Alder Hey is one of Europe's largest children's hospitals, caring for 275,000 young people and their families every year. Following its centenary in 2014, the Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust began planning a move to what will become one of the UK’s most digitally advanced hospitals. The aim is to continue delivering world class children’s healthcare for years to come, and build a facility from the ground up with technology at its core.
In October 2015 the hospital moved to its new state-of-the-art facility – Alder Hey in the Park. The new site boasts 270 beds in total, including those for Intensive Care, High Dependency, and Burns patients, as well as 16 operating theatres, 13 of which are fitted with the latest Sony surgical monitor and room camera technology.
In the new Operating Theatres Alder Hey needed to create an environment that used the latest digital technologies to both aid clinicians in the Operating Room (OR) and enhance overall patient care, ensuring a holistic approach to healthcare and wellbeing.
In the OR’s, this meant a visual solution that would provide exceptional image quality for surgeons during all types of procedures, helping to ensure each operation’s safety and success. The hospital also needed a way to live-stream surgeries and record them for future educational opportunities.
Throughout the wards, the hospital wanted to continue its all-encompassing approach to the wellbeing of its patients, drawing on the latest technologies to relax and distract its patients.. This required entertainment solutions that would help to reduce anxiety in both parents and children alike.
Together, the new solutions needed to support patient care and further the hospital’s ambitious goal of becoming a world class healthcare campus.
The Sony solution
Supporting surgical teams during a wide range of procedures, thirteen of the hospital’s new OR’s are now equipped with a pair of Sony’s 27-inch LMD-2765MD surgical monitors on a boom arm. Designed with endoscopic surgery, ophthalmology, surgical microscopy, neurology and open surgery in mind, the monitors have been installed to provide surgeons with clear, full HD images while operating. Each OR also features a 43-inch professional BRAVIA display, as an additional visual aid to all those working in these integrated theatres.
In order to provide a complete overview of every operation, the OR’s also include a Sony SRG-300SE pan-tilt-zoom video camera mounted to the ceiling. Sony’s View-DR technology means that the cameras benefit from an expanded dynamic range, helping to ensure high quality images even in the harsh lighting of a surgical environment. Thanks to the camera’s Full HD imaging capabilities and 12x digital zoom, procedures can be reviewed afterwards, clearly and in close detail.
Any footage captured in OR’s - either by an SRG-300SE or endoscopic camera - can also be shown in other areas of the hospital via the hospital network, thanks to a third party system called Nucleus. The system allows the captured video to be showed on any required monitor or display within any OR – creating an opportunity for surgeons to consult their colleagues during complicated procedures in a seamless and timely manner. This solution also allows footage to be broadcast live to lecture rooms both inside and outside the hospital, or stored for future reference, to support educational training.
With the goal of reducing anxiety in pre-surgery patients and parents, the day surgery waiting room now features the first digital aquarium in any hospital in the world and the first installation anywhere outside of Japan. Using three 75” BRAVIA Professional Displays, and supported by innovative touch-screen technology from Sony PLC Inc, the aquarium allows children to colour their own fish, then watch it swim around the screen.
After surgery, every child in the hospital can also keep in touch with friends and family or surf the web on the Sony Xperia Tablet provided to each ward, or watch television in the TV in their own private room.
During surgical procedures, the exceptional contrast levels, accurate colour reproduction, and high resolution of the 27-inch BRAVIA displays provide surgeons with a detail-rich view of the surgical area, helping them to successfully perform a variety of intricate procedures.
In addition, the 43-inch BRAVIA displays then provide further visual aid, allowing the surgical team to closely track the operation’s progress.
The combination of SRG-300 cameras and the Nucleus system mean that clinicians anywhere in the world can either view procedures in real time or watch recordings at a later date, helping to cement the hospital’s position as a leading educational facility.
The digital aquarium draws on a combination of exceptional display technology and touch screen capability to provide a one-of-a-kind patient distraction solution in Europe. The result is an interactive experience that provides an entertaining distraction and helps to alleviate some of the stress that both children and parents experience prior to their procedures.
Similarly, the Xperia Tablets and BRAVIA TVs help children and their families to feel more at home and relax, a vital part of the healing process.
Why Sony Was Chosen
Sony’s rich heritage in innovative audio visual technologies and technology workflows for highly specific professional environments meant that it was uniquely placed to support the Trust’s plans and help them achieve their goals with the move. Taking into account Alder Hey’s dual aims of providing world-class treatment and pioneering in the field of training and research, Sony recognised that providing them with cutting edge technology is the first step in a process of transformation and future innovation for not only this hospital but the medical field as a whole.
In the future, Alder Hey, through its Innovation Hub – led by Iain Hennessey, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon and Clinical Lead for Innovation at Alder Hey – will continue to measure the impact projects like the Digital Aquarium have on patient distraction whilst exploring additional technologies with Sony, including 4K imaging in surgery, wearable devices, and advanced presentation solutions for education.
Iain Hennessey, Consultant Paediatric Surgeon and Clinical Lead for Innovation at Alder Hey, commented: “At Alder Hey we are open to exploring new ideas and technologies to improve the care of our patients. We have created an innovative hospital and it is fitting that within that we have made space for a research and innovation hub where our scientists and clinicians can freely collaborate with external experts and companies to incubate new ideas, develop and test them and then share the results. Our ongoing work with Sony is really stimulating for everyone involved, and our co-location within a busy hospital means that we can constantly gain input from our key customers; the children and young people.”
Ludger Philippsen, head of Sony Healthcare Solutions Europe, commented: “Alder Hey Children’s Hospital has long been a centre of excellence for paediatric healthcare, and the move to this facility marks the beginning of a new and even more innovative chapter in its story. Sony has a broad range of experience and technologies, and we were proud to provide imaging solutions that would both assist clinical work and help to lift the spirits of the hospital’s young patients and their families for years to come. The operating facility is now one of the most technologically advanced medical environments globally, and will stand apart as a trailblazer for next-generation paediatric care. We are looking forward to future collaboration opportunities as we continue to work with the hospital”
In the Operating Rooms:
• 26 x LMD-2765MD 27” surgical monitors
• 13 x SRG-300SE pan-tilt-zoom cameras
• 13 x FW-43X8370C 43” BRAVIA
Around the hospital:
• 20 x 65” 4K B2B Displays in their Atrium
• 20 x 32” Sony BRAVIA Consumer TVs around the hospital
• 300 x 43” Sony screens
• 3 x 75” BRAVIA Professional Displays for their digital aquarium