SMARTPHONES:
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Your Old Devices Can Help Others During

the Coronavirus Pandemic

ecoATM logo

Your Old Devices Can Help Others During

the Coronavirus Pandemic

ecoATM logo

Your Old Devices Can Help Others During the Coronavirus Pandemic

In a few short months, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way society functions. Hospitals have implemented necessary changes — such as telemedicine and telehealth — into daily operations. Millions of Americans and people across the world are quarantined, self-isolating and practicing social distancing to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Healthcare workers, patients diagnosed with COVID-19, concerned family members and individuals practicing social distancing are all relying on technology — such as iPads, tablets and cell phones — for various essential purposes during this trying time. Keep reading to learn more about the roles these devices are playing during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as how you can donate a phone or recycle an iPad to assist in these efforts.

Tablets and iPads Are Crucial for Healthcare Workers on the Front Line

Healthcare workers across the globe are at risk of contracting COVID-19. In Iowa alone, healthcare workers account for more than 20% of the state's confirmed coronavirus cases — and they aren't alone. Healthcare workers are on the front lines of the pandemic, working diligently to diagnose patients and ease their symptoms, all while tending to standard hospital duties and non-coronavirus related cases.

Complicating matters is the growing shortage of access to personal protective equipment. Healthcare workers rely on personal protective equipment to act as a barrier between them and an infected person.
In a medical setting, personal protective equipment includes:

In a medical setting, personal protective equipment includes:

  • Gloves
  • Medical face masks and shields
  • Goggles

  • Medical Gowns
  • Aprons
  • Facepiece respirators

  • Gloves
  • Medical face masks and shields
  • Goggles
  • Medical Gowns
  • Aprons
  • Facepiece respirators

Thanks to the use of iPad and tablet technology, however, hospitals are working to minimize the spread of the virus, conserve personal protective equipment and make daily operations safer for all involved through telemedicine and telehealth. Telemedicine and telehealth refer to the use of technology and telecommunication for doctors and healthcare workers to communicate with and support patients, as well as fellow workers. Telehealth manifests itself in the form of live video conferences, remote patient monitoring and mobile health communication.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person, through respiratory droplets that an infected person spreads when they cough, sneeze or talk. Coronavirus can also spread by coming into contact with infected surfaces and objects. The CDC lists telemedicine as the best way for healthcare facilities to keep patients and staff safe from COVID-19 because it limits the exposure of medical workers and patients to the virus.

Hospitals and medical offices use telemedicine to help determine whether or not a possible patient is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and if they need to seek medical attention as a result. Through video conferences, telephone calls and virtual tools, those experiencing symptoms can communicate with doctors from the safety of their home until they require coronavirus testing or treatment. This helps cut down on the number of potentially contagious patients walking into medical facilities without proper precautions in place. According to The New York Times, high-risk patients can also substitute regularly scheduled doctor appointments for telehealth consultations, eliminating the need for them to leave their home and put themselves at risk.

video-call

Through video conferences, telephone calls and virtual tools, 
those experiencing symptoms can communicate with doctors from the safety of their home until they require coronavirus testing or treatment.

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Through video conferences, telephone calls and virtual tools, those experiencing symptoms can communicate with doctors from the safety of their home until they require coronavirus testing or treatment.

Healthcare workers at Stanford recently made headlines due to an innovative approach to telehealth. Instead of entering each patient's room to check on them, Stanford equipped each room with an iPad attached to a portable stand that allows patients and healthcare workers to communicate back and forth without the need for personal protective equipment or entering the room, which could further expose those workers to the virus. Stanford isn't the only facility to rely on iPads and tablets for these new methods — many hospitals, including Massachusetts General Hospital, are implementing similar telehealth strategies in their facilities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) lists telehealth and telemedicine as the number one way to minimize the need for personal protective equipment, therefore conserving the remaining supply for times when personal protective equipment is critical. Thankfully, the telemedicine approach is helping minimize the risk of spreading the virus and conserving these resources. According to Massachusetts General Hospital, within the first three weeks of their telemedicine approach, its use of personal protective equipment had fallen by half. In addition to conserving valuable resources, the use of tablets and iPads has helped ease some of the emotional strain on healthcare workers who fear they could contract the virus themselves and possibly pass it to their loved ones. Some healthcare workers also note a positive change in patient attitude when those patients could see their doctors' and nurses' faces on the tablet screen, as opposed to in their room wearing full personal protective equipment.

Recycled Devices Let Patients Safely Connect With Loved Ones

Due to the nature of COVID-19, those who have been diagnosed are required to quarantine, whether in a hospital or their homes. This necessary course of action can be devastating for both the patient and their loved ones. In these situations, medical staff has turned to iPads and cell phones to help patients and families safely connect, whether for health updates, words of comfort or goodbyes.

