Personalisation helps reduce anxiety
To begin the project, the team from Alder Hey and the STFC Hartree Centre have been asking hundreds of patients and their parents a range of questions, covering everything from basic demographics to where they prefer to park, what they like to eat, which games and films they enjoy, and how they want their rooms to look. All of this unstructured data is helping teach the IBM Watson platform about each patient’s preferences, to empower clinicians to personalise patients’ stays.
Together, experts from the Hartree Centre and IBM are using this information to train the Watson platform to anticipate and respond to questions from patients and families before they come into hospital and to harness information to respond to the individual needs of the young patients undertaking their hospital journeys.
Using this data, the IBM Watson platform will provide cognitive analytics that deliver insights that enable the hospital to – in essence – think, sense and feel what is happening within it. As the project progresses, Alder Hey plans to use the platform to identify clinical trends that could affect patient flow and potentially lead to cost savings. The hospital also hopes to use the IBM Watson platform to drive research projects by matching suitable patients with clinical studies. In future, patients and their families may also use a solution to manage chronic illnesses with interactive applications that alert them and their doctors when their symptoms require intervention.
Happier patients and better care
By harnessing insights from new and existing data, the IBM Watson platform’s cognitive capabilities are helping empower Alder Hey to personalise the hospital experiences of young patients and their families. Hennessey says, “Helping our patients and their families prepare properly for coming into hospital will really reduce their anxiety and could mean we get them better and home faster.”
With the solution, Alder Hey gains a cognitive platform that it can use to support further projects, including patient flow optimisation and clinical research projects, helping it on its journey to becoming one of the first cognitive hospitals in the UK. Michael Gleaves concludes: “We are extremely excited about applying these new computing techniques to help improve the experience and quality of care provided at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.”