Microsoft has announced a new partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) to support their research of artificial intelligence (AI).

The One Microsoft partnership will see GOSH given access to new AI solutions developed by computer science students at University College London (UCL) as part of the Industry Exchange Network, which is run by UCL and Microsoft.

A number of new ideas will be available to test by GOSH staff via Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure.

This will be done though the hospital’s Digital, Research, Informatics and Virtual Environments (DRIVE), a unit dedicated to research and evaluation of new technology and data analysis for healthcare.

Neil Sebire, professor of Pathology at UCL and Chief Research Information Officer (CRIO) at GOSH, said: “This powerful partnership between GOSH, UCL and Microsoft is a potential game-changer for healthcare.

“It brings together academic clinical and computer science expertise to be leveraged by the capabilities of Microsoft with the singular aim of improving healthcare for children.

“Microsoft’s AI tools, platforms and emphasis on security and ethics, will empower GOSH to help even more children and young people to fulfil their potential.”

The aim of the partnership is to transform healthcare delivery and patient experience using new technologies.

Another part of the project is exploring the power of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in clinical environments.

Following research by GOSH, which showed how gaming can benefit patient experience, a new Minecraft world built as a scale replica of GOSH for children to play in and familiarise themselves with the hospital has been developed.

The Gruffalo has also partnered  with the hospital and developed an AR app as part of a pilot.

The app allows young patients to see the Gruffalo and his friends from the famous book come to life with interactive characters.

The impact on patient experience will be analysed as part of the pilot and could be rolled out more widely in the future.

GOSH is not the first children’s hospital to explore the use of AR.

In January 2018, Digital Health News reported that Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation trust had developed an app which uses AR and gaming to help distract patients from surgical procedures.