Bringing doctors and patients closer together through innovative digital solutions

Technology Overview

Dr. Wendy Sue SwansonDr. Wendy Sue SwansonAs the Chief of Digital Innovation 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. 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 HandshakeTM 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 led 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 our 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, giving reminders and education as to 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.

Research predicts that by 2020, 50% of search will be conducted by voice. Dr. Swanson is creating and leading the voice technology strategy for Seattle Children’s Hospital. She created the Alexa skill: Flu Doctor in partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital to improve population health and provide flu vaccine education. She launched the first ever voice-enabled pilot inside the hospital in partnership with senior executive and clinicians. 

Healthcare professionals across the board are looking to Dr. 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. Dr. Swanson believes innovation must embody “duel-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, Dr. Swanson and her team have the unique opportunity to build in arm’s reach of patients, families, physicians and researchers. They welcome opportunities to work with industry partners in the digital healthcare space. They would welcome opportunities to work with industry partners in the digital healthcare space.

Stage of Development

  • Pre-commercial
  • Commercial

Partnering Opportunities

  • Collaborative development opportunity
  • Consultation agreement


  1. Boyd RW, Swanson WSThe Evolution of Virtual Violence: How Mobile Screens Provide Windows to Real ViolencePediatrics. 2016; 138 (2).
  2. C. Garnick. Seattle Children’s develops digital ways to help with patient carePuget Sound Business Journal, May 10, 2016.

Learn More

Digital Health

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 
Seattle Children’s Research Institute 
818 Stewart Street, Suite 603
Seattle, WA 98101