The new online toolkit is designed to support healthcare innovators through tools and publications, qualifications and workshops.
Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) has announced the launch of the HIHI Knowledge Network, a new online toolkit for entrepreneurs and innovators in the healthcare space.
The Knowledge Network provides a portfolio of material developed by HIHI, including digital programmes, resources, workshops and a formal education programme to encourage and support innovation in the healthcare sector.
It is described as having four ‘pillars’. The first is innovation tools, which provides a series of factsheets giving advice on subjects such as design standards, regulations and intellectual property. The second pillar, innovation accelerators, is a series of programmes and workshops to equip people with new skills to help them succeed in the sector.
The third pillar is innovation publications, which includes a collection of peer-reviewed studies and pieces of research from HIHI on what it describes as “pertinent health innovation subjects”. Finally, there’s the innovation qualification; a one-year postgraduate diploma in healthcare innovation offered by Trinity College Dublin (TCD).
Now in its third year, the diploma course is, according to HIHI, “the only innovation course in the country that is clinician designed and actively recruits from both the frontline and health industry”.
“In HIHI, we believe that Ireland can lead the way in providing innovative ideas and solutions that will directly benefit the Irish healthcare system and across the world,” said HIHI’s national director, Dr Tanya Mulcahy.
“The HIHI Knowledge Network is [an] online resource providing access to product development tools, training programmes, workshops and expertise in a single location, building on the in-house expertise of HIHI and leveraging the innovation ecosystem in Ireland.
“It fortifies the work that we already do with health innovators on product and idea development from clinical connections, focus groups, usability, end user assessments, right through to bespoke validation and pilot studies.”
Founded in 2016, HIHI is joint venture of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and the Department of Health, supported by Enterprise Ireland and the Health Service Executive to drive collaboration between the health service and enterprise. It is headquartered at University College Cork (UCC) and has bases in Dublin, Cork and Galway.
The organisation’s manager at TCD, Eimear Galvin, said the HIHI Knowledge Network was designed with its two core users in mind – the health sector and enterprise of health.
“The four pillars represent the primary areas of support,” she added. “The programmes and content offered within these pillars will grow, adapt and update according to HIHI user needs.”
Last year, the Hub partnered with Limerick’s YellowSchedule to pilot a scheduling system to allow visitors to return to a Cork hospital during the pandemic. Recently, researchers at TCD, UCC and Health Innovation Hub Ireland also developed a SaaS app designed to keep nursing home residents socially engaged.