Embracing and encouraging research, innovation and new technology is central to reforming our Health and Social Care (HSC) service and bolstering our economy, Minister Edwin Poots said today.
Briefing the Assembly on promoting innovation, the Health Minister said: “There are strong reasons why my Department encourages innovation. Transforming Your Care sets out clearly the challenges we are facing and the compelling need for change. New technology, research and innovation are essential in meeting these challenges. We cannot afford to ignore the potential contribution they can make.”
During the course of his statement to the Assembly, Mr Poots briefed MLAs on progress his Department had made in developing, encouraging and funding research and new technologies, including:
· the establishment of a Northern Ireland Connected Health Ecosystem – a forum where clinicians, researchers and industry share ideas;
· committing to the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) which enables researchers in Northern Ireland to access a research and development fund of over £75million:
· the implementation of TelemonitoringNI – allowing thousands of patients to monitor their conditions from home;
· the development of the Electronic Care Record system where all patients records can be accessed safely and confidentially by those who need them when they need them; and
· the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Basque government to share learning and expertise in this field.