Posts by: Caroline McGarry

HIHI launches Rapid Innovation Days to develop solutions for womens health in Ireland

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Health Innovation Hub Ireland is delighted to launch our Femtech Rapid Innovation Days. The first of the series will take place on Thursday, 28th September from 6pm to 9pm. The second event on Thursday, 5th October 2023.

Let’s co-create solutions which will make a difference to the health and lives of Irish women.
Save the dates to your calendar, register today and join the Irish Femtech revolution.  https://bit.ly/3rhb56u

HIHI’s Dr Steven Griffin joins the line up at the Smarter Health Summit 2023 Digital Technologies transforming delivery of health and care

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HIHI Galway Hub Manager Steven Griffin joins the impressive line up of speakers judges and panelists at today’s Business Post Smarter Health Summit.

He joins  speakers and judges at the 12.30 session and will participate in the “innovation on the front line” section of the agenda.

Manager, Health Innovation Hub Ireland
Managing Director, EIT Health Ireland-UK
Director for Innovation & Healthcare, GS1 Ireland
Vice Chair, the HBAN MedTech Syndicate

 

The panel of judges will have the opportunity to view the Innovation Showcase at the summit with digital solutions including:

  • A disruptive motion capture technology platform for gait analysis in healthcare settings
  • A multi-faceted emotional/mental health digital support solution with a private voice diary at it’s core
  • AI-driven solutions to minimise healthcare professionals’ administrative tasks and enhance the quality of patient care
  • A digital tool for patients to access and manage healthcare appointments, while also making the burden of managing multiple appointments easier on healthcare providers
  • An innovative digital health company developing a first-of-its-kind menopausal symptom tracker to guide diagnosis and management of peri-menopause.

For the full agenda – https://smarthealthsummit.ie/agenda/

To register your innovation and connect with Health Innovation Hub Ireland

Log on today our innovation portal https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/ef7a4fe4a083436fb8fa20df03f1b4a9

HIHI completes latest pilot study with Whyze Health. The company’s platform using real word evidence will aid in the delivery of more informed prostate cancer treatment for patients

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Health Innovation Hub Ireland have recently completed a pilot study with Whyze Health, a digital health start-up that pioneers a Real World Evidence platform. With a focus on personalised healthcare and research, the Whyze Health Platform ensures the “right” treatment reaches the “right” patient at the “right” time. Physicians and patients receive treatment and research recommendations through robust AI-driven data analysis.

Using patients’ health data and test results, the WHYZE Health Platform helps guides physicians on the treatment options that best meet their patients needs. The WHYZE Health Platform also tracks the patient’s progress and collects relevant Real World Evidence (RWE) health data throughout the entire cycle of the patient’s care, including follow-up. It aids the delivery of informed prostate cancer treatment plans for patients.

In Ireland, about 3,940 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Using patients’ health data, test results, and Patient Reported Outcomes (PROMs), the WHYZE Health Platform aids physicians in selecting the treatment options that best meet their patient’s needs, driving better health outcomes for patients.

Feedback from patients and healthcare professionals was crucial to demonstrate the value of the Whyze Health platform. HIHI facilitated the pilot study in the Blackrock Health Galway Clinic.

HIHI assisted with ethics submissions and the development of surveys and supporting
documents necessary for the Blackrock Health Galway Clinic pilot study. HIHI also provided project management expertise throughout the project and facilitated regular update meetings during the pilot to track progress and outcomes and address any issues or feedback. Upon completion of the pilot study, HIHI reviewed the study data and completed a final Project Report for use in further platform developments.

Feedback obtained from the participants throughout this study has highlighted that a platform such as the Whyze Health platform would allow patients to feel more informed and significantly less anxious about their long-term health outcomes if their doctor used the platform with them when choosing a suitable treatment, they would find it easier to evaluate their choices for successful treatment, and they would be willing to share their anonymised health data with other patients and the research community.

Participants also noted the importance of being able to provide feedback on how they are responding to their treatment and having access to their medical records to help them to make better health decisions. 9 out of every 10 participants noted they would recommend the Whyze Health platform to a friend or colleague. Allowing patients to be active in their own treatment and healthcare planning while gathering essential data to help future patients may help to deliver effective care, reduce diagnostic timelines and improve patient outcomes.

Dr Tanya Mulcahy, Director Health Innovation Hub Ireland welcomed the completion of the pilot “By giving patients more control over their care an streamlining treatment options for physicians the Whyze Health Platform has the potential to improve health outcomes and advance the transition to patient centred healthcare”

Whyze Health explained the benefits of working with HIHI.Whyze Health is enormously grateful to HIHI for their support in our first Case Study of our platform. Having a trusted research partner along with us was a great help in patient recruitment to our study and allowed our patients to feel part of something potentially important, not only to them but to other Irishmen suffering from prostate cancer. ‘Hats off’ to HIHI for their help here!”
(Professor Frank Sullivan CTO and co-Founder, Whyze Health; Medical Director Radiation
Oncology Blackrock Health, Galway Clinic).

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

HIHI Director Dr.Tanya Mulcahy joins the speaker line up at the upcoming National Menopause Summit

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Health Innovation Hub Ireland is delighted to be one of the summit partners of the National Menopause Summit, Advocating for Change, which will take place at Cork City Hall on Friday, October 20th, 2023. HIHI Director Dr. Tanya Mulcahy will speak about Ireland’s first Femtech ecosystem which was launched by HIHI in 2022 and will introduce three groundbreaking Irish FemTech Innovators developing solutions for menopause like Aveta Medical, IdentifyHer and Siobhain O’ Mahony.
To join the Femtech @ HIHI network and become part of the FemTech ecosystem sign up today https://hih.ie/engage/femtech/

The guest speaker at this groundbreaking menopause summit will be Mariella Frostrup – Journalist, Broadcaster, Campaigner, author of Cracking The Menopause & Trustee of the Great Initiative. The event will be compèred by Grainne Seoige one of Ireland’s leading presenters and journalists.

