Posts by: Caroline McGarry

Do you want to be a national leader in healthcare innovation? One month to apply to the Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Innovation

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If you want to be at the forefront of healthcare innovation leadership and become an innovation champion of the future then apply today to the Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Innovation. This one year course is run by Trinity College Dublin in association with Health Innovation Hub Ireland. Accelerate your career and lead the delivery of innovation impact across Irish healthcare. The closing date is approaching so apply now by 30th June, 2024.

By enrolling in this programme you will:

  • Develop your personal and professional capacity to lead in healthcare.
  • Practical understanding of applying new technologies in healthcare.
  • Critically appraise innovation theory and practice to inform your approach in applying solutions that are at the forefront of global healthcare.
  • Examine the role of health economics, quality improvement and the principles of governance in leading effective innovative health services.
  • Deepen your ability to challenge current practice with novel proven solutions.
  • Develop you as an innovation practitioner with the skills to implement innovative leadership practices.
  • Progress you to effectively manage and lead in diverse healthcare settings.

Graduates of the Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Innovation form part of a year-on-year a growing network of national Innovation Champions.

Please find additional course information and online application form here https://www.tcd.ie/medicine/clinical-medicine/postgraduate/pgraddip-in-healthcare-innovation/

For course-related queries, please e-mail: Dr. Michelle Armstrong (Course Co-Ordinator) or Dr. Alison Keogh (Academic Co-ordinator) at pgdip.healthcareinnovation@tcd.ie

Watch the course informational videos to find out more. 

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Health Innovation Hub Ireland collaborates with Galway University Hospital and Atlantic Technological University on design driven healthcare solutions

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A collaboration between HIHI and UHG and ATU’s Industrial Design third-year students has recently wrapped up with a very successful demonstration of the intersection of healthcare and design thinking.

HIHI’s Michael Duane, Clinician Liaison and Principal Engineer for HIHI, Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering together with Kenneth Nevin, Lecturer in Product & Industrial Design, MSc Design Innovation, oversaw the program within the hospital. The initiative immersed third-year students in various hospital departments, where they addressed real-world problems encountered by clinicians daily and embarked on a design process which involved presentations by clinicians on their needs. Through iterative dialogues with clinical staff, the students refined their concepts and this hands-on approach ensured that the designs addressed the practical needs of the hospital environment.

The semester-long collaboration culminated in new product designs being presented to clinical staff which highlighted the synergy between the students’ fresh perspectives and the clinical expertise of the hospital staff. The success of this module has set the stage for a new partnership between Atlantic Technological University and the hospital, promising a future where design-led solutions continue to enhance healthcare delivery.

Great coverage of HIHI’s pilot with Telea in Irish Medical Times

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Read a great article by Terence Cosgrave editor of the Irish Medical Times on how Irish start-up Telea is helping Parkinson’s speech therapy. Health Innovation Hub Ireland has recently completed a pilot with Telea which was launched on World Parkinsons Day this year. This new home therapy platform offers new hope to the 12,000 Irish people living with the disease.

Read the article in the IMT here. https://www.imt.ie/features-opinion/software-helps-parkinsons-speech-therapy-22-05-2024/

Read the full case study here. https://hih.ie/downloads/case-studies/HIHI-case-study_Telea2.pdf

Spotlight on the winners of HIHI/EI Clinical Innovation Awards 2023

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This May we at Health Innovation Hub Ireland are delighted to spotlight the winners of the HIHI/EI Clinical Innovation Awards 2023, Dr. Conor Judge, Dr. Claire Stenson and Dr. Declan Sheppard. The winners were recently announced at the Enterprise Ireland Start Up Showcase 2024.

HIHI’s Clinical Innovation Award is designed to support all healthcare professionals in Ireland to explore the commercial potential of their innovative ideas. The three winners this year received a €15,000 EI Commercial Feasibility Fund. Additionally, the Department of Health Ireland are funding three places for them on the prestigious NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme.

