Colleagues at Shop Direct have raised £210,000 in just 12 months to support the development of a new digital app for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
In September 2015, the 4,700-strong team at Shop Direct voted for Alder Hey Children’s Charity as its charitable partner of the year for 2015/16. Since then, colleagues across the etail giant’s sites in Liverpool and Manchester have undertaken a variety of fundraising activities, from climbing mountains, singing, running, cycling, abseiling, playing ‘beat the goalie’ and completing their own version of The Biggest Loser, smashing their initial target of £200,000.
Members of Shop Direct’s e-commerce team have also been working with Alder Hey’s innovation team to develop the app – the first of its kind in the country – providing expert insight and advice on design, development and personalisation. The shared vision of the Alder Hey and Shop Direct teams is to revolutionise the patient experience by harnessing the power of consumer technology to help patients be better informed, calmer, more entertained and, as a result, healthier.
Ice Creates, a specialist Liverpool-based digital consultancy, has now begun work to develop the app, which will include a digital map enabling patients to explore and familiarise themselves with the hospital and their ward before they visit the hospital. Users will be able to find out everything they need to know before their visit, from where to park to what to pack and what their rooms will look like. The app will also feature games, providing entertainment and much-needed distraction for patients to reduce anxiety while they wait. A rewards scheme will also be used to encourage healthy lifestyle choices.
Ultimately, Alder Hey’s aim for the digital programme is to further develop the app and join all of this to a secure patient information system, which will hold key information about the patient, such as their likes, dislikes and specific needs. This will remove the need for families to repeatedly provide the same information at every visit and ensure that they receive a more personalised service. The app is expected to launch in 2017.
Iain Hennessey, consultant paediatric surgeon and clinical lead for innovation at Alder Hey, said: “Shop Direct has in common with Alder Hey a drive to innovate and do things differently, which has made them the perfect partner for us in developing our digital hospital vision. Together, we’ve been exploring how we can apply Shop Direct’s digital retail expertise to the hospital environment to create our own online ‘shop front’ for Alder Hey. We’ve also been overwhelmed by the engagement of the entire Shop Direct team in smashing their £200,000 target for our children’s charity, which will go such a long way to enable us to make the Digital Alder Hey app a reality.”
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