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Issue:- 10 April 2014

LIVERPOOL WOMEN'S NHS FOUNDATION TRUST WELCOMES NEW VIRTUAL ARRIVAL

LIVERPOOL Women's NHS Foundation Trust has received an extra special delivery at its Antenatal Clinic, in the form of a Tensator Virtual Assistant. The next generation digital signage solution from patient and visitor journey specialist Tensator, uses cutting edge technology to create the illusion of a real person.  'Shanice' wears the uniform of a maternity nurse and welcomes both patients and visitors to the Antenatal Clinic at the Trust's Liverpool Women's Crown Street site.  As well as providing a friendly face on arrival, Shanice talks through the clinics self check-in procedures, explains what to expect from some clinical assessments and offers information on many of the services on offer.  As Ajay Joshi, head of media and technology at Tensator, explains, Shanice is designed as an extra resource for the hospital:- "The Tensator Virtual Assistant acts as an extra member of staff to handle frequently asked questions, freeing up team resources in the process. Shanice is on hand to guide visitors through the process of using the self check-in kiosks. She also relays advice and encourages patient feedback to make sure that everyone experiences the best possible visit. Ultimately, this is about enhancing the entire patient / visitor experience at the Antenatal Clinic and ensuring that everything continues to run as smoothly as possible."

As Caroline Jacobs, IM&T Project Manager at Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust, points out, patients, visitors and staff are all enjoying the benefits of the latest addition to the team:- "Liverpool Women's is the busiest maternity hospital and welcomes thousands of expectant mothers through its doors. Every day, an average of 20 babies are born. As you would expect, it can get very busy at times.  The implementation of the virtual assistant in conjunction with our new self check in kiosks and clinic management system have been very successful. Overall patients feedback has been very positive"

The Trust opted for the Ultra model of the Tensator Virtual Assistant. It has the smallest footprint of the entire range at just 50cm x 50cm, meaning it can be easily moved to almost any position within the hospital. Completely customisable, it can be designed to fit any brand image and messaging.  Tensator Virtual Assistants are in place at a range of healthcare facilities across the country, including Luton and Dunstable Hospital in Bedfordshire and the Oswestry Hospital in Shropshire. Tensator Virtual Assistants are also used as a dynamic marketing tool across a range of other sectors, including transport, retail and leisure.  For more information about the Tensator Virtual Assistant Ultra, visit them online

Reset your passwords

A bug called 'Hartbleed' has been found in many major websites.  The discovery of the bug is a major security flaw. Many sites have taken action to rectify the bug, but several leading technology firms are now urging people to change their passwords.  Yahoo and Tumblr have already advised the public to:- "change you passwords everywhere you use services like email, file storage and any high security sites, like banking and financial sites."  The bug, if security analysis are correct, could  allow the safeguarding programs to be bypassed and any data being used could then be prone to eavesdropping, once compromised.  This comes on the back of society updates for Microsoft's XP being stopped after 13 years.   Since this bug, 'Hartbleed', has been found, it raises many worrying questions about things to come.   A slightly unrelated issue happened on 8 April 2014 when Microsoft stopped its release of security patches for Windows XP.  In the past, bugs like 'Hartbleed' would have been looked at and, if required, Microsoft would have issued a security patches for that OS. However, now Microsoft has said that systems still running the OS will be opened to hackers writing new malware and devising fresh attacks. The loss of the security patches for Windows XP might have a major effect on the way we use technology and it is not just home computers that could be hit as many of the worlds Cash Pints (ATM's).   Despite being one of the most frequently used consumer technologies in the world, many ATMs running on this outdated operating systems, could now be exposed to other bugs, like 'Hartbleed' has shown with web based systems.   It is reckoned that many of the ATMs will be running this operating system well into the next year, or longer! In the UK, 60,000 ATMs will be upgraded from Windows XP before the end of this year, according to biggest supplier of those machines - NCR.  Shockingly, that is just a third of the UK's Bank ATMs. This potential could also be a warning to OS builders, as they have overlooked the business market more and more in resent years and forgot about the costs they have to pay to upgrade the new hardware and new programs, to work on their OS systems.  Many banks are moving onto Windows 7, but this problem will hit again when Microsoft withdraws support for that!   Without the support of Microsoft and other Operating System companies, on core operating systems like XP,  to keep them updated, the discovery of security vulnerabilities like 'Hartbleed', for internet users, just adds to the problems now faced by many businesses and homes about security. We have to now ask, how long we can expect our operating systems to work and what to do if the public and businesses are not be able to afford and/or do not trust the new systems being offered when updates are withdrawn, like with XP.  What are your views?  Are you going to keep with XP or move onto VISTA or Windows 7 or Windows 8?  Have you updated you passwords as a result of Hartbleed being found?  Let us know by emailing us to:- news24@southportreporter.com.

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