Ireland could be a European leader in digital health by 2026, according to the HSE’s director of digital transformation and information.
Adapt, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre for AI-driven digital content technology, is partnering with the Ireland’s health service to find ways of leveraging technology in the healthcare sector.
The new research partnership aims to accelerate the digital transformation strategy of the Health Service Executive (HSE), which is centred around the deployment of digital tools that improve patient care while lowering costs.
The HSE’s digital transformation team will work with data security and digital technology experts from the Adapt Centre, which is based at Trinity College Dublin.
Prof Martin Curley, HSE director of digital transformation and information, said that there is “a perfect storm of disruptive technologies that present real opportunities” to accelerate the HSE’s progress in digital healthcare.
“As an information-intensive industry, healthcare is primed to benefit from digital transformation. It will empower us to better serve the needs of the people we treat and allow us to meet them when, where and how it suits them. By bringing together the right experts and data at the right time, we can accelerate innovations and place Ireland as the European leader in digital health by 2026.”
‘Strategic partnerships which leverage academic research are key to ensuring that innovations in digital technology can address the ever-changing needs of our healthcare system’
– PROF LINDA DOYLE
The collaboration announcement was made in the Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore at the new National Digital Health Innovation Lab. The venture will use the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, and particularly the Tullamore hospital, as a ‘distributed digital health living lab’, where new digital tools can be trialled by researchers in real-world clinical settings.
According to Trevor O’Callaghan, CEO of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, “Investment in new technology that will benefit patient care and experience is fundamental to our strategic priorities.”
He added that he hoped “increased efficiencies” thanks to technological tools would mean staff can focus on patient care and improving patient outcomes. “We are also very keen for new health technologies to support community integration and the delivery of a truly connected, seamless health service for our patients,” he said.
The partnership will help progress digital health projects already under development by the HSE, including data-driven precision medicine and AI-driven platforms that can discern patterns to aid in clinical diagnosis.
Researchers from the Adapt Centre are currently working on healthcare innovations such as personalised medicine that can minimise the impact of stroke on individuals and society, as well as the development of intelligent companions to assist in healthcare.
Part of the HSE’s digital innovation strategy looks for digital interventions that can help people stay well and continue to live independently in their homes. It also looks to shift patients who end up in an acute setting to a community or home care setting as quickly as possible.
Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Linda Doyle, commented that “strategic partnerships which leverage academic research are key to ensuring that innovations in digital technology can address the ever-changing needs of our healthcare system”.
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