recover a device before it is removed from the building. This is the same type of technology that has been successfully employed for years by retailers to stop shoplifters.
Getting back to the WBRC report it I noted that they found “96% of iProgram participants reported increased levels of satisfaction in iPad or iPhone training and use. 97% of iProgram participants reported a decrease in perceived levels of difficulty in using the iPhone or iPad.” If these veterans are becoming more comfortable in the use of these mobile devices it can be a gateway to greater independence and “normalization” in their lives.
Another program that I have found that aids our wounded soldiers with iPads and computers is Soldier’s Angels. Their “Valor-IT” program provides voice controlled laptops that allow soldiers in V.A. Medical Centers to remain in contact with “the rest of the world while during recovery”. The other part of this program provides iPads and personal GPS devices to soldiers to “build self-confidence and independence by compensating for short-term memory loss and organizational challenges related to severe TBI and severe PTSD.” Because I would hate to see an iPad theft from a person who has sacrificed so selflessly for our nation. I would like to see the units protected with a Bug Tag.
Confidence gained from learning how to use new technologies and being able to become more independent is priceless for our injured veterans. We owe them our gratitude and a sense of security. Make sure that personal devices are protected with a Bug Tag and an EAS system so there is one less thing for them to be concerned about on their road to recovery.
Get more information on the Bug Tag, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567 today.