Launch of Western Trust Mental Health App

The recently developed ‘My Mind’ App is now available. The free My Mind App can be downloaded by searching “My Mind” in iTunes. The App allows users to access evidence-based, up to date information about their condition and the services available to them. It is exclusive to mental health services in the Western Trust area and features videos of local health professionals offering practical information to support the client’s journey to recovery. The App highlights Mental Health Services that can be accessed in the Trust area including contact details for local support groups and organisations. Read More: Western Health Trust

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Report: Views on NI Telemonitoring Services – April 2014

The Patient and Client Council have asked a number of people about their experience of the Northern Ireland Telemonitoring Service. A total of nine people were interviewed and all were ‘overwhelmingly positive’ about the service. A report has now been produced summarising the responses.

The BMA however remains unconvinced and BMA Northern Ireland GP’s Committee Chair, Tom Black said that although the BMA were supportive of the pilots to see if they could help patient care, ‘any additional workload into primary care as a result would need to be properly planned, managed and resourced.’

Read more: Patient and Client Council Blog


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Study: Knowledge and perceptions of connected health in Northern Ireland

A recent study published in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice set out to examine the public’s knowledge and perceptions of ‘Connected Health’ in Northern Ireland.

A questionnaire was administered by face-to-face interview to 1003 people in shopping centres across Northern Ireland. Topics included public knowledge of Connected Health, opinions about who should provide Connected Health and views about the use of computers in health care. Unsurprisingly, most respondents had never heard of Connected Health (92%). However, following a ‘standard definition’ the majority felt that it was a good idea.

Read more:  The Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice (subscription access only)

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Big Data Week in Belfast 2014

In May 2014, and for the first time, Big Data Week will be coming to Belfast. The series of events will showcase ‘some of the premier legal, business and technical insights into Big Data from speakers from across Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland’. For more information visit the event website.

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Health and Social Care Webportal – Citizens Workshop

The Health & Social Care Board (HSC), Public Health Agency (PHA), Patient Client Council (PCC) and five Health Trusts are working together to build a single ‘One-stop Shop public-facing website’. It is envisioned that this will include information on all Health and Social Care services in Northern Ireland.

This will include accredited information on a wide range of health topics including preventative and self-management advice, service locator, standards to expect when receiving care, complaints information, contact information, links to Community, voluntary groups and support groups.

If you are interested in hearing more about the portal and giving your views, a citizen engagement workshop is being held in Belfast. You can register for it here. Further details:

When:    Tuesday 29 April 2014

Where:   Grosvenor Hall, Belfast Central Mission, 5 Glengall St, Belfast

Time:     The Workshop will commence at 12:30pm (lunch provided) and conclude at 4.30pm.


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Health Minister Launches Two Northern Trust Software Systems

Health Minister Edwin Poots has launched two new hospital IT systems which aim to improve patients’ health and save lives through the appropriate use of medications. Developed by the Pharmacy and Medicines Management Department in the Northern Trust, the two systems are the Live Automated Microbiology Pharmacy Surveillance System (LAMPS) and the Electronic Medicines Reconciliation System (EMRS).

LAMPS seeks to improve patient outcomes through the appropriate use of antibiotics to treat infection. The system operates in real time in both acute hospital and community settings to detect changing trends in antimicrobial resistant organisms. Monitoring trends enables appropriate and effective prescribing by clinicians and improves patient safety.

EMRS supports safe, effective, medicine use throughout the inpatient journey allowing patients’ medication details to be recorded in a uniform way in real time without the need for paper records. This reduces the risk of error, improves patient safety and ensures that patients are on the right medication to enable optimal management of their health.

Read more: HSC Innovations

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Poots talks Connected Health at Mobile World Congress

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

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SBRI Competition – Medicines Adherence

medicinesThe 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



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New study to investigate benefits of online treatment of anxiety and depression

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

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Stephen Lowry: first man in Ireland to get bionic hand

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

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HP helps Trust lead the way with Datacentre ‘PODS’

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

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The 10th National Health Summit (Dublin)

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

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e-Health and Care Strategy: Northern Ireland

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.




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Health Hack Belfast 2014

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

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First Horizon 2020 calls for eHealth projects launched

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

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