Coming into hospital can be daunting, particularly when the patient is a child. At the specialist Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, a focus on cognitive computing is helping to address that – supporting the creation of a hospital which can effectively think and feel, and providing the foundations for greater use of cognitive methods into the future.

A team from the hospital and from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Centre has been asking hundreds of patients a range of questions, covering everything from what they like to eat, which games and films they enjoy, and how they want their rooms to look. They are then using this information to train the IBM Watson platform to anticipate and respond to questions from patients and families before they come into hospital. The data insights will also help the hospital improve the way it cares for patients.

As the project progresses, Alder Hey plans to use the IBM Watson platform to identify clinical trends that could affect patient flow and potentially lead to cost savings. There is also a desire to use the platform to match suitable patients with clinical trials. And ultimately it may be possible to create interactive applications, grounded in the insights from the platform, which help patients and families to manage chronic conditions.

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Case study copyright: © IBM Corporation 2017

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