Health Minister Edwin Poots has addressed delegates at the ‘mPowered Industries’ strand of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today.
The Minister said; “Chronic diseases are one of the biggest challenges facing health systems today. The need to better manage people with these conditions outside of the hospital setting is widely recognised. Mobile technologies play a crucial role in educating and monitoring people within their home environments and offer many solutions to improve chronic disease prevention and management. Read more: DHSSPS press release
The Northern Ireland Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPSNI) in partnership with Technology Strategy Board, working with the Northern Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) and Invest Northern Ireland (InvestNI), is launching a Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition to stimulate the development of innovative technology solutions to optimise patient health and social care outcomes through improved medicines adherence.
The total funding available for the first phase of the competition is £550k (inc. VAT) and the maximum funding for any single contract in the first phase will be £75k (inc. VAT). Further funding may be available if Phase 1 identifies sufficiently robust and viable proposals for Phase 2.
Phase 1 opens on Monday, 3 March 2014 and the closing date for applications is 12:00 noon on Wednesday, 14 May 2014. The deadline for registration is 12:00 noon on Wednesday, 7 May 2014. A briefing event for businesses interested in finding out more about the competition will be held from 10:00am to 12:00 noon on Monday, 10 March 2014 in Belfast. Read more: SBRI
The Trinity College Dublin (TCD) School of Psychology has begun the search for participants in a trial to see whether anxiety and/or depression can be treated online. Read more: Silicon Republic
Stephen Lowry, 51, is now the owner of a revolutionary new bionic prosthetic hand, believed to be the first of its kind in use on the island of Ireland. The Bebionic hand is made by Leeds-based company RSL Steeper and was provided to him by Musgrave Park Hospital’s Regional Disablement Services.
The prosthesis comes with a flesh-coloured skin glove, and works on advanced sensor technology that picks up the electrical impulses generated from the biceps and triceps of the amputee. Read more: BBC News NI
The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust has installed two HP Performance Optimised Data Centres (PODs) at the Ulster Hospital, Belfast to improve its IT services. Delivered in partnership with BT, the ‘PODs’ are the first to be installed in Northern Ireland and will meet the Trusts computer needs for the next seven to ten years.
The HP POD is a cloud solution which provides a single virtual data centre environment for all the Trust’s operations. It will allow the Trust to implement a virtual desktop infrastructure which will enable clinicians to access patient information from any location, using any device. The Trust intends rolling out a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ and mobility strategy across the Trust over the coming months. Read more: Sync NI / DHSSPS Press Release
Ireland’s most important annual healthcare management summit brings together the range of stakeholders in the management and delivery of Ireland’s health service to discuss and debate the ever-changing healthcare environment. In 2014, they will have three separate tracks: Health Insurance, Hospital Management & Digital Healthcare. Read more: Telecare & Telehealth Aware
A public engagement process on a preliminary outline of the e-Health and Care Strategy for Northern Ireland is beginning. The eHealth and Care strategy was initiated by the DHSSPS to provide an overarching strategy covering all aspects of eHealth and Care, drawing together a number of strategic developments in eHealth. It will enable the delivery of the wider strategic framework for the HSC, including Transforming Your Care.
If you are interested in attending one of the public engagement meetings regarding development of the strategy, they are being held from 20th January 2014. Further details are available on the HSC Board website.
Or if you are a member of the Northern Ireland Connected Health Ecosystem you can register for the NICH Ecosystem engagement workshop on the strategy here.
This years Health Hack Belfast will focus on medication management; using technology to addressing obstacles that can prevent patients, carers and professionals from following directions, adhering to and complying with medicines best practice.
For those not already aware of Health Hack, it’s an event for healthcare professionals to get together with developers in an informal and non-commercial environment, to create innovative software that improves healthcare. Read more: Health Hack Belfast 2014
The European Commission is calling for new projects to be funded under the Horizon 2020 program, worth more than €15 billion over the first two years.
eHealth is well represented in this. Researchers and innovators in ICT for health and care are requested to apply either before 15 April 2014 or 21 April 2015. Call for Proposals: 11/12/2013 to 21/04/2015.
