Ask Oli & Alder Play App

Ask Oli & Alder Play App

"Hello, my name is Oli. I'm Alder Hey's Virtual Assistant

Can I help answer some of your questions about a visit to Alder Hey?"

Click to ask questions

What is a Virtual Assistant?

A Virtual Assistant, or a Chatbot, is a very clever computer which is being trained to answer your questions.

The more questions you ask about a visit to Alder Hey, the more it will help us train and build its knowledge to make it even smarter.

Alder Hey’s Virtual Assistant has been developed by our Innovation Team

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Our state of the art app puts children first as we lead the way in patient care

Alder Play is a fun new app, developed in Alder Hey that incorporates some of the latest digital and cognitive advances to create a playful, magical and informative  experience for the user

Alder Play will become a core way of how Alder Hey communicates with children and families and is now free to download  from both the Apple and Google stores.

Alder Play is free to download and is available NOW from Apple and Google stores

The core aims of Alder Play are to familiarise children and families with the hospital, distract them during procedures or downtime and to reward for positive health behaviours.


The design of Alder Play has been created to introduce Alder Hey to children. In addition to familiar colours and textures,  there are 360 degree tours of some of the main hospital areas and videos to learn what a  blood test and x- ray are really like. Children can select a character from within the app to show them around the hospital.  For parents there is a chat bot to ask questions about Alder Hey


Alder Play enables staff, for the first time, to award digital stickers to children visiting  Alder Hey . Once awarded the augmented reality stickers “come alive” and can be stored within the app for the children to look at again.  There are also stickers that share Oli’s journey to Alder Hey and allow special content to be viewed. Award stickers are available for junior clinical experts.


Alder Play has Alder Hey specific content to keep children distracted and entertained. This includes Hardlees mini – games and cartoons . The stickers use augmented reality and once collected can be played with again.


The story of how Alder Play came to be

 The  idea for Alder Play originated with  one of our consultants and his daughter and the app has been created in Alder Hey by the Innovation Team working with a leading digital company, ustwo. Funding was provided  by Alder Hey Children’s Charity (with significant sponsorship granted by Shop Direct and Liverpool John Lennon Airport) and the Trust GDE programme. The development of Alder Play has  only been made possible through a  collaboration of expertise from the health, retail, travel and technology sectors.

360 images and child friendly videos​

The Explore Alder Hey section of the app contains six, 360 degree images of the hospital, these are ; the front entrance,  the atrium, a ward, bedroom, waiting area and play area. This feature can be accessed and viewed from anywhere, enabling families to become familiar with the hospital before they arrive. They choose a character when they first log who accompanies them around the hospital. Also in the child’s part of the app is a “learn” section that is home to 2 videos recorded by children to show what having a blood test and an x-ray is like. In addition there is a section that encourages children to explore and enables them to self- award stickers and rewards.

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Alder Play has lots of playful features including clouds that “pop” and a musical keyboard. In addition there are 8  Hardlees jigsaw puzzles with 3 levels of challenge and a pairing game also with 3 options.


For the first time children can now receive a digital sticker that they can save in their sticker bank.  Some of the stickers are character based and when played with again come alive using augmented reality. Other stickers are experience based or awarded after the child has explored or learnt something new.

Grown-up zone

The grown–up section of Alder Play contains a map of the hospital, a reminder of the terms and conditions and privacy policy and the “Ask Olli “chat bot. Alder Hey has been working with the Hartree Centre (part of the UK’s Science and Technology Facilities Council and supported by IBM), using Watson technology to create a chatbot that will  enable questions to be answered in real time.

The Alder Play app is available for iPhone and Android via your app store.

Download Now

Alder Play Sponsors

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Alder Play Content Contributors

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Alder Hey Children's Charity
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