Frequently asked questions by families
We have compiled answers to some of the key questions asked through our support channels to help make your virtual visits as simple as possible.
How do I find out if the ICU my relative is admitted to is supported by Life Lines?
We recommend you get in touch with the hospital to see if they are still offering virtual visits.
Who do I contact to set up a virtual visit with a patient in an ICU supported by Life Lines?
Virtual visiting is managed by the ICU within the hospital site. Please contact the hospital to check it is supported by Life Lines. If the hospital is supported by Life Lines, contact the ICU and they will be able to help you get set up for virtual visiting.
How do I set up the aTouchAway app on my device?
If you have a relative in ICU, the team on the ward can help you to set you up for your virtual visit. If the team have your correct email address, you just need to carry out a few simple steps to get started:
- Please go to your app store and download Aetonix aTouchAway app on your smart phone or tablet. The app is available for both iOS and Android. If you are using a PC, download aTouchAway.
- Click Create yourself an account and follow instructions to register. You will need an email address
- Once signed in, there will be a contact request on the home page that you need to accept
- You are now linked as a contact for the named patient.
What do I do if I am outside of the UK?
Aetonix, the parent company of aTouchAway used for the Life Lines virtual visiting solution provides services in several countries, so it is possible use virtual visiting when not in the UK. The steps are as follows:
- If you want to connect to a patient in the UK, you must create an account selecting the UK region, rather than the region you are currently in.
- In the Welcome to aTouchAway screen, click Change Region at the bottom, and select United Kingdom and click OK in the welcome message
- Click on Create yourself an account
- Complete the registration form and click on Register.
- Log in to aTouchAway with the new UK account.
Can I (as a family member) initiate a video call via aTouchAway to my relative’s bedside?
We have set up the app so that audio and video calls can only be started by the ICU team, rather than by the family member. This is to help protect patient privacy and considered the need to deliver safe care in the ICU. A member of the ICU team will contact you before the call to arrange a suitable time.
Will I get the opportunity to speak to a clinician?
A member of the clinical or family liaison team will host your video call and explain aspects of care given and equipment around the bedside, however a virtual visit is not intended to replace an update with the clinical team about your relative’s medical condition.
How long can my virtual visit be?
Though virtual visits are not given an exact time limit, but we suggest virtual visits should be kept under 20 minutes. That way the call can fit in with the busy workload of the ICU team and will not tire out your relative too much.
Are virtual visits suitable for all family members to join?
The ICU team member who is making your call, will take a few minutes before your call to prepare you and explain what you might see and hear. Your relative may be sedated, have lots of tubes in their body and surrounded by machines. It is worth taking this into consideration prior to your virtual visits as some may find it distressing to see their relative like this, particularly young children.
Is my data secure when using the aTouchAway app?
aTouchAway™ is a digitally secure platform hosted on a dedicated UK server. The only patient data that is stored is the patient’s name; this is permanently removed when the patient is discharged from hospital. The tablets are all PIN and password protected.
When is my relative’s data removed from the system?
Clinicals will delete the patient data that is stored (patient’s name only) as soon as they have been discharged from the intensive care unit.
For more information on this, visit the 'Virtual Visits' Life Lines page here.
If you have any more questions, please email LifeLines@kcl.ac.uk.