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10net Focus Connects Families Through Virtual Visits with Kanto TV Carts

— A/V mounting solutions provider donates rolling video carts for “virtual visits on wheels” in nursing homes —

COQUITLAM, BC, CANADA, May 11, 2020Kanto Living, manufacturer of audio products and TV mounting solutions was recently invited by digital signage solutions distributor 10net Focus to assist in a project to help family members virtually connect with elderly parents and grandparents whom they are prohibited from visiting in person.

Kanto was contacted by 10net Focus in late March and asked if they could take part in a virtual home visits project and supply video carts that TVs could be mounted on and wheeled into nursing homes. The carts provide a plug and play, self-contained “virtual visit on wheels.”

Sr. Kanto account executive Geoff Ireland noted, “we wanted to think about what we could do to help others at this time. The isolation that nursing home residents feel is tough enough during normal times. It borders on unbearable during the current crisis.”

Through videoconferencing, the Kanto MTM65PL carts enable the residents to easily connect with their families. Traditional video conference calls in nursing homes face many challenges. Most of the resident seniors are not familiar with or comfortable using today’s videoconferencing technologies, particularly on handheld devices. In addition to not knowing how to operate the equipment, the different platforms (such as Skype and Zoom) are foreign to them and the small screens and speakers are hard for the residents to see and hear. Keeping the camera aimed at themselves is also a major challenge using a phone, tablet or laptop. In addition, the carts can be used by the staff for training sessions, keeping in touch with other medical professionals and other videoconferencing.

The virtual home visits project solution came when 10net Focus Founding Partner Trevor Nutall reached out to Kanto and other vendors and applied his experience in the AV space to design a self-contained mobile video conferencing system. The cart can be rolled into a nursing home resident’s room, and will automatically power up and load a videoconferencing platform of choice. The family at home hosts the meeting and provides a meeting code to the nursing home staff, who can then initiate a virtual home visit.

Janna Johnstone of Evergreen House, Vancouver Coastal Health noted, “I think this a great tool for recreation therapists, to support engagement with our residents and enhance our service, using this device as we strive for better results. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping bring back some normalcy to the residents at Evergreen. Please know that you have played a significant role in making their day as well as staff. Some of the staff even got involved in singing and dancing with the residents, and that matters!”

The Kanto carts are fitted with large-format video displays that are big enough for the residents to see clearly, along with commercial-grade “huddle bars” that include a high-quality camera, a noise/echo cancelling mic array, a speaker system that can play loudly enough for the hard of hearing, and a computer that can be remotely accessed should tech support be necessary. The cart’s capabilities also allow remotely changing TV, software, or huddle bar settings.

Kanto’s MTM65PL carts are able to accommodate all the components and hide all wiring, making them a completely self-contained, easy to transport solution.

Kevin Ng of the Haro Park Centre elderly healthcare facility in Vancouver, stated, “I just want to let you know the cart you put together helped us big time today. Our housekeeping educator couldn’t come in to do some in-person training so we ran three sessions of e-training today using your machine. We will be running a few more sessions with your cart again this week. The topic was housekeeping practices for COVID-19.  Your cart is helping to save lives.”

In order to quickly reach as many residents as possible, 10net Focus chose to ‘”freecycle” as much as they could by pooling resources for the project. In addition to Kanto, other contributing vendors include Kal Tire, which donated computers, IT provider Novmega Technology and the Coast Hotel Tsawwassen Inn (owned by Century Group), which donated large screen TVs. Logitech, Yamaha and AVer Media provided the equipment for the huddle bar setups.

“We feel honored to do our small part to help alleviate just a little of the current isolation in our nursing homes and communities,” Ireland concluded.

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Operating out of Metro Vancouver, BC, Kanto was founded in January 2007. The company’s founders had a vision to build quality products with style that offered excellent value to customers. Many years in designing and manufacturing OEM products for large consumer electronics companies gave Kanto the experience and understanding needed to create a new brand of their own. Today, that knowledge and passion, combined with the company’s team of dedicated design engineers and support staff, is the driving force behind Kanto’s success.

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