Bringing doctors and patients closer together through innovative digital solutions
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
Dr. Swanson founded Digital Health at Seattle Children’s in 2013, leading a team in innovation by testing and creating new digital tools to leverage the wisdom of patients, families and providers.
- Virtual Handshake™ provides patient families information about the doctors and care team they’ll meet during visits, as well as education and tips to help before, during and after their appointment or hospital stay.
- Her team creates digital peer-to-peer education blended with physician, pharmacist and surgeon education in the kidney and liver transplant spaces.
- She is currently leading the build of two apps in partnership with pediatric researchers and clinicians. PRISM helps patients find and utilize the internal resources of managing stress, mindfulness and resiliency. The curriculum was developed at Seattle Children’s and the hope is that the app will not only replicate the core interactions of the current paper tool, but enable us to deliver a self-guided experience to a broad set of patients at any time. P.O.P. Care (post-operative care) is an app that provides tonsillectomy patients a mobile tool to track and record pain medication, give reminders, and education regarding what to expect post-surgery. Ultimately, through pain management education and tracking, we want to keep our patients safe from overuse of opioids and measure the typical post-operative pain patterns while quantifying how much pain medication is needed.
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
- Collaborative research opportunity
- Development opportunity
- Consultation agreement
- Boyd RW, Swanson WS. The Evolution of Virtual Violence: How Mobile Screens Provide Windows to Real Violence. Pediatrics. 2016; 138 (2).
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