Thanks to these devices, patients can speak with their loved ones from the safety of their hospital rooms. Many patients infected with coronavirus are intubated and using a ventilator, making phone calls difficult. For this reason, many have taken advantage of video chatting services for a more intimate connection. These moments spent in virtual communication can help patients feel less alone and help families better cope with their new situation.

Devices are helping infected patients stay connected in other ways, too. According to one healthcare worker at Stanford, some family members have emailed important family mementos, like letters and photos, for staff members to print out and display in a patient's room. These touches of home can help patients feel more comfortable and at ease.

Devices Help Worried Family Members Check on High-Risk Relatives

Many high-risk individuals are self-isolating or are in voluntary quarantine, keeping them away from friends and family.

According to the CDC, an individual is considered high-risk if they meet one or more of the following criteria

  • They are 65 years of age or older.
  • They live in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
  • They have underlying health concerns, including lung disease, asthma, heart conditions, severe obesity, HIV, diabetes, and kidney or liver disease.
  • They are immunocompromised, either due to other health conditions, recent organ transplant or immune deficiencies.

Devices Help Worried
Family Members Check on
High-Risk Relatives

According to the CDC, an individual is considered high-risk if they meet one or more of the following criteria: 

couple-icon

They are 65 years
of age or older

nurse-icon

They live in a nursing home or longterm care facility

child-cough-icon

They have underlying
health concerns

face-mask-icon

They are
immunocompromised

ecoatm-logo

Per these guidelines, nursing homes and long-term care facilities — which house some of the world's most vulnerable populations — have shut down visitation, leaving patients and residents without easy access to loved ones. This is where recycled devices, including cell phones, tablets and iPads, are making a significant difference in the lives of others. Instead of remaining isolated, families can talk to patients and residents on the phone, engage in video conferencing and send comforting pictures and messages back and forth. Even without isolation, depression and mental health concerns are prevalent in nursing homes, so the ability to stay connected with loved ones is more important than ever before.

For high-risk individuals self-isolating in their own homes, these devices help them do more than stay connected with friends and family — they are essential for navigating their new daily lives. Because high-risk individuals can not safely leave their homes, they rely on technology for several activities.

  • High-risk individuals rely on online grocery orders for home delivery.
  • Individuals can refill prescriptions online and have essential medications delivered to their homes.
  • High-risk individuals can attend routine telehealth appointments with their primary care physician.
  • If symptoms of COVID-19 appear, high-risk individuals can communicate with local medical facilities for guidance.

Unfortunately, however, the same people who are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19 are often the same people who are least likely to own these devices already and often do not have the means to get them. Many high-risk individuals are retired or living with a disability that prevents them from working. Others who were employed before the coronavirus can no longer work, either due to business closure or high-risk self-quarantine. In these circumstances, high-risk individuals benefit significantly from donated cell phones and tablets. For many, these devices are crucial for their wellbeing.

Devices Help Worried
Family Members Check on
High-Risk Relatives

According to the CDC, an individual is considered high-risk if they meet one or more of the following criteria: 

couple-icon

They are 65 years
of age or older

nurse-icon

They live in a nursing home
or longterm care facility

child-cough-icon

They have underlying
health concerns

face-mask-icon

They are
immunocompromised

ecoatm-logo

Per these guidelines, nursing homes and long-term care facilities — which house some of the world's most vulnerable populations — have shut down visitation, leaving patients and residents without easy access to loved ones. This is where recycled devices, including cell phones, tablets and iPads, are making a significant difference in the lives of others. Instead of remaining isolated, families can talk to patients and residents on the phone, engage in video conferencing and send comforting pictures and messages back and forth. Even without isolation, depression and mental health concerns are prevalent in nursing homes, so the ability to stay connected with loved ones is more important than ever before.

For high-risk individuals self-isolating in their own homes, these devices help them do more than stay connected with friends and family — they are essential for navigating their new daily lives. Because high-risk individuals can not safely leave their homes, they rely on technology for several activities.

  • High-risk individuals rely on online grocery orders for home delivery.
  • Individuals can refill prescriptions online and have essential medications delivered to their homes.
  • High-risk individuals can attend routine telehealth appointments with their primary care physician.
  • If symptoms of COVID-19 appear, high-risk individuals can communicate with local medical facilities for guidance.

Unfortunately, however, the same people who are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19 are often the same people who are least likely to own these devices already and often do not have the means to get them. Many high-risk individuals are retired or living with a disability that prevents them from working. Others who were employed before the coronavirus can no longer work, either due to business closure or high-risk self-quarantine. In these circumstances, high-risk individuals benefit significantly from donated cell phones and tablets. For many, these devices are crucial for their wellbeing.

Technology Leads to Healthier and More Productive Social Distancing

Technology and recycled devices help with social distancing. Social distancing refers to staying at home whenever possible and maintaining a safe distance of at least 6 feet when in public and around other people. Following social distance guidelines is essential for flattening the curve and minimizing the spread of COVID-19.

That said, social distancing means making many changes in the way we live our lives, including how we work, attend school, stay productive and connect with others. For many, social distancing can lead to unhealthy habits and hurt mental health. For others, maintaining a productive workday or keeping busy is a challenge. Technology and recycled devices are crucial during social distancing, as they help bridge the gap and provide resources for those who can not get these devices for themselves either due to a cut in wages, employment loss or closed technology stores.

Mental Health Management

Extended isolation can have adverse consequences on one's mental health. For example, those who are self-isolating on their own may be more likely to experience stress, loneliness and depression. Studies demonstrate that for many people — specifically older adults or those with underlying health conditions — loneliness can have physical side effects as well, including an increased risk of heart disease or stroke. For individuals with other mental health concerns or diagnoses, the lack of social connection and limited access to counselors and medical professionals can worsen conditions.

Fortunately, technology is one way to combat these mental health hurdles. Cell phones and tablets help people stay connected and check-in on one another, offering words of comfort or a pleasant distraction. For individuals struggling with their mental health, technology is one way to reach out to others with their concerns and seek help while still maintaining a safe social distance. Many therapists and organizations have even started offering mental health services online to help those who are isolating at home.

At-Home Productivity

Social distancing guidelines mean students from elementary school to college are continuing their education from the safety of their homes. Additionally, many businesses have successfully moved their workflow online, allowing employees to work remotely.


If you care about the resolution of your screen, you'll be glad to know the iPhone 12 is likely to use an OLED display.

home-productivity

For low-income families and individuals, acquiring the necessary technology to complete these tasks might be a challenge, especially in light of recent layoffs and store closures.

home-productivity

For many families and individuals, acquiring the necessary technology to complete these tasks might be a challenge, especially in light of recent layoffs and store closures.

Technology is necessary to help people work from home, and both students and employees rely on it to maintain their workflow. Employers hold important meetings via video conferencing and teachers send emails and post assignments on virtual portals. For many families and individuals, acquiring the necessary technology to complete these tasks might be a challenge, especially in light of recent layoffs and store closures. For people in these circumstances, donated devices can make all the difference in staying productive and on top of work or school assignments.

Staying Connected

Staying connected via technology during the coronavirus pandemic is important. It's the best way to stay alert about recent changes or new social guidelines, follow developing news stories, keep in touch with friends and loved ones and to stay entertained during extra downtime. Maintaining a healthy social life is especially critical. We've already discussed the potential adverse health effects of isolation on adults, but evidence suggests isolation is equally hazardous for adolescents.

There is another less serious but equally prevalent threat from social isolation — boredom. Both adolescents and adults who have been previously occupied with work and school are experiencing more downtime than before, and many aren't sure how to fill the extra hours. Thankfully, technology can help people stay busy, be productive and have fun while staying at home.

For example, technology lets people:

  • Attend online events, like concerts and conferences.
  • Learn new skills or develop hobbies.
  • Create or consume helpful or entertaining online content, like videos and blog posts.
  • Play video games with friends.
  • Watch tv shows, movies, read ebooks and listen to music or podcasts.
  • Support small businesses by ordering products online.
Donated devices make these activities accessible for all, easing the burden of social distancing.

Make a Difference by Donating Your Old Devices

Are you looking for ways to help during the pandemic? You can change lives and help others during the coronavirus pandemic just by donating your old, unused devices. If you have cell phones, iPads, tablets or MP3 players you no longer want or need, recycle them at your nearest ecoATM. We’re doing our part by donating iPads to hospitals and medical facilities in the US, UK, Belgium and Germany. Hospitals and medical facilities across the world are seeking donations to meet the growing need for telemedicine, whether to keep workers safe, minimize the waste of personal protective equipment or to help sick patients safely connect with loved ones. Recycled devices can also help worried family members check in on their friends and relatives and lead to more productive and emotionally healthy social distancing for all.

With more than 4,000 kiosks in the United States, ecoATM makes it easy to clear your clutter and donate during COVID-19. If you're ready to donate your iPad or recycle your phone, here's how the process works:


1.
 Factory Reset you old device.

2. Use our kiosk locator to find an ecoATM location near you.

3. While abiding by all social distancing guidelines and local orders, follow the on-screen instructions and get your device        appraised.

4. Recycle your device for instant cash.

Visit the CDC's website to learn more about COVID-19, including what to do if you think you're sick and how to practice effective social distancing. To learn more about how ecoATM worksincluding our dedication to reducing electronic waste — explore our website further.

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Make a Difference by Donating Your Old Devices

With more than 4,000 kiosks in the United States, ecoATM makes it easy to clear your clutter and donate during COVID-19.

Find Your Local Kiosk
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Make a Difference by Donating
Your Old Devices

With more than 4,000 kiosks in the United States, ecoATM makes it easy to clear your clutter and donate during COVID-19.

Find Your Local Kiosk