Health-tech company to bring new AI-powered tools to Irish hospitals

11 Nov 2021

Image: © tonefotografia/

As Clanwilliam Group invests in AI-powered dictation and speech recognition tech, a national conversation has been exploring AI in Ireland.

Health-tech company Clanwilliam Group is to introduce new AI-powered technology to primary and secondary healthcare settings in Ireland.

The tech will be made by UK-based company Dictate IT, which was acquired by Clanwilliam Group in 2018. Since that deal, the Irish group has invested approximately €200m in similar acquisitions.

Future Human

Clanwilliam Group expanded its e-script and video consultation services earlier this year and is now bringing AI-powered speech recognition and dictation to healthcare workers in Ireland. The Dictate IT technology is already used in UK hospitals.

“Through the experience of Dictate IT in the UK market, we intend to further develop the offering and expand into other regions, starting with Ireland,” Jennifer Hughes, Clanwilliam Group’s commercial director, said.

Clinicians can use the company’s software on PCs or via a mobile app, meaning it is suitable for use in a variety of healthcare environments, to dictate notes or letters. It will first be rolled out in Irish secondary healthcare environments, although the Clanwilliam Group aims to bring it to primary healthcare settings next year.

“The last 18 months have demonstrated the need to continue to innovate and develop the way in which we deliver primary and secondary healthcare,” Hughes added. “The speech recognition software that we’re announcing today helps to navigate the needs of remote working, all the while supporting clinical and administrative teams in a connected and instant way.”

Public views on AI

Clanwilliam Group’s announcement came as Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation Robert Troy, TD, opened a national conversation on AI today (11 November). It was part of the Citizens’ Think-In initiative at the Adapt Centre and tied in with Science Foundation Ireland’s Science Week and Creating Our Future initiatives.

Laura Grehan of Adapt, the research centre for digital content based at Trinity College Dublin, said the multi-venue, interactive virtual event provided “an informal forum through which Irish adults and AI researchers can discuss the potential opportunities, risks, challenges and benefits of emerging technology innovations to individuals and society”.

“This Science Week think-in has helped us understand better public views on AI and identify future priorities for our research. We look forward to hosting more AI think-ins in the coming months and providing more opportunities for the public to contribute to this national conversation on AI,” she added.

Earlier this year, the Government launched its national AI strategy, focused mainly on ethics in AI and human-centred AI innovation and research.

Researchers at Adapt are working on new human-centric AI techniques and technologies including personalisation, natural language processing, data analytics, intelligent machine translation and human-computer interaction, as well as setting standards for data governance, privacy and ethics for digital content.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic