Designed to help make hospital stays less intimidating, the app provides personalized avatars and rewards for children and a chatbot for parents.
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Developed with significant input from young patients and in collaboration with experts across sectors including retail and travel, the United Kingdom’s Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust recently introduced its Alder Play app. Designed to help children understand and manage their hospital stay, the app uses augmented reality. Before arriving at the hospital, each patient names a personalized avatar that then follows the child throughout his or her stay.
The interface is designed to be as friendly and intuitive as possible, and children can use the app to learn more about their surroundings and their medical procedure. As each patient moves along their clinical pathway, they earn rewards that unlock additional content. Parents can use the chatbot to “Ask Oli” questions about their child’s procedure and stay in hospital. Following the introduction of the app in Alder Hey, the development team is planning to roll out its use across the NHS as a best practice means of engaging with and caring for children. The app was designed by global digital product studio Ustwo and is available for both iOS and Android devices.
The application of innovation in healthcare continues to transform the industry. Traditionally very clinical settings have begun to metamorphose into wellbeing centers that consider patients in a more holistic way. For children having to undergo an MRI, a virtual reality app helps them acclimatize to the sounds and requirements of the procedure before they arrive in hospital. And for young patients undergoing an extensive stay in hospital, an immersive, real-time travel adventure allows them to experience their dream trip remotely. How could the ideas behind children’s healthcare innovations be used to help people at the end of their life?