Milton Keynes University Hospital pilots digital twin tech

Earlier this year, Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) partnered with digital pioneer Haltian in order to pilot their Empathic Building Smart Hospital solution, an innovative platform using data-driven insights to improve productivity and efficiency.

The hospital is currently running a pilot within their Cancer Centre, which sees the Empathic Building solution acting as a digital twin to the inpatient ward.

A digital twin is using data collected from Internet of Things sensors that allow staff to find essential medical equipment and colleagues as needed, and gain insights into the built environment such as temperature and air quality. Real-time and historic data are brought together to create a virtual ward, with the insights displayed in an intuitive staff portal.

The data obtained over the last three months has enabled the production of a digital map of how care is delivered within the building, which will be used to investigate potential improvements.

The key themes identified by the clinical team so far include improving staff experience by supporting colleagues to locate equipment and each other faster; enhancing patient safety through the platform’s ability to alert staff to warning signs around patients and buildings; and developing future ward design through providing data on human behaviour, clinical needs and building use.

“Already in such a short period of time, we have been able to visually interrogate the activity within our Cancer Centre,” said Claire Orchard, Head of Digital Innovation at MKUH. “It’s been wonderful to see our clinical teams empowered by this data and use the virtual ward to effectively make changes and come up with new ideas that enhance the care that our patients receive. As the pilot progresses, we’ll be working closely with Haitian and our staff to develop the platform further as we look to expand this solution into other parts of the hospital.”

In May 2022, HTN reported on the trust’s new digital strategy, in which outlines their approach to utilising and embracing technology over the next four years.