May 17, 2020

Microsoft partners with Great Ormond Street Hospital, London

Digital health
Catherine Sturman
3 min
Microsoft (Getty Images)
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust (GOSH) remains the UK’s leading centre for paediatric care and research outside of the US.


Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust (GOSH) remains the UK’s leading centre for paediatric care and research outside of the US.

It’s recent partnership with technology giant, Microsoft, will see the companies focus on the development of machine learning tools, supporting decision making. Additionally, the duo will implement medical chatbots to support the delivery of exceptional, personalised paediatric care, guaranteeing a positive patient experience.

Presently, the hospital’s academic partner, University College London, has also partnered with Microsoft in its bid to develop an Industry Exchange Network. This has enabled computer science students to use the latest Microsoft technologies to respond to healthcare briefs from GOSH.

Proof of concept outputs will then be available for GOSH to scale and test with the aim of building solutions for the rest of the NHS and beyond. To research and evaluate these projects and a range of other new technologies, GOSH is creating a dedicated Digital Research, Informatics and Virtual Environments unit (DRIVE). 

Announced at Microsoft’s ‘Leading transformation with AI’ event in London, GOSH Chief Executive, Dr Peter Steer, explained: “As one of the world’s leading children’s research hospitals, we want to harness new technology, including AI, to deliver even better care and an enhanced patient experience.

“As data analytics becomes increasingly important in healthcare delivery, we want to ensure we have the right tools to provide the care that is more personalised and more effective. This is particularly important as the patients we treat have some of the most complex and rare diseases.”

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This powerful partnership between GOSH and Microsoft is a potential game-changer for healthcare,” added Professor Neil Sebire, Chief Research Information Officer at GOSH.

“It brings together academic and clinical 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."

Cindy Rose, CEO, Microsoft UK said: “This AI-driven healthcare revolution will present the NHS with countless opportunities and we are thrilled to be working with some of Great Ormond Street Hospital’s brightest minds to explore how our extensive range of AI technologies can greatly enhance the patient experience and improve the outcome of clinical procedures for children visiting the hospital.” 

A number of projects have already been undertaken through the Industry Exchange Network and will now be tested by the GOSH team. These include the use of microphones, cameras and AI transcription to capture and analyse environmental data during complex procedures to determine best practice and aid learning.

In the realm of patient experience, the creation of a 'Heartstone' is also being explored. This heart-shaped device aims to keep patients, many who stay at the hospital for long periods of time, in touch with their families and loved ones by glowing when receiving messages from loved ones and then playing them out loud when touched by the patient.

GOSH is also leveraging off the partnership with Microsoft to introduce other initiatives to enhance patient experience. These include the development of the hospital in Minecraft, which allows children to familiarise and immerse themselves in the hospital, including meeting patients and staff, prior to admission. Microsoft and GOSH have also worked with Magic Light Pictures to bring The Gruffalo augmented reality app to the NHS. The hospital intends to pilot the introduction of interactive Gruffalo characters, which are brought to life by a patient’s mobile phones, providing entertainment and distraction whilst spending time at the hospital.


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Jul 27, 2021

 NHS care homes are better than private, report finds

2 min
 NHS care homes are better than private, report finds
NHS residential care homes provide better quality care than the private sector, a new report by Kepler Vision Technologies has found

A new survey has found that 60% of people with parents in NHS care homes believe the quality of care has improved, compared to just 49% of respondents with parents in private care facilities. 

The survey was conducted by Kepler Vision Technologies, an AI-driven company formed at the University of Amsterdam. It was carried out among UK adults with parents over the age of 75. 

Respondents cited more capable care staff and better monitoring systems as being the main reasons for improvement. 

However those who do not have parents in assisted living facilities had a different viewpoint - in this case only 35% of respondents believe that NHS facilities are improving, compared to 32% who believe it is only improving in the private sector. 

Only 18% of people whose parents live with them or independently believe care home staff are able to look after residents to a good standard.

Kepler Vision say this difference in opinion is due to perceived budget cuts and financial pressures, with 67% of people commenting that a lack of funding has had a negative effect on care in both NHS and private care facilities. 

Other key findings of the survey include: 
 * Out of those who say quality has declined in care homes, 69% say the NHS is dealing with budget cuts and increased financial pressure, while 65% also said that the private system is dealing with these pressures too
 * 55% said that they or their parent have money saved specifically to pay for their future care
 * 35% said the idea of their parent in a care home makes them feel frightened, although 32% say it makes them feel secure
 * 52% are worried about their parent catching COVID
 * 47%  are worried about their parent being lonely
 * 46% are concerned they could fall over alone

The announcement of this research follows the UK government's decision to delay presenting its social care budget till the autumn

Commenting on the research, Dr Harro Stokman, CEO of Kepler Vision Technologies said: “While it is good to see that people recognise the importance of staff and face-to-face interaction in elderly care, the huge gap in opinion between those with parents in care and those without shows that there are unfair negative perceptions around the residential care space. 

"More can and should be done by care homes to give people the confidence that their relatives will receive the very best care - by highlighting the excellent work of staff and how well they are able to monitor resident’s needs with easy-to-use technology.”

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