NHS Alder Hey Hospital Liverpool goes virtual

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Microsoft have launched a new digital platform to deliver patient care to children and young people.

The hybrid health platform AlderHey@nywhere™ is being pushed as a “hospital of the future”, where patient and clinical care is delivered in a hybrid world, both physical and virtual, to create a “hospital without walls”. The platform provides, "a hybrid point of access and patient care for families, children, young people and clinicians to manage, treat, educate and coordinate delivery of their healthcare. Most importantly, it will focus on preventative healthcare and will make patient care more accessible and personalised".

Platform removes need for physical space and workforce

In the context of an increasing demand for accident and emergency admissions, long waiting times and increasing lengths of stay. The platform removes the need for finite resources, including "both physical space and workforce".

Alder Hey believe that by leveraging innovative health tech, digital platforms, data and AI, it can revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered to children and young people. It seeks to break down the traditional barriers for patients when accessing care and personal health information, as well as when receiving therapies and seeking education, creating a future of healthcare that is a virtual hospital or a hospital without walls”.

Claire Diddy ASlderheyHybrid platform

Commenting on the launch of the new Microsoft digital health platform, Managing Director of Alder Hey Innovation, Claire Liddy, said:

“At the moment, healthcare is most often about treating people that are ill. What we want to do is to shift to a more preventative model of care that is individualised and tailored and that empowers children and young people to take ownership of their healthcare and treatment. There are so many different technologies out there now, including wearable technology and devices such as smartwatches that enable you to monitor your health at home. What we needed was a hybrid platform to bring it all together into one place so that families, children and young people could access it, alongside their clinicians at the hospital".  

The platform is a co-development with Microsoft and tech SME Mindwave. The press release states. "The collaboration came together to co-create a hybrid healthcare platform that will create a way of delivering healthcare for children and young people that is far more tailored to the individual, giving them better life chances". 

fuse healthcare and tech innovation with industry

Claire Liddy added: We work with a wide range of private sector partners, including tech giants, SMEs, entrepreneurs and universities, to co-invent new technologies and innovations. We have a different mindset and culture of innovation; we are able to move fast and think big, which allows our innovation path to accelerate much faster than the traditional pathways. We are able to fuse healthcare and tech innovation with industry. This fusion brings something special and unique, creating faster-paced technologies.”  

The platform enables the interoperability of multiple systems using FHIR, remote devices and resources for management of acute and chronic conditions. Furthermore, it collates a new unique data set for longer-term, AI-augmented decision-making for preventative intervention, personalised care and long-term disease prevention. 

Among PatelMicrosoft healthcare

Umang Patel, Chief Clinical Information Officer at Microsoft, also offers a unique perspective thanks to his dual role at Microsoft and as a paediatrician working in the NHS at Frimley Park Hospital. 

"It's been a real privilege  to work with Alder Hey to develop the AlderHey @nywhere™ platform," he says. "Microsoft always loves projects that gets its staff excited - to be given the opportunity to help children and young people - was one such project. Hopefully we have been able to bring some new insights, skills and innovations that will help Alder Hey not only solve problems locally but scale beyond the Liverpool region. What they have done at Alder Hey is great for many reasons, but two stand out: first, the Alder Hey team has managed to keep it simple. If you ask 100 doctors what they want in an ideal system, they will tell you a million important things. The team has managed to scale that back, kept it usable, and brought the most important things to the front. Second, is the momentum they have generated- it's trailblazing innovation at its best.”

The digital health platform allows for:

  • A true hybrid of both physical and virtual patient care 
  • Remote real-time monitoring of patient care for intervention
  • Creating a platform of care that is tailored and self-managed 
  • Digital Bio-markers and IoMT for preventive real time augmented clinical decision making 
  • Children and young people want to be empowered to engaged interactively with gamification to understand and manage their care
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