UCD partners with US university to boost healthcare research

24 Jan 2023

Northeastern University provost Prof David Madigan and UCD VP for research, innovation and impact Prof Orla Feely. Image: UCD/Vincent Hoban

The two universities will tackle global healthcare challenges, with research planned in rehabilitation tech, maternal health and cardiac patient support tools.

University College Dublin (UCD) has entered a formal partnership with Northeastern University to strengthen their research and learning collaborations.

The shared focus of the two universities will be research designed to tackle global healthcare challenges, along with teaching and learning programmes to boost transatlantic cooperation.

The partnership includes several research strands such as rehabilitation technologies, maternal health and clinical support tools for cardiac patients.

Both universities have experience in researching new technology for healthcare. UCD and Dublin City University researchers are involved in a €5.9m European project to develop a healthcare management system to improve quality of life for older patients.

UCD also promotes the application of data science and digital technologies in health through programmes such as the AI Healthcare Hub.

Northeastern University, meanwhile, said it has experts in developing health informatics and the deployment of AI and machine learning in health. The university’s provost, Prof David Madigan, said the two universities already have a “long-standing and highly successful partnership” focused on student learning.

“We are extremely excited to extend the partnership to include an array of high-impact joint research projects,” Madigan said. “Our research strengths align beautifully and I have no doubt we will solve many important problems together in the coming years.”

UCD’s VP for research, innovation and impact, Prof Orla Feely, said the new agreement sets out a “shared ambition” to address key challenges through complementary research strengths, along with shared infrastructure and talent.

“UCD looks forward to mobilising and maximising our partnership with Northeastern University to jointly develop new solutions for Irish and European healthcare through impactful and excellent research, combined with novel joint initiatives around teaching and training,” Feely said.

Prof Patricia Maguire, director of the UCD Institute for Discovery and lead researcher of the AI Premie project, said the agreement will increase the “impact and scale of our research” in maternal health and clinical decision support tech.

“Collaboration between world leading researchers at Northeastern, and our clinical partners, through the UCD AI Healthcare Hub will open up new research avenues and ambition, providing new technologies for Irish and European patients,” Maguire said.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic