Student-led Nonprofit Brings Telemedicine Access to the Vulnerable

Since its March launch, TeleHealth Access for Seniors has delivered 2,000 devices to seniors and low-income patients in Greater New Haven and around the country.

Medical providers across the country have turned to telemedicine since the start of the COVID-19 crisis to connect with patients. While the technology provides a safe way to deliver care during the pandemic, it has also created a barrier for everyone without access to computing devices or the understanding of how to connect.

Enter TeleHealth Access for Seniors, a newly formed nonprofit organization founded by Yale undergraduates.

Since launching in March, the nonprofit program has donated 2,000 tablets and other devices to hospitals and clinics in 26 states and attracted the support of over 300 volunteers.

“We work to provide elderly patients and lower-income communities with camera-enabled devices, like phones and tablets, so they can be connected to their physician during this pandemic,” Siddharth Jain, ‘Telehealth Access for Seniors’ co-founder, said during a recent profile by WTNH News 8.

Watch the WTNH story

The nonprofit was recently awarded a grant from The Community Foundation's Small Grants program to fund the purchase of 57 new and refurbished tablets for patients of the Fair Haven Community Health Care (FCHC). Each tablet is loaded with software that gives patients access to their providers and allows them to see their medications, test results, upcoming appointments, medical bills, price estimates and more.

Recipients can also use the devices to connect to family members and loved ones.

The program also helps educate seniors on how to use the devices, providing user guides in English and Spanish, along with a 24/7 help line in both English and Spanish.
TAFS is also working with the West Haven Veterans Hospital, New Haven Veterans Center, Yale Pediatric Diabetes Center and CT Mental Health Center.

Did you know?

Your old devices may be repurposed for telemedicine. Contact TAFS to donate an old tablet or laptop.

This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.