Canadian Cape Breton Regional Hospital has provided Upopolis network access to its paediatric patients.

Upopolis is a social media platform that provides young patients safe and secure access to youth-friendly medical content and allows them to stay connected with other patients, their families and friends while receiving medical care.

The private, secure and trusted online network was founded and created by Kids' Health Links Foundation (KHLF) and powered by TELUS Health for kids and teens undergoing care in hospitals and clinics.

Cape Breton Regional Hospital Pediatrics unit child life specialist Tracy Warren-Salt said: "Our unit functions on family centred care. We try to make the unit feel as much like home as possible.

"Adding Upopolis is another way we can help reduce the anxiety of a hospital stay and make it as normal and positive an experience as possible for our patients and their families."

The network is claimed to offer therapeutic benefits such as access to medical content for understanding of diagnosis and treatment plan, connections with other patients with similar diagnoses via public and private discussion group.

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It also allows features similar to social networking such as personal profiles, newsfeed, instant chat, photo uploading and creating spaces based on common interests and/or diagnoses.

Initially launched in 2007 at McMaster Children's Hospital in Hamilton, the Upopolis programme has expanded to 24 additional hospitals and health organisations across the country.

The network's team works together with TELUS Health to adapt to the specific needs of each facility such as adding particular language capabilities or information specific to certain health disorders.