A major frustration for patients with artificial airways is the difficulty in communicating with caregivers, family, and friends. Many patients will attempt to mouth words or write using pencil and paper—both of which are fraught with confusion and stress for the patient and caregiver. Several types of message boards or picture boards have been initiated over the years with varying success rates. Inability to reuse or appropriately clean these tools between patients has caused concern about possible infection transmission.

In the current environment, many patients have been using technology-based methods such as texting, email, or instant messaging conversations in their daily lives. The opportunity to use these technologies in hospitals for communication with caregivers deserves exploration. Communication was facilitated and augmented in the cases presented by Shiber and colleagues with use of the patients’ smartphones, allowing them to text messages for the care...

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