SFI’s Adapt Centre partners with HSE to deliver tech tools for healthcare

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Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) Adapt Centre for AI-driven research and disruptive technologies has partnered with the HSE to find ways of leveraging technology for healthcare.

The new research partnership aims to accelerate the HSE’s digital transformation strategy, which is centred around the deployment of digital tools that improve patients’ quality of life while lowering costs.

The collaboration will see the HSE’s digital transformation team 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 was “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,” Curley concluded.

The announcement was made at the HSE’s Digital Academy forum 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 the 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.

Tullamore will become a focus for 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 sick people in their homes.

The focus on home care for patients is part of the HSE’s digital innovation strategy of ‘stay left shift left.’ This 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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