Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust will be utilising innovative healthcare delivery with the use of Insight’s Fast Start service and Microsoft’s mixed reality solutions.
HoloLens 2 and Dynamics 365 Remote Assist will be used for a number of innovative, acute healthcare use cases. The technology will give Alder Hey the ability to grow its capabilities to support clinicians in hospitals across the UK and worldwide, and to develop applications that support medical training and other related areas such as community-based care.
The Heart Centre at Alder Hey currently uses HoloLens 2 to support clinicians in acute care scenarios whilst remaining heads-up and hands-free to concentrate on their tasks – allowing 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 to aid clinicians when performing heart procedures.
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 – helping the NHS treat patients and share expertise more efficiently to improve patient care.”
Innovating for the future
Alder Hey and other NHS trusts have used Insight’s Fast Start service to ensure that healthcare specialists can begin using HoloLens 2 and Remote Assist technology as soon as possible. Insight provides remote support, including troubleshooting and practical advice, to help clinicians enable and realise the use cases they need and put their technology to immediate use.
Phuoc Duong, Paediatric Cardiology Consultant at Alder Hey, said: “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. For example, our consultants have been able to share expertise from anywhere during important surgeries; whether operating on a baby’s heart the size of a strawberry, or accurately placing stents in patients’ blood vessels.”
“Similar to other hospitals worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic meant we had to carefully consider how we can deliver care while minimising risks to patients and staff,” continued Guerrero.
“The support we have had from Microsoft and Insight in both supplying the technology and ensuring we can put it into operation and trial new use cases as soon as possible has been invaluable. We are looking forward to working further with both, and sharing our experiences with other NHS Trusts, in order to develop the applications that will form the future of healthcare and help prepare for future pandemics.”