Tanya will join an impressive line up of speakers comprising of leading clinicians, health care practitioners, legal & HR professionals and business and union leaders. Ireland’s leading experts and advocates in the area of perimenopause and menopause will take part in this full day’s masterclass which coincides with the week of World Menopause Day, held annually on 18th October.

For the full agenda and speaker line up log onto https://nationalmenopausesummit.com/

Read HIHI’s latest clinical evaluation study with MedyTrak, an mHealth remote symptom tracker

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This July, HIHI is spotlighting our latest clinical evaluation study with MedyTrak, an mhealth remote symptom tracker designed to collect patient data between face to face consultations with healthcare providers. MedyTrak provides valuable real time data regarding a patient’s condition and allows the practitioner to obtain specific feedback leading to a more informed in-clinic consultation. An internet browsing service is facilitated by an NFC enabled card and the patient can upload photos and videos which leads to more informed treatment plans.

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

MedyTrak aimed to explore the benefits and barriers to their platform and the procurement process.  A clinical evaluation is a key stage that allows feedback from end-users that can inform product application, market approach and offers the company to build a cohort of clinical champions and supports.  HIHI facilitated Medytrak by connecting the company with four clinical experts of orthopaedics and musculoskeletal medicine from the Mater Hospital, Cappagh Hospital, St. James’s Hospital and the Beacon Hospital. The feedback proved invaluable for MedyTrak.

Company Founder Tom O’ Connor explained the invaluable role of HIHI.

“The support we have received from HIHI has been invaluable. As a start-up company it can be difficult to navigate a route to experts and indeed to market, particularly in a relatively new industry such as mobile health(mHealth) technology. Through HIHI we gained access to clinical experts who shared significant insights into the challenges currently facing patients, healthcare professionals and the health system. This in turn brought clarity to the benefits MedyTrak, (mHealth remote symptom tracker and monitor accessible via a dashboard), can bring in terms of improving patient outcomes, refining clinician workflows and in
potentially providing cost savings to the health system.

These insights have helped to shape our strategy and have encouraged and motivated us to ensure we make every effort going forward to integrate this technology into treatment pathways. Industry experts believe that by 2030 mHealth technologies will have become firmly embedded within clinical practice and within standard treatment protocols for most diseases and conditions and will be widely used in prevention care. On behalf of the medytrak team, I would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to HIHI, our journey would have been much more complex and time-consuming without your support”.

 

Health Innovation Hub Ireland Becomes First EIT Health Bridgehead Catalyser in Ireland

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Ireland-UK, EIT Health Ireland-UK

Health Innovation Hub Ireland Becomes First EIT Health Bridgehead Catalyser in Ireland

21st June 2023

Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) has become Ireland’s first EIT Health Bridgehead Catalyser, aiming to facilitate the introduction of ground-breaking healthcare innovations from companies across Europe into the Irish healthcare system. By joining the EIT Health network as a catalyser, European health tech start-ups will have the opportunity to test and validate their solutions across HIHI’s hospital network in Ireland. HIHI as a Bridgehead Catalyser will help foster impactful advancements in the field of healthcare.

The EIT Health Bridgehead accelerator programme is designed to bridge the gap between promising healthcare innovations and their implementation in real-world settings by connecting companies with key stakeholders in target countries.

Through the Bridgehead programme, early-stage companies developing health tech solutions gain access to a network of Bridgehead partners, which include leading healthcare organisations, academic institutions, and innovation hubs across Europe. These partners possess extensive knowledge and expertise in their respective local healthcare systems, regulatory frameworks, and market dynamics.

Being the first Irish catalyser in the EIT Health Bridgehead Programme, HIHI has an opportunity to bring new European ideas to the Irish marketplace to improve service delivery. At the same time, it allows them to gain access and exposure to participate as peers in a wider European innovation ecosystem,” said Marc Butterly, Business Creation Lead, at EIT Health Ireland-UK.

Established by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Health, supported by Enterprise Ireland (EI) and the Health Service Executive (HSE), HIHI works to drive collaboration between the health service and enterprise. Dr. Tanya Mulcahy, Director of Health Innovation Hub Ireland, (pictured above) said, “We are delighted to be Ireland’s first EIT Bridgehead Catalyser. Through this EIT Health programme, we will support companies from across Europe to access the Irish healthcare system, introducing new innovations and supporting better healthcare for all. We are looking forward to seeing some impactful innovations coming through the programme.”

With its deep understanding of Ireland’s healthcare landscape, HIHI is well-positioned to identify and support the adoption of transformative technologies, products, and services.

The EIT Health Bridgehead Programme offers an opportunity for HIHI to collaborate with European innovators and healthcare organizations, fostering knowledge exchange and driving collective progress.

Read Aisling Meath’s Evening Echo article on Endometriosis and sign up to attend HIHI’s FemTech Ireland event at UCC tomorrow

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https://www.echolive.ie/wow/arid-41165353.html

Endometriosis: We deserve the right to live healthy, informed, fulfilling lives

FemTech Ireland will host an event in Cork this week, highlighting the experiences of women living with endometriosis, writes AISLING MEATH
Dearbhail Ormond, suffers from endometriosis, and she developed an app, ‘Frendo’, in 2019 having experienced nearly 20 years of misdiagnosis.

University College Cork will be the venue for the special event, hosted by FemTech Ireland. There will be