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Alder Hey Children's Hospital Set to Become UK's First 'Cognitive' Hospital

Collaboration With STFC Hartree Centre Taps into IBM Watson to Improve Patient Experience

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust yesterday announced a ground-breaking multi-year collaborative programme with the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Hartree Centre, supported by IBM (NYSE: IBM), to create the United Kingdom’s first ‘cognitive’ hospital by harnessing ‘big data’ and the power of IBM’s Watson technology platform.

This is the first time that Watson technology will be applied to improve patient experience in the United Kingdom. Alder Hey and the Hartree Centre believe that by applying Watson — an innovation in computing technology — it will enhance patient care and potentially generate savings for both the hospital and the NHS (National Health Service) as a whole.

Using Watson to analyse any feedback that is voluntarily and securely provided by the patients, with appropriate consent as needed, it is anticipated that Alder Hey will be able to greatly enhance patient experience by; identifying patient anxieties and providing information and reassurance on-demand; reminding young patients and their parents about appointments and about aftercare; and providing insightful feedback to clinicians based on the tone and sentiment of these interactions. Using this valuable insight, clinicians at Alder Hey will be able 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.

Mr 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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