Skip to content
Close menu


Little Journey


Supporting children through healthcare procedures and clinical trials using an interactive and engaging digital preparation and support tool.

Name and role of Project Lead

Dr Chris Evans
Co-Founder & CEO, Little Journey

About Little Journey

Approximately 500,000 children undergo elective ambulatory surgery per year through the NHS. 75% of children and parents are significantly anxious before the child’s healthcare procedure with neurodiverse children twice as likely to develop anxiety compared to neurotypical children. Anxiety and uncertainty are linked to worse patient experience and health outcomes, most notably, two weeks after an elective procedure, 50% of children develop symptoms of situational trauma ranging from bedwetting and nightmares to separation anxiety.

The Little Journey platform is designed to psychologically prepare and support families throughout their healthcare journeys by providing a range of engaging, interactive, and age-tailored features. These include virtual tours, therapeutic games, relaxation guides, and information articles that can be accessed from the comfort of their own homes. Co-creation with children ensures a truly patient-focused user experience, and provision of an inclusive and accessible solution. The platform is rapidly scalable to new procedures and languages and configurable to local hospital patient pathways through a web portal. Little Journey is delivering significant health economic benefits to the NHS by advancing population health, enhancing operational efficiency, and improving patient experience.


  • Health economic analysis at five NHS hospitals showed a 3.5-fold cost-benefit for hospitals and a 6-fold cost-benefit for society, for every £1 invested in Little Journey. This is through operational benefits including: A 22% reduction in premedication rates; 30% reduction in time spent in high acuity areas; and 42% reduction in on-the-day cancellations
  • Partnership with LEGO Foundation to support neurodiverse children coming to hospital
  • Implemented in 20% of NHS acute Trusts
  • Localised to 16 languages and working globally in 13 countries
  • Supporting children through multiple procedures including ambulatory surgery, blood tests, MRI & CT scans, and endoscopy
  • A 32% reduction in pre-operative anxiety in neurodiverse children, an increase in process understanding from 15% to 93%, and a 97% satisfaction with information score
  • Named recommendation in Best Practice Guidelines for children coming for surgery
  • £2.5m raise led by Octopus Ventures
  • Featured in the UK's Digital Health Playbook 2023

“We used the Little Journey app to help a 9-year-old girl recently who was very anxious and is autistic. Her previous procedures have been a real challenge due to this. After the patient downloaded and used the app, it was a much less stressful situation, simply due to the immersive distraction she experienced from playing with the app.”

Dr Alyson Walker, Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist

Patient quote

"We think the app is a really good idea. We hadn’t really discussed the operation with Freddie yet as we weren’t quite sure what to say or how best to go about it, so the app really helps with that…"

Parents of Freddie, Aged 5

Patient quote

"The effect of using the Little Journey app was transformational with Alexander excited instead of scared for his ‘big adventure’."

Father of Alexander, Aged 7

Date published

February 2024


Subscribe to the SBRI Healthcare newsletter and receive the latest competition information & latest news updates.