Lero announces expansion as new member IT Tralee signs research deal

20 Oct 2017

From left: Dr Joseph Walsh, Lero principal investigator at IT Tralee, and TJ O’Connor, hospital manager, Bon Secours Hospital Tralee. Image: Dominick Walsh

Lero is today welcoming IT Tralee as its latest member ahead of an exciting new research initiative.

Lero has announced that its newest member IT Tralee has secured a €400,000 research programme, as part of the third-level institute’s collaboration with Bon Secours Hospital Tralee.

The new programme is one of several initiatives planned for the collaboration to develop new activities in research, teaching and education. Dr Oliver Murphy, president of IT Tralee, said at the signing ceremony, “we look forward to the impacts this collaboration will have not just on our respective organisations, but on the region in general”.

Creating a better experience for hospital patients

The Lero projects running as part of the research programme are aiming to optimise patient care standards at the Tralee hospital by ensuring resources are used in an efficient way.

The three-year research initiative will examine current procedures for theatre scheduling and bed management in the hospital, piloting the application of intelligent systems to clear patient pathways.

Dr Joseph Walsh is the co-principle Lero investigator at IT Tralee along with Prof Ita Richardson. Walsh said that efficient resource management is a “critical issue right across the Irish health sector”. He added that, “Clever use of technology such as the implementation of systems of this type can result in the efficient use of beds across the health system without major capital spending. Bon Secours aims to use the benefits of this research across its other four hospitals in Ireland.”

TJ O’Connor, hospital manager at Bon Secours Tralee, stressed the importance of patient satisfaction and said that the programme will benefit patients and healthcare professionals alike, by removing unnecessary steps and freeing up time in the schedules of hospital staff.

Lero using intelligent systems in healthcare

Richardson added that the programme would hopefully “help achieve earlier patient admission and ensure multi-disciplinary access to information on bed and surgical resource availability as well as discharge status of a patient”.

IT Tralee is the ninth third-level institution to join Lero, the Irish Software Research Centre, which is funded by Science Foundation Ireland as well as contracts from Irish and international companies alike.

IT Tralee joins Lero software research experts from Dublin City University, Dundalk Institute of Technology, NUI Galway, Maynooth University, Trinity College Dublin, University College Cork, University College Dublin and University of Limerick.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects