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05 Jul 2022

Portlaoise hospital to benefit from 'health innovation' hub in Tullamore says HSE

Plans unveiled for new 'digital health innovation lab' at Tullamore Hospital

Plans unveiled for new 'digital health innovation lab' at Tullamore Hospital

Portlaoise hospital staff and patients are already benefit from a new health innovation lab based at Tullmore hospital, according to the HSE.

HSE Digital Transformation and Innovation and the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group have announced plans to open a new National Digital Health Innovation Lab in a facility beside the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore.

The HSE says it will be a focal point for 25 Digital Living labs in Ireland the HSE Change and Innovation unit set up to drive innovation across the health service.

The HSE said the new Tullamore Lab will be used for co-designing and iterating new digital solutions to improve care outcomes, reduce cost, improve patient/clinician experience and improve quality of life.  

The Dublin Midlands Hospital Group includes hospitals Tullamore, Portlaoise, Naas and St James's, Tallaght, St Luke's and The Coombe in Dublin. The HSE says all the hospitals will work closely with the HSE Digital Transformation Programme to provide better and faster benefits to patients and clinicians.

The HSE points to the care and support provided for heart failure patients at Portlaoise hospital by the Heart Optimisation Team as an example of the innovation that can stem from the new lab. 

Paul Reid, HSE CEO commenting on these announcements said:  “To become a Digital Health Leader we need to partner with the best and the brightest and I warmly welcome today’s announcement across three important pillars in digital healthcare - industry, academia and frontline health services with the plans to open a National Digital Health Innovation Lab at the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, the strategic collaboration between HSE and Enterprise Ireland on accelerating progress with Ireland’s Digital Health SME’s and the signing of the MOU with Trinity Adapt to create a leading edge digital health research partnership. It is only with these partnerships that we can really advance the potential for digital solutions that improve how we deliver health services.”

Speaking at the event Prof Martin Curley, Director of Digital Transformation and Innovation at the HSE said: "Today is an important step forward with the announcement of plans to create a national digital health innovation lab at the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, the strengthening of strategic collaboration between HSE and Enterprise Ireland and the alignment with TCD Adapt on a new digital health research capability.

"We already have achieved significant benefits in the area of remote monitoring and vital signs automation by working with Irish SME’s such as PatientMPower, PMD Solutions and Syncrophi. We are witnessing a new era in digital health technology and collectively we can shape a new better health future. Working with the ecosystem the ambitions and talents of the people in Tullamore Hospital and other Hospitals  will truly drive significant and positive change.”

Enterprise Ireland is collaborating with the HSE to accelerate the development and deployment of Irish digital health and lifesciences companies.

Leo Clancy, CEO of Enterprise Ireland spoke about the importance of the collaboration between the HSE and Enterprise Ireland client companies, to incubate and accelerate new Irish digital health solutions into the Irish health system.

“There is a common purpose and alignment between the HSE and Enterprise Ireland to leverage Irish companies’ digital capabilities to transform the health service. The collaboration between the HSE’s Digital Transformation Unit and our High Potential Start-Up division has led to multiple success stories to date. The new National Digital Health Innovation Lab announced today will help to further this collaboration and provide more opportunities for Irish digital health companies to access the Irish health service and bring new innovations to market.”

As part of the Q4 DAF, the HSE Digital Transformation, Dublin Midlands Hospital Group and the Trinity Adapt centre signed an MOU to create a Digital Health research partnership which will create a leading-edge digital health research capability.

Prof Vinny Wade, CEO of Trinity Adapt speaking about the partnership commented: “Healthcare is one of the fields that will be most significantly transformed by technology over the next decade.  By combining our expertise in human-centric AI with the breadth of the HSE’s clinical knowledge we have an extraordinary opportunity to develop intelligent systems that will significantly improve lives.  We are proud to partner with the HSE at this critical point in time and we look forward to pioneering innovations that are transparent, ethical, and above all, ensure patient privacy.”

Yvonne Goff, National Director of Change and Innovation said: "Digital Health is a key vector of the HSE Innovation Strategy we are currently developing and I am very pleased to see this progress. Innovation will be fundamental to transforming our health service."

Mr Trevor O’Callaghan, CEO Dublin Midlands Hospital Group said: “We are very pleased to partner with the HSE Digital Transformation to support and encourage new digital health innovation and to be working with our academic partners, Trinity College Dublin, Trinity Adapt and the Enterprise Ireland.

"Hospitals within our Group are truly embracing disruptive technologies and leading the way to design digital solutions that improve care, reduce cost and improve patient and staff experience. Investment in new technology that will benefit patient care and experience is fundamental to our strategic priorities. We recently supported the introduction of Synergy Electronic Health Record System in Tallaght University Hospital.

"This is a new phase of healthcare supported by advances in technology and driven by determination to deliver high quality patient care. Increased efficiencies mean our staff can focus on patient care and improving patient outcomes. We are also very keen for new technologies to support community integration and the delivery of a truly connected, seamless health service for our patients .”

Welcoming the HSE/Enterprise Ireland announcement Barry Lowry, Government CIO said: “The EU’s digital targets for 2030 include significant ambitions for Digital Government and eHealth. It is essential that our Government deploys our brightest talent in the industry, especially our SME and start-up sectors, and works closely with our academia and our people to ensure Ireland retains its place as one of the EU’s most progressive digital countries”.

Catriona McDonald, General Manager of the Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore said: “We are very excited to begin our journey as a National Digital Health Innovation Lab. This is a strong endorsement of Tullamore Hospital and a key recognition of our people who are driving improvements in patient care every day and embracing digital health solutions such as the recently piloted UV autonomous robot ‘Violet’ with Akara robotics.

"This has delivered outstanding results in the initial living lab proof of concept and we were very pleased to have been able to facilitate it at the Hospital, particularly at a time when staff were responding to the Covid-19 crisis. We will now engage with staff throughout the hospital to identify opportunities to enhance how we deliver our services and ultimately continue delivering high quality patient care."

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