First up to be profiled is the overall winner, Dr Conor Judge, Consultant Nephrologist, University Hospital Galway and Senior Lecturer in Applied Clinical Data Analytics at the University of Galway.

Dr. Judge’s winning product, an AI Revolutionizing Hypertension Management platform (AI-BP) provides comprehensive, real-time treatment decisions with personalised recommendations for those with high blood pressure (hypertension) based on clinical trial data. The data used is from randomised controlled trials to predict complex treatment decisions for patients with hypertension. It is a testament to his commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible with AI in healthcare and it aims to provide early intervention and effective hypertension management for patients.

Next we profile Dr. Claire Stenson with her winning product, Smart Pleuro.

Dr. Stenson, a surgical trainee, graduated from the RCSI  in 2021. Having completed her intern year in Beaumont Hospital, Dr. Stenson undertook a clinical tutor role in RCSI / Beaumont Hospital last year and she has previously been involved in MedTech Innovator and HSE Spark Innovation.

Malignant Pleural effusions (MPE), with an incidence of 150,000 new cases a year, have been identified as a cause of significant morbidity in advanced cancer patients. MPE is the accumulation of fluid between the lung and chest wall as a result of cancer. Current solutions fail up to 50% of the time requiring repeat hospitalisation, re-intervention and overall, negatively impacting patients’ quality of life. Dr. Stenson aims to develop a device to better treat patients with malignant pleural effusion with Smart Pleuro.

Focusing on another winner, Dr. Declan Sheppard Consultant Radiologist, University Hospital Galway with his Mobile phone Vascular access Ultrasound (MVU)

Dr. Sheppard has an interest in diagnostic and interventional radiology especially Oncology and holds a Cardiac CT level 3 accreditation. Dr Sheppard graduated from Trinity College Dublin and trained in Radiology in Glasgow before embarking on fellowship training in the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre Houston Texas, in Oncological Imaging, and Cardiovascular Imaging in Northwestern Memorial Hospital Chicago Illinois, US.

The winning product, Mobile phone Vascular access Ultrasound (MVU) is Dr. Sheppard’s solution and is a novel ultrasound device that will be more portable and accessible than the current state of the art solutions. The device will assist clinicians care for patients and successfully gain access to challenging veins. The device will be small and attachable to a mobile phone thereby improving its usability in all clinical settings. Delays in obtaining venous (vein) access can result in delayed blood sampling, delays in diagnosis, resulting in delays in treatment, which may escalate to a need for an invasive Central Venous Catheter insertion that has higher complication rates.  Multiple attempts to obtain venous access can lead to phlebitis, thrombosis, and catheter related infection. For those placing peripheral venous access early ultrasound evaluation can be very valuable to ensure venous patency

Health Innovation Hub Ireland launches first GreenTech @ HIHI sustainable healthcare pilot study

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Healthcare contributes 4.4% to global greenhouse gas emissions. Ireland currently ranks as a major emitter (between 0.5 and 1 million t) when compared to other countries. There is a growing need to reduce healthcare emissions in order to reduce Ireland’s impact on the global carbon footprint.

In line with the HSE’s objectives to ‘reduce the impact of climate change and promote greener approaches to health practices’ one of HIHI’s focus areas is on alternatives and improvements to single use products within healthcare.

In response, HIHI today launches it’s first GreenTech sustainable healthcare pilot study with Ecco Spray Ltd. The product, POCUS Spray is CE approved for use in healthcare and designed to be an alternative, more sustainable ultrasound medium to be used across a range of ultrasound services. HIHI supported a technical evaluation of the product in Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) as well as collecting anonymised feedback from clinicians. POCUS Spray is a water-based spray stored in a 50 ml spray bottle. The spray averages 18 examinations per 50ml bottle with no requirement for paper towels post exam as the spray naturally evaporates after 4-5 minutes. This attribute also leaves no residue on the probe head. Overall waste is reduced with less bottles, paper towels and less plastics.

