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Minnesota college students donate tech devices to seniors to help connect with doctors

Brett Hoffland
Updated: September 18, 2020 06:31 PM
Created: September 18, 2020 04:35 PM

The pandemic has left many people feeling lonely and often, it's our seniors who are especially isolated.  

Now a group of Minnesota college students is providing technology to keep them connected to their doctors.

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"It's just really fulfilling," said Saketh Kollipara, Sophomore at Emory University. 

On Friday the students made a special delivery dropping off used iPads, smartphones and laptops.

"A lot of our patients don't have access to these types of devices," said Abbie Zahler, director of Community Health and Grants Management at the Neighborhood Healthsource Fremont Clinic. 

It's all part of the student run, national non-profit called Telehealth Access For Seniors, and local students raised money to make sure local patients at the Neighborhood Healthsource Freemont Clinic and Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis have the resources to better connect with their doctors.

"You're having an impact on someone's actual access to their healthcare," Kollipara said. 

Not everyone knows how to use these devices so once the patient receives it, the nonprofit gives them a guide where they can learn how it works. 

"We make sure they get tech support and we make sure they know how to use the devices," Kollipara said. 

Telehealth has become widely popular since the pandemic began according to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"We didn't offer telehealth services until the pandemic started and then we made it happen really fast," Zahler said. 

Across 26 states, the nonprofit has raised 100 thousand dollars donating 2,300 devices.

"These people probably have never been introduced to the potential of telemedicine and just to give the gift of being able to connect to your doctor any time of the day anywhere you are I think that's a huge gift," said Mayuresh Vernekar, sophomore at the University of Minnesota. 

"The main thing we can learn from this is there is always a way to give," Kollipara said. 

If you'd like to donate or if you have an old device you're not using visit the link here


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