KOMP is a one-button computer, designed and produced by No Isolation for isolated individuals who struggle with using modern day technology. KOMP requires no prior digital skills from its user, and allows for family, friends and carers to send photos, messages and make video calls.
How KOMP helped significantly reduce anxiety levels for a local resident in Angus
In July 2020, Angus Council commenced a two month pilot trialling out KOMP devices to understand its benefits and how it could support local residents to reduce social isolation and loneliness in the community. Read below for Martha’s story, whose world was ‘opened up by the device’,beautifully illustrating the many benefits of KOMP.
“The device opened up her [the user’s] world.”
- Glenda Hunter, Technology Enabled Care Development Officer, Angus Health and Social Care Partnership
Martha, 91, who lives independently in Forfar, suffers from severe anxiety which meant she would make a number of calls a day to her GP, local ambulance and responder services when not required. She lives alone, and given her family live far away, local carers support her daily needs. The council identified her as a perfect candidate to pilot the KOMP, but little did they know the impact it would have on Martha and her family.
The KOMP device was placed in her home where she was soon able to communicate with her family, including her grandchildren and siblings, via video calling. Her family were also able to share messages and pictures showing their daily lives and what they got up to. This constant and frequent contact increased the number of meaningful conversations and interactions she had with her family with compelling results. Following the use of KOMP, Martha’s anxiety levels reduced, she became less lonely and less socially isolated. Once the trial had ended, the family were so keen to carry on these interactions that they purchased a KOMP device to allow their loved one to stay connected remotely and once again feel part of the family.
Glenda Hunter, the Technology Enabled Care Development Officer, who managed the pilot from Angus Council, highlighted what a success it had been and stated it “It is a great tool as there is nothing else like it out there’’. When questioned what could be improved, she simply said ‘It is perfect the way it is’. She continued to note: “The features and capabilities of the device are great, it's good to keep it simple. If you were to add more features then it becomes too complicated for the user and you move towards an ‘Alexa’ type device (which is too complicated for some users), you also lose the quality of the current KOMP device”. Since the end of the pilot, Angus Council have gone on to purchase a significant number of additional devices to better support other local residents, like Martha, to stay connected remotely.
The Benefits of KOMP: Ease of use, instant connectivity and reduces loneliness and social isolation
- Ease of use: The one button communication device allowed for family members to directly connect to the device with no interaction needed from Martha. This meant that they were able to check in on her at any time. Martha also noted that she found the device very accessible and easy to use.
- Instant connectivity: The device comes with 4G, meaning that Martha was connected to her family straight away without the need for extensive set up, saving time and effort to get her onboard.
- Reduces loneliness and social isolation: Through meaningful and frequent interactions, it was identified that Martha felt less lonely and isolated, with the Council commenting ‘what a difference it makes’ in relation to her wellbeing.
Irish Community Services
How a South East London community centre reconnected with their most vulnerable users amidst the pandemic
Irish Community Services, situated in South East London, provides a range of successful welfare and support services to the Irish Community. Lunch club, legal advice, health support and carers support are just some of the popular and welcoming services on offer. As part of their elders outreach programme, set up in response to Covid-19, Irish Community Services wanted a way to connect with the most vulnerable seniors in their community and digitise many of their vital services. Subsequently, they opted to pilot KOMP devices. Below showcases two examples of how KOMP supported residents of South East London and the impact they had.
Frank, an elderly gentleman who suffered from breathing difficulties, found everyday conversations over the phone hard. Given his reduced capability to speak, the Irish Community Services staff often found telephone check-ins with Frank during the Covid-19 period were cut short. It was quickly identified that he needed help, and it was an ideal opportunity to trial out the KOMP device. Soon after the pilot commenced, KOMP was placed in Frank’s home.
Visual cues enabled by KOMP Pro immediately improved calls between staff and Frank; being able to see as well as converse with him meant better quality communication. More importantly, Frank could also reconnect to family and friends who he had not been in contact with for years. From those that live locally to those that live afar, Frank’s social network exploded as friends and family from the past appeared back in his life without the barrier of difficult phone communication. Irish Community Services continued to check in, and he could still access services offered by the organisation during the pandemic thanks to KOMP Pro. Frank commented that his ‘social life went through the roof’ and staff at the community centre saw his world opening up. Staff noted his quality of life had significantly improved and saw these connections to not only their staff but family and friends pivotal in this change.
Unfortunately he has since passed away, but Irish Community Services recognise that ‘opportunity to connect with family and friends in his last weeks was amazing’.
KOMP provided Frank a window to the world and the means to create a social network previously unavailable to him.
Patricia, a partially deaf user of the Irish Community Services was provided a KOMP device to help her communicate with the organisation and connect with her family, especially during the pandemic. The device, which came with instant connectivity thanks to a 4G dongle, enabled Patricia to communicate with not only her family here in the UK but across the world. It also meant that her daughter who was able to visit her on a weekly basis could also chat to her on the other days via the device.
Her daughter recalled a time where she called her mum on the house phone with no answer. She immediately video called her mother through the KOMP, to see that her mother had fallen and was now on the floor. She called the ambulance immediately, and rushed to Patricia’s home in time for the ambulance to arrive. The instant connectivity allowed for Patricia’s daughter to see that her mother required assistance and ensured she was able to receive help immediately.
KOMP was praised highly by her family and Patricia herself stated that she ‘loved it’. KOMP allowed Patricia to access technology seamlessly to connect with loved ones through pictures, messages and video calls, all in the safety of her own home.
Irish Community Services have high praise for KOMP and a number of devices are currently in rotation to support users such as Frank and Patricia with great success. Shauna Mulligan, Director of Irish Community Services, complemented the instant connectivity and stated ‘you just drop it off, plug it in and off they go’. Both users and staff found the device easy to use, allowing them to video call and send reminders and messages. She continued to note that ‘users are really liking the devices, so much so, some families are considering purchasing the devices for their family members as these devices are only with them for a limited time on rotation’. No Isolation is continuing to work with Irish Community Services, with the delivery of additional devices to enable them to support more service users in the community.