CYNIC guitarist/vocalist Paul Masvidal has taken to social media to ask his fans and supporters to donate to a GoFundMe campaign launched by Vidatak, a supplier of communication products for hospital-based patients, which is providing free EZ Boards — simple-to-use communication boards designed for non-verbal patients — to hospitals during this global health crisis. Vidatak and Acuity Medical, Vidatak's master distributor, have budgeted funds to support intubated COVID-19 patients by providing these bedside hand-held solutions.
The EZ Board is a sturdy but lightweight picture and word board that allows weak ventilated patients to express wants, convey needs, and indicate the type, degree, and location of their pain and other concerns. Through the Vidatak EZ Board, intubated patients can reduce their frustration while increasing their satisfaction with the medical attention they receive.
It has been reported that 5% of people with COVID-19 infections require intubation. With over 600,000 cases in the U.S. today, that's more than 30,000 COVID-19 positive patients being intubated so far. Because resources are scarce for many hospitals as they are scrambling to secure lifesaving equipment and protective gear for providers, the company wants to make these communication tools available at no cost to the hospitals and medical workers who need them. Hospitals that have been purchasing the EZ Boards are encouraged to continue purchasing in order to ensure those facilities in financial need may experience the greatest benefit.
As budgeted funds begin to run out, Vidatak has started a GoFundMe campaign for help in continuing this valuable patient-centric program. The VidaTalk app available on a tablet is available in multiple languages but the demand for additional languages and platforms is high and costly to develop and implement. They are looking to manufacture 10,000+ EZ Boards and add 10 additional languages to the app to fulfill hospital requests.
The EZ Board was developed by Dr. Lance Patak, M.D., along with Paul Masvidal, who began translating research about the evidence-based innovation. Despite uncertainties on how to meet the intubated patients’ communication needs, Dr. Patak spent two years of research with these patients conducting careful end-user assessments and testing.
Masvidal took to his Facebook page on Saturday to share his story and to invite fans who are able to donate to the cause.
He wrote: "Hello friends,
"As some of you may know, I've worked as a volunteer with the terminally ill for a long time. I rarely talk about this aspect of my life, since it's always felt like something I should keep quiet. Well, I've had a change of heart now due to the situation we're all in.
"A couple decades ago, myself and a partner invented a communication device called the 'EZ Board' to help intubated patients communicate with hospital staff. We are in a global crisis now during which hundreds of patients are being intubated daily.
"Intubated COVID-19 patients are too weak to write legibly and cannot speak, which leaves them scared, anxious, and often in a state of delirium which can lead to complications and prolonged hospital stays.
"Vidatak, a company I started but am no longer involved with, produces and distributes the EZ Board, and is providing them to hospitals around the world free of charge. However, supplies and funding for shipping are dwindling fast.
"Please help if you can by contributing to the Go Fund Me so they can ramp up production and distribution. I know from years of first hand experience, that the EZ Board makes a difference and helps patients fighting for their lives and the healthcare workers fighting to save them.
"Thanks for your support and please share."
The EZ Board has currently become the standard in health-care for those intubated at thousands of pf hospitals in the U.S., including Sinai Health, Atrium Health, New York-Presbyterian, Penn Health, St. Jude's, VA Health System, Children's Health, UPMC, Kaiser, UCLA, Johns Hopkins Health System, and many more.
Said Dr. Patak: "With end-user feedback from 149 critically ill patients who had been intubated, we created the EZ Board to match the specific human factors that enable the board to be an effective tool when critically ill. One of our patient's husband owned a printing shop, Media Lithographics in City of Commerce, California, who helped with early printing of the EZ Board. Our first commercial launched printed the EZ Boards in 1990 in five languages. Now we have translated the board into twenty languages and have distributed the EZ Board to fifteen countries, and currently, we've developed an app for electronic tablets which has also been rigorously tested and adapted to ensure it is an effective tool for critically ill patients."
For more information, visit www.vidatak.com.
To help with the GoFundMe campaign, go to this location.
As some of you may know, I've worked as a volunteer with the terminally ill for a long time. I rarely...