Alder Hey Children’s Hospital has turned to mixed reality solutions in a number of its acute care cases during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Using intelligent technology solution Insight’s Fast Start service, along with Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 remote assist, the trust has enabled clinicians to collaborate in a way that otherwise would not have been possible due to pandemic.

Rafael Guerrero, director of the heart centre and of innovation at Alder Hey, said: ““While Covid-19 has acted as a catalyst, mixed reality devices like HoloLens that can support collaboration, mobility and remote learning need to be part of the technology we use to drive a healthcare revolution.

“Using HoloLens we have already demonstrated the potential of mixed reality healthcare applications to minimise the number of staff required to be in contact with patients; share expertise in the shortest possible time and from any location; and ultimately increase the quality of care.

“However, there are many more opportunities to integrate the technology with other systems. For instance, as a centre of expertise for congenital heart treatment responsible for more than 8.5 million people across Wales, North-West England and the Isle of Man, these applications would allow us to support clinicians and patients both in other hospitals and in the community, without the need for travel in either direction.”

The Heart Centre at Alder Hey currently uses HoloLens 2 to support clinicians in acute care scenarios.

It allows users to share information and their exact view in high definition without pausing their work or holding additional devices.

This has helped to reduce the number of clinicians around the bedside during ward visits, support emergency procedures by dialling in additional expertise when required and enhance surgery by using visualisation of 3D models.

Phuoc Duong, paediatric cardiology consultant at Alder Hey, added: “HoloLens isn’t only helping us adapt to Covid-19, but to better prepare for other challenges the NHS faces.

“For instance, we can now minimise the impact of potential outbreaks such as MRSA. We can not only minimise the number of people who need to physically meet patients, but also allow clinicians to operate more effectively as a group.”

Moving forward Alder Hey will have the ability to develop new use cases to advance what’s possible with the technology, grow its capabilities to support clinicians in hospitals across the UK and worldwide, and develop applications that support medical training and other related areas such as community based care.

Wes Platel, UK digital innovation lead at Insight, said: ““Helping organisations such as Alder Hey quickly and effectively take advantage of HoloLens 2 to make a real difference in their delivery of patient care has been hugely rewarding.

“We are excited to keep working with Alder Hey to see how this technology can continue to push the boundaries of healthcare, by exploring new use cases and integrations with other systems, in order to get new value.”