Explore the full case study here https://hih.ie/downloads/case-studies/HIHI-case-study_GreenTech.pdf

Coming soon to GreenTech @ HIHI
In Autumn this year watch out for HIHI’s first GreenTech sustainable healthcare call competition.
Stay tuned for details and how to apply!

HIHI launches new pilot study on a digital health app “I Know Me” which is set to empower CF patients to become the “CEO” of their own bodies with more control over personal health data

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Cork, 15th May, 2024. May marks Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Awareness Month and this year’s focused theme is Resilient. CF is a genetic disease which affects the lungs and the digestive system and is caused by mutations in the CFFTR gene which leads to the production of a thick sticky mucus in the lungs and it can also affect other organs. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation approximately 1,000 new cases of CF are diagnosed each year. More than 75 percent of people with CF are diagnosed by age 2. More than half of the CF population is age 18 or older.

Resilience certainly applies to Dr. Michael Twomey a Cork native who is living with CF. Michael as well as being the founder of the I Know Me app also works as a Senior Clinical Research Manager at Health Innovation Hub Ireland which connects innovators with healthcare. (pictured) Michael’s own research and innovation journey is a very personal one, motivated by the death of his sister from CF in 1997. Based on his own life and patient journey he strove to address the problem faced by fellow CF patients and carers, the challenge of recalling medical history at medical appointments. He was concerned about providing accurate information to his own clinicians and he decided to do something about it, as poor quality information imparted by patients or their carers is known to affect patient outcomes.

For patients with CF, there are a number of medical appointments necessary to manage the disease and improve or maintain the CF’s patient’s condition. The aim of the appointment is to arrive at correct diagnosis and make decisions regarding appropriate treatment plans. One of the key data facets required by the clinician in the diagnostic process is accurate medical history supplied by the patient or carer.  This information is a complex tapestry of illnesses, medications, symptoms and procedures peppered with medical appointments. which can be difficult to recall accurately. Memory recall requires the patient to pull data from their long-term declarative memory, a process that is made more difficult by the nature of the medical encounter itself, which can be stressful and require a medical literacy that many struggle with.

With this in mind, Michael came up a number of solutions to this problem, first a paper-based checklist booklet which was sent out to every CF patient in Ireland, and then following the learning from same he designed and developed the I Know Me app. This was again done with the help of fellow CF patients and caregivers which basically means it’s designed by CF patients or carers for CF patients or carers. The app was specifically built and evaluated to address the above problem of poor CF patient/carer memory recall. The I Know Me design is based on current CF medical appointment workflows, CF patient / carer experiences, and helps the patient/carer record, track and report on key aspects of their medical history. These reports can then be shared with a patient’s clinical team if and when required. Additionally, the app allows for the capture of multiple health profiles on one device, where switching between profiles is easy. This component of the app is vital for families with more than one CF patient.

Some of the app features are the ability to provide the CF patient with a valuable health management tool, tracking symptoms, key metrics, vaccines, nutrition, physiotherapy, medications and other treatments and procedures (including the results of same). Furthermore, it allows patient and carers to bring their or their child’s health autobiography with them to the medical appointment, reducing the stress of having to recall and providing the clinician with better quality data. Not only that it also allows for the capture of data regarding what happened within the medical appointment itself, this is vital later when the patient or carer need to remember therapies, procedures etc. Not surprising then that this information will aid adherence to therapies. But possibly the most interesting feature of the app is that it generates reports based on metrics which allows the CF patient to track changes and development in health status over time. The portability and accessibility of the solution not only aids memory recall it also empowers patients and carers giving them peace of mind when they travel (as they now have their medical histories with them) and go about their busy lives.

