Bringing doctors and patients closer together through innovative digital solutions

Technology Overview

As the Executive Director of Digital Health at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson leverages the wisdom of clinicians, patients, and researchers to transform healthcare delivery in the digital age. She uses traditional and new media to translate, narrow, and broadcast information for parents and pediatricians. As the first pediatrician to blog exclusively for a leading children’s hospital, she works diligently to offer patients and parents relevant, practical, and timely health information in accessible online formats.

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson

Swanson is currently piloting two innovative healthcare technologies at Seattle Children’s in addition to using social and traditional media in healthcare. She led development of an MVP product, Virtual HandshakeTM, which launched in 2014 and gives patient families information about the doctors and care team they will meet during visits, as well as education and tips to help before, during, and after their appointment or hospital stay. The tool allows families to build a community around their child. Swanson’s team has also built a peer-to-peer and expert-to-family educational app, co-designed with patients and families, that leverages pharmacist and subspecialist expertise for solid organ transplant patients and their families. Using an existing platform, the curriculum supports families’ understanding of necessary medications and care after transplantation. Her team measures engagement, experience scores, and quality metrics.

Healthcare professionals across the board are looking to Swanson as a model for how to embrace and mold the future of healthcare delivery and hone engagement. More than ever, patients do their own research online and come to their physicians already equipped with information from outside the clinic or hospital walls. Healthcare systems and insurance companies recognize that patients expect frequent and accessible communication, and when done right, this communication can improve patient care, build trust and reduce redundancy. Swanson believes innovation must embody “dual-centricity”: novel solutions must be patient-centered but also clinician-centered to create long-lasting change. Striking a balance here is key for successful innovation. Instead of building technology and digital solutions on the outside, Swanson and her team have the unique opportunity to build in arm’s reach of patients, families, physicians, and researchers. They would welcome opportunities to work with industry partners in the digital healthcare space.

Stage of Development

  • Pre-commercial
  • Commercial

Partnering Opportunities

  • Collaborative research opportunity
  • Development opportunity
  • Consultation agreement


  1. Digital Health
  2. Virtual HandshakeTM
  3. Seattle Mama DocTM

Learn More

To learn more about partnering with Seattle Children’s Research Institute on this or other projects, please contact:

Dr. Elizabeth Aylward
Director, Office of Science-Industry Partnerships