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Hartree Centre taps into AI to improve patient experience at Alder Hey children's hospital

Hartree Centre taps into AI to improve patient experience at Alder Hey children's hospital

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The Hartree Centre is teaming up with Alder Hey children's hospital in Liverpool to create an AI app to help patients and doctors work better together.

Alder Hey and the STFC's Hartree Centre believe that by applying IBM’s Watson — a cognitive technology that processes information more like a human than a computer — it will enhance patient care and potentially generate savings for both the hospital and the wider NHS.

The app will answer any questions which parents and children may have about their hospital stay. Using Watson, Alder Hey will be able to dentify patient anxieties and provide information and reassurance on-demand; reminding young patients and their parents about appointments and about aftercare; and providing feedback to clinicians based on the tone and sentiment of these interactions.

Using the data, clinicians at Alder Hey hope to make a hospitable stay for a child less daunting, by providing a more personalised service for a child while also being able to identify clinical trends more quickly that could affect patient flow and effectively make significant cost savings.

Iain Hennessey, a paediatric surgeon and director of innovation at Alder Hey, said: “This is an unprecedented opportunity for Alder Hey to pilot this groundbreaking technology and learn how to transform IT capability and working practices in healthcare, not just in the UK but across the world. Helping our patients and their families prepare properly for coming into hospital will really reduce their anxiety and could mean we can get them better and home faster.”

Universities and science minister Jo Johnson said: “The healthcare sector is undergoing tremendous development right now, driven by data, digital technologies and cognitive computing. This unique collaboration showcases the UK’s role at the forefront of science, innovation and healthcare, and will make a real difference to the care and experience of patients and clinicians in Alder Hey children’s hospital.”

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