Today, Health Innovation Hub Ireland launched the results of the pilot study of this digital health app which is set to be a gamechanger for people living with CF as it now enables patients to manage their medical history more effectively. HIHI conducted a pilot of the I Know Me app with 15 CF patients/carers within Ireland, including the facilitation of a number of design workshops which helped offer a dynamic and inclusive approach to problem solving, enabling participants to create a solution that is not only functional, but also deeply resonant with CF patients/carers. HIHI analysed the pilot results (end-user feedback) and prepared a final project report to disseminate the outcome of the pilot. The project was granted ethical approval by the SREC in University College Cork.

When tested with patients and carers during the pilot it was agreed that the app is an essential tool for CF patients with 93% of users saying that it improved memory recall. Additionally, it was found that:

93% Agreed or Strongly Agreed that the app was easy to navigate

87% Agreed or Strongly Agreed that using the app requires a change in behaviour

86% Agreed or Strongly Agreed that the app was easy to use

67% stating that it was Very or Extremely useful for memory recall of medical history.

67% Agreed or Strongly Agreed that using the app gave them a real sense of empowerment

67% of participants use the app on a weekly or monthly basis

60% Agreed or Strongly Agreed that using the app helped reduce their stress levels within the medical appointment.

The pilot results will come as welcome news to CF patients as in Ireland, there are almost 1,700 Irish people living with the disease and 70,000 CF patients worldwide.

Speaking on the release of HIHI’s I Know Me pilot study today, Dr. Michael Twomey the founder of app said: I Know Me is an app for us (CF patients / carers) designed by us, that’s why it works! It allows us to track our medications, our symptoms etc more effectively, our own unique health journeys, with the data captured available to us as required. We are empowered in the management of our own health and need to be. After-all, we need to be the CEOs of our own bodies! I’m delighted that we are making such progress, the insights gained from the pilot have been invaluable and will really aid our advancement of the I Know Me app. Still more work to be done, I hope my sister (who passed away with CF in 1997) would be proud of what we have done so far.”

Praise from one of the CF patients on the pilotI really like the way the app gives you visuals on key metrics and allows one to generate reports that can be sent / given to the clinical team. It’s wonderful to be able to refer to the app with confidence re my medical history”

Read the full case study here I Know Me (hih.ie)

The I Know Me app is free and is available on Google Play and can also be downloaded from the Apple App store.

Details of the app can be found on this link https://iknowme.info/

 

 

Health Innovation Hub Ireland commences new AI pilot study which is set to improve the accuracy of bladder scans with Cardiogenics and the Urology Department at University Hospital Galway

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Great to kick off another Health Innovation Hub Ireland pilot study!

HIHI’s Galway office are currently working on an AI tool with Cardiogenics and the Urology Department of University Hospital Galway. (UHG). The pilot study using the Vitacon Bladder Scanner involves the collection of anonymous scan images supplied by the company which will serve as training data for an AI model. The aim is to improve it’s ability to accurately detect the edges of the bladder wall, achieved through a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), a type of deep-learning model which proves effective at tasks such as image classification and medical image analysis.

The pilot marks a step forward in the use of AI in healthcare and has the potential to improve the accuracy of bladder scans and ultimately enhance patient care.

Pictured at the pilot launch are Brian Turvey (Cardiogenics), Geraldine Rooney Urology ANP UHG, Therese Kelly Urology ANP UHG and Michael Duane MPCE/HIHI

Read coverage in EchoLive.ie on AVeta Medical with their VITA AV device set to help women suffering from vaginal atrophy

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Great article by Deirdre McArdle for the EchoLive.ie as she continues her FemTech innovation series.

This week AVeta Medical is featured along with founder Paula Newell. The device repairs vaginal tissue and is set to change how vaginal atrophy is treated. The company is one of the winners of Health Innovation Hub Ireland’s Innovation call competition.

Women don’t have to suffer in silence with vaginal atrophy

Photo – Evening Echo 16/4/2024

https://www.echolive.ie/wow/arid-41375188.html