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Call for innovative healthcare ideas

Back in 2012, a pilot Health Innovation Hub was established in Cork, and has since supported some 20 projects including innovations such as an online tool for GPs to monitor the physical activity of patients via a smartphone or wearable devices, remote patient monitoring and scheduling services to improve patient flow.

Following an audit of the pilot, Government agreed to establish the National Health Innovation Hub in July 2014 to proactively develop, manage, and progress relationships and connections with industry and the health system. The Hub is a key action in Government's Action Plan for Jobs, which aims to improve the conditions for creating new jobs.

Fast forward to this week, and we see the launch of the national Health Innovation Hub Ireland in Cork, along with two calls for proposals for innovative healthcare ideas. 

Read on for more info...

What is Health Innovation Hub Ireland?

Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) will enable healthcare companies to more quickly and more successfully deliver commercial products and services which can create jobs, by providing facilitated access to the health service to validate their products/services in a real life clinical environment.

Based on clinical feedback, they can refine and optimise their products/services to ensure they can ultimately offer the solutions which the healthcare system needs, and secondly, to allow the health service to find efficiencies and improvements by facilitating the Health Services Executive and the wider health care system to engage and participate with innovative companies in creating solutions to everyday challenges.

How does the open call for proposals work?

The first Open Call is for innovation into healthcare from companies, or out of healthcare from individuals or teams with good concepts or ideas with no particular theme and all applications impacting health will be considered.

The second call is a focussed call on Improving Care for Older Persons in the Healthcare System, with particular emphasis on the following priority areas:

  1. Development of an “Internet of Things” wearable device alerting nursing staff/family of movements/falls which might assist in the early detection and prevention of incidents
  2. Supporting an integrated care pathway for promoting, enhancing and enabling integrated and patient centred care for older persons
  3. Supporting the Smart Ageing Initiative

Find out more information on how to apply for the HIHI16 Open Calls.

Useful stats on the lifesciences and ICT sectors in Ireland

Ireland has a unique opportunity to deliver a step change in innovation capacity and enhance operational excellence in healthcare given the strengths of our enterprise base in lifesciences and ICT and the opportunities for convergence across these sectors. Enhanced collaboration between enterprise and the healthcare system can deliver economic growth, improve patient outcomes and lower healthcare service costs.

  • Nine of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world have a base in Ireland, as do eight of the top 10 medtech companies and eight of the top 10 software providers.
  • There are 50,000 jobs in the lifesciences sector in Ireland alone and this sector accounts for half of Ireland’s merchandise exports, at over €56 billion per annum.
  • Total ICT exports from Ireland reached €84.6 billion in 2013 – giving combined lifesciences and ICT exports of over €140 billion.

For more information

See Health Innovation Hub Ireland's website.

Apply for the HIHI16 Open Calls.

Read #allaboutjobs case study with Lincor, a company which successfully used the Hub pilot project to collaborate with healthcare experts.