US telemedicine project trials in Ireland

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.

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Patients’ records for clinical trials could be shared between NI and New York!


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

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NUI Galway trials falls detection system

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

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DecaWave launches first indoor location tracking chip – with 10cm precision!

DecaWave chip makes indoor location and comms accurate to 10cmCiaran Connell, CEO; Jim O’Hara, chairman; and Michael McLaughlin, president and CTO, DecaWave

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

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Twitter Alerts launched among Emergency Services in Ireland and UK

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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European Innovative Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing

The recent DHSSPS Press Release on 2nd European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing Conference can be accessed here.

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Are you someone who uses Remote Telemonitoring services?

The Patient and Client Council  would like to understand the experiences of people who have or are currently using the Telemonitoring NI service and would be very interested to get your feedback.  If you receive this service, have received it in the past, or know of someone who has, they would like to hear your views.  This is an independent study and feedback will be treated confidentially (therefore your details will not be passed on to the providers of the service).  If interested, please contact Deepak Samson or Dr. Avril Craig on 0800 917 0222 or 028 90 321230 or email: email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Read more: Patient & Client Council website

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Belfast-based start-up Sensum gets £600k for device that can read minds

A company which employs skin sensor technology to monitor the impact of marketing and advertising has just received investment topping £600,000.

Neuromarketing pioneer Sensum has secured early-stage funding to help advertisers gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns through new-age technological advances.

Read more: Belfast Telegraph 

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Technology to trigger memories and communication scoops award

Julia O’Rourke has just won the Clinical Innovation Award 2013, sponsored by Enterprise Ireland and Cleveland Clinic, for technology called REMPAD, which supports ‘reminiscence activity’ for older people and those with dementia. She spoke to Silicon Republic’s Claire O’Connell about the approach and how the award will open doors for the emerging technology.

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New Irish tech company wins pilot to replace hospital pagers with new app

One Irish startup has won a pilot with the largest hospital in the country to replace doctors’ pagers in hospitals. Read more: The Independent

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EU-US Connected Health Conference

Here’s some catch-up news from the third EU-US Connected Health Conference, which was part of the recent Connected Health Week in Boston:

Stormont adds weight to US push for improved healthcare – Belfast Telegraph

Health Minister Promotes Northern Ireland For ‘Connected Health & Life Sciences’ In Boston, USA – DHSSPS Press Release

Robinson And McGuinness Encourage Innovation In Healthcare At Boston Conference - DHSSPS Press Release


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TMED Health Challenge 2013 Winners Announced

Five companies developing healthcare and lifestyle projects pitched against each other in the final of the TMED Health Challenge 2013, which took place as part of this year’s CultureTECH festival.


The TMED Health Challenge 2013 developed in partnership with C-TRIC, the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre, HSC Innovations and CultureTECH, aimed to challenge the creative and digital industries to address unmet needs in health and wellbeing.

Finishing in the 1st and 2nd spots respectively were ‘DigitEase’, a technology for monitoring arthritis with James Connolly and ‘SmartLife’, a lifestyle management app for diabetes with Prof Maurice Mulvenna. Read more: C-TRIC

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ActivAge conference registration open

The ActivAge conference is a joint initiative between The Digital Hub and Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA) at St. James’s Hospital in Dublin.

The conference will explore the role of technology in supporting healthy ageing.  It will bring together clinicians, tech innovators, entrepreneurs, eHealth experts and older people to imagine a future of successful ageing.

Date:  Tuesday, 5th November 2013

Time: 9am registration for 9.30am kick-off.  Conference will close at 4.30pm.

Venue:  Digital Exchange, Crane Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8.

The ActivAge Conference is free to attend, but you must reserve your place in advance

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S3 places its chips on the future of TV and healthcare

Silicon Republic interviews John O’Brien, CEO of S3, about the company’s background and strategy. Read more

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Queen’s Team Takes Top Honours at 25k Awards 2013

A Queen’s University Belfast team which is developing a range of novel medical diagnostic tests is the overall winner of the 25k Awards 2013, sponsored by Bank of Ireland.

The awards are made under the NISP CONNECT entrepreneurship programme, which is based at the Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

The tests being developed by ProAx-SiS will enable routine monitoring of patients with chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, either within the clinic or at home.

Read more: SyncNI

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