The Horizon 2020 funding includes 12 areas that will be a focus for action in 2014/2015, including topics such as personalised healthcare, digital security and smart cities.
Read more: Health Informatics Society of Ireland
This report entitled “E-government and older people in Ireland, North and South” finds that while the numbers of older people with access to and using the internet are increasing, the numbers remain low in comparison to other age groups.
The successful transition to e-government is dependent on citizens having access to the necessary infrastructure (computer and internet connection) and possessing the information and communication technology (ICT) skills to enable them to access public services online as and when they need them. The report focuses on the impact on older citizens of the move to deliver more and more public services online (e-government) on the island of Ireland. Read more: CARDI
Consultants and GPs in Ireland are to participate in three pilot care delivery projects based on a US telemedicine initiative called Project ECHO. It is estimated that replication of the project in Ireland could deliver an estimated €20 million in healthcare savings.
The way ECHO works is by providing primary care providers such as GPs with training in medical conditions that would otherwise be treatable only by specialists. This is done through a model of ‘guided practice’ and mentoring using video-conferencing technology.
Initially, the pilot will focus on rheumatology conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. It is understood that 20 GPs nationwide will be trained under the pilot. The aim is to reduce consultant waiting times and allow patients to be diverted from hospital services to be managed in the community. Heads up thanks to fellow TTA and TANN England Contributing Editor, Chrys Meewella for this!
Read more: Ireland becomes EU hub for new healthcare project (Irish Medical News) / US telehealth projects for Ireland (Irish Medical Times)
Note: I’ve referred to the ECHO project as ‘telemedicine’ rather than as ‘telehealth’ – which it is referred to as throughout the IMT article. For further information regarding the debate around telecare, telemedicine and telehealth, see TTA’s What is Telecare? section.
Patients’ records could be shared between Northern Ireland and New York as part of a proposal to improve healthcare and research. Health Minister, Edwin Poots was recently in the US for high-level talks about developing the collaboration with the New York Health Department.
The electronic files could be used to operate clinical trials of treatments on selected groups on both sides of the Atlantic. Northern Ireland has a well-integrated healthcare system, which makes it easier to carry out pilot tests, while New York has a much greater pool of potential patients.
Read more: The Belfast Telegraph
See also: DHSSPS Press Release -Robinson and McGuinness Encourage Innovation in Healthcare at Boston Conference
NUI Galway is actively recruiting participants aged 64 and over to test a wearable sensor and home wireless network to detect falls. The project is part of a €2.25 million EU Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) funded project called FATE - FAll deTector for the Elderly.
The system is made up of a portable fall detector, a bed sensor for night-time monitoring, a central computer (with or without Internet connection), and a mobile phone (which can communicate with the central computer and the fall sensor via Bluetooth). The system also uses an indoors telecommunications network based in Zigbee.
Read more: NUI Galway Press Release
Dublin-headquartered DecaWave (which we covered before at an earlier stage of the company’s development) has launched the first chip of its ScenSor DW1000 wireless family.
The company said it was the first integrated circuit on the market to electronically identify the specific distance to any object, person or thing with plus or minus 10cm precision.
The chip can complement or replace RFID and Wi-Fi technology for indoor tracking where GPS signals are unavailable.
Read more: Silicon Republic
Twitter has launched a new ‘Twitter Alerts’ system to enable police and emergency services to get critical information to the right people at the right time.
The UK’s 47 police forces and An Garda Síochána have signed up for the service which allows them to highlight critical information to their Twitter followers by marking Tweets as alerts (Tweets will then be highlighted with an orange bell symbol for added visibility). Also, Twitter users who sign up for an account’s Twitter Alerts can receive a notification directly to their phone via SMS.
Read more: Silicon Republic
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