Irish researchers developing tech to improve healthcare for older patients

19 Sep 2022

Image: © Rido/

Researchers from DCU and UCD are helping design and develop a healthcare management system for millions of older patients.

Irish researchers are playing a vital role in a €5.9m European project to develop a healthcare management system to improve quality of life for older patients.

Researchers based at Dublin City University (DCU) and University College Dublin (UCD) will co-design, test and prepare to deploy a patient-centred and holistic health management system. It is part of a project called Geronte, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

A team from Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for software, will take part in the five-year project to improve older patients’ quality of life on three levels: global health status, physical functioning and social functioning.

Older adults with cancer and other diseases will be a particular focus of the project, which also aims to reduce the cost of healthcare for this age group.

“An ageing population has resulted in growing numbers of complex multimorbid chronic patients who require medical support,” said Prof Regina Connolly of DCU, which along with UCD is one of 10 EU institutions taking part in the project.

“Therefore, modern medicine requires a novel, patient-centred attitude for more effective treatment options, lower costs and better decision-making.”

The five-year Geronte programme runs from April 2021 to March 2026.

It proposes the coordination of management by a health professional consortium (HPC), timely registration of symptoms and patient-reported outcomes through a web-based app, and collection of health data made available to the HPC and patients through a dashboard.

“The goal is for specific recommendations to implement the proposed patient-centred intervention, which will be rolled out in Ireland on the completion of the programme,” explained Connolly.

Prof Anthony Staines of DCU added that Geronte will provide invaluable information on how to provide patient-centred integrated care.

“We need to learn how to bring in and change care pathways, and how to use technology to support these pathways of care for patients with complex needs,” he said.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic