Hetty's Hospital

How do you prepare children when visiting hospital for the first time?

  • Client: NHS Innovations South East
  • Services:

    Software

    Game Development

    App for iOS & Android

    Brand Identity

    Copywriting

    Video

  • Funded by:

    NHS

    The Initiative Incubator

  • Awards:

    Patent Experience Network 2017

    Winner:

    “Communicating Effectively”

     

    Patent Experience Network 2017

    Runner-Up:

    "Innovative Use of Technology"

     

    BMA Patient Information Awards 2018

    Highly Commended:

    “Information for Children"

The NHS approached us to help make the prospect of going to hospital less daunting for children. They already had an excellent idea: A team of finalists from the 2023 challenge had imagined a smartphone and iPad story and game app with the specific intention of lowering anxiety in children.

Winner: PENNA 2018, Patient Communication
Highly Commended: BMA Patient Information Awards 2018, Information for Children
Runner-up: PENNA 2018, Innovative Technology

Hetty's Hospital case study

The Challenge

The idea of Hetty’s Hospital came from NHS paediatricians Dr Rebecca Duncombe and Dr Ria Evans when they realised there was a genuine need for something that could help reduce the anxiety of children going into hospital. Despite the best efforts of parents and dedicated staff, for many children, going into hospital is simply terrifying.
Problems
  • Children are scared of the unknown
  • High costs for the NHS to prepare children for hospital

Solutions

After extensive research they realised the most effective solution would be a storybook app that gamified the hospital experience; something that was educational and informative, but still fun and engaging. The app therefore mixes key informative messages with wacky, mess-galore games such as the sick-bucket and wee-in-the-pot game. As graphic as these games might seem to grown-ups, we soon realised this was the most effective way of captivating our target audience for hours on end.
Solutions
  • Children are less worried and more prepared for what is to come
  • Preparation for hospital can be done on their own with the help or their parents and Hetty

Process

The accessibility of the app was a key priority from the outset, and so Rebecca and Ria were determined to make it available for free on both iOS and Android. They came to us after receiving funding from the NHS 2023 Challenge, but we soon realised the budget was still a long way short from what it needed to be to create anything that would do the idea justice. Because we were so instantly inspired by the project and already felt such affinity with what the doctors were trying to achieve, we decided to sponsor the project ourselves with Global Initiative’s dedicated 100K Initiative Fund.

1

NHS staff researched what was causing anxieties amongst children in hospitals.
Process 1

2

Ria and Becky along with the team created and confirmed the characters, their journey and the scripts.
Process 2

3

Storyboards were drawn up and brought into life the creative narratives of the characters’ journey.
Process 3

4

Characters and scenes were illustrated and animated.
Process 4

5

Digital voices were used to simulate and test the audio before the actual recordings. Once approved, adults and children voiced our characters. Lip syncing was the next step.
Process 5

6

Games were designed and tested on children.
Process 6

Key features

It's vital with a tool like this to keep children as engaged as possible, which means reducing the time for chapters and getting otherwise more boring concepts across in interesting and interactive games.

1

Interact with the scenes with mini interactions.
Key feature 1

2

Play & Learn though in-app Games.
Key feature 2

3

Official certification from NHS staff.
Key feature 3

4

Relatable protagonist to lead you through the story.
Key feature 4
Characters

Hetty

She has been brought to hospital with bad tummy pains. She is always slightly covered in paint.
Hetty

Charlie

He fell off of his scooter and broke his leg. He wears his space ships pyjamas.
Charlie

Freddie

He has a bandage on his head from falling out of a tree. He loves rugby!
Freddie

Priya

She has to use an oxygen mask and nasal prongs. She is wearing her tiger onesie.
Priya

Leo

He suffers from diabetes and came for a check-up. He is a pale and slim boy who loves maths.
Leo

Cassia

She has cancer and came for her results. She has interests in the outdoors.
Cassia

Joey

They are visiting the dentist for a filling. They love sweets!
Joey

Nimesh

He has had an anaphylactic reaction to something, and came for an allergy test. He really loves dinosaurs.
Nimesh

Validation

It's been incredibly fun to work with the team at Global Initiative. They've really captured the essence of our vision for the characters and have brought fantastic creativity to Hetty's world.

Dr. Ria Evans, co-inventor of Hetty
Validation
Dash line

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