MUST SEE! This is possibly one of the finest uses of healthcare social media I’ve seen.
When I popped into Google+ for my daily visit, Gary Levin (doctor) was in a Hangout with Harold Carey Jr. (educational technology consultant). In a magpie moment, I was immediately distracted by what they’d been posting in their streams. That was how I found this treasure.
Virtual Photo Walks provides interactive live tours of both nature and exotic locations to invalids and shut-ins for whom travel is at best difficult and more likely impossible. They use Hangout on Air to broadcast this to the broadest possible audience, and then archiving in Youtube for future reference (if you missed it). WOW!
This all began with John Butterill and Corey Fisk. In the picture above, do you see the lady with magenta hair and the purple and green outfit? That’s Corey. They met on Google Plus, and John invited here on a photo walk, where they proceeded to bicker amiably about what were interesting shots. He’s a photographer and had his own ideas about what made interesting shots. Corey would zing back with statements like, “I like ugly old boathouses.”
Then John tried it again with a young boy in the hospital for his monthly medical infusion for Crohn’s Disease.
They set up a Google+ page to coordinate these, put out calls for volunteers to take people on walks. Ideas included nature walks, remote locations, tourist hot spots, museums (although be careful to get permission in advance, since some museums have been known to confiscate cameras), exhibits, events, and more. As of today they have had photo walks ranging from showing off a new extra-speedy wheelchair to the mountains of Utah. Yesterday they were in Rome. In just over a half hour they’ll be in Australia. My favorite line from the page is, “I have something to do! Do you know how much that meant to me?”
The idea has started getting a bunch of press, including a post from Gary Levin.
I am absolutely thrilled by all of this. I love the idea, I love bringing interactive access to persons who are homebound for whatever reason. That is part of why I love Second Life, which does such an excellent job in this area. Of course, though, this (like curb cuts) simply heightens awareness of a resource that makes access and life easier for many many other people as well. I could see using this to do tours of campus for students, bringing exhibits and campus presentations to off campus audiences.
Do you have some grand idea how you could use this concept? Instructions are available here.
Google Hangout on Air Getting Started