Alder Hey

Revolutionising patient care for children and their families

The Problem

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital were looking to provide their patients with an enhanced and personalised experience, that could make their time in the hospital less daunting and more enjoyable. They wanted to set the global benchmark for a child’s healthcare journey.

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What we did

Alder Hey children’s hospital focuses on three key themes in delivering an exceptional patient experience:

  • Familiarise children with the hospital and what might happen to them when they get there
  • Distract children at difficult but necessary moments
  • Reward children for bravery and participation

We created the entire Alder Play patient experience rooted in these key themes and worked directly with the staff and children on the wards to help develop the experiences and to understand the extent of the full patient journey.

Screenshot of the app

The app is a companion for young patients throughout their entire journey, reducing stress and anxiety along the way.

This is a great example of innovative digital technology being applied to solve a real world problem for children, young people and their parents receiving care in today’s NHS. It looks great fun too!Professor Keith McNeil, Chief Clinical Information Officer for Health and Care at NHS England

What we learned

We developed the Alder Play experience by leveraging key insights from healthcare experts, children and young people at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

Through these insights, we determined the best types of creative technology to enhance patient experience and key moments in the patient journey to address and highlight. Therefore, the product uses gaming, a chatbot and augmented reality, developed by ustwo and other Alder Hey partners including the Science and Technology Facilities Council incorporating IBM Watson technology, to make the experience enjoyable, interactive, and rewarding - directly in line with Alder Hey’s key themes.

The time honoured way of rewarding children in hospital is stickers. So we’re going to use stickers, but we’re going to do stickers with a little bit of digital extra. They’ll get upgrades, they’ll get games, they’ll get their specific rewards for doing positive health behaviours. So one of the great things about this app is it’s been done in conjunction with NHS Digital as part of our Global Digital Exemplar programme. If we can create an enormous platform across NHS, I think we can really trailblaze how you do digital interaction.Dr. Ian Hennessy, Clinical Director of Innovation at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital

Winner (2018 D&AD Awards) of a Graphite Pencil for Digital Design

Download the app for Android | iOS

Please consider taking a moment to donate to the Alder Hey Children’s Charity.