Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is a children’s hospital and NHS foundation trust in West Derby, Liverpool, England.
Objective / insight
There’s nothing harder to bear than a child who is sick. They’re confused, scared, and in pain. And a trip to the hospital only makes things scarier.
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital wanted to distract the child, while also demystifying the hospital experience, to make a trip to the hospital easier for both children and their parents.
Alder Hey’s own clinical studies had discovered, a distracted child has smoother appointments–and they need less pain medication, too.
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital teamed up with UsTwo to develop an tablet application.
Before arriving at the hospital, the young patients choose a name and avatar. The avatars become the children’s companion–their buddy to help show them around, collect rewards, and be with them throughout their stay.
Kids can also go on AR scavenger hunts, unlock dancing characters, and receive stickers for achievements like having a dressing changed or being scanned.
There’s an AI chatbot, which can answer questions, too.
UsTwo’s designers began the project–which was supported by NHS England, by talking with experts in children’s healthcare.
The augmented reality is used instead of VR because AR can help children to feel more inclusive, and can connect children with their surroundings.
The AI chatbot in the application is powered by IBM Watson.
For now, UsTwo’s team isn’t measuring the app’s success by downloads, but for specific outcomes. They want to see that the interventions actually help children make it through some of the toughest moments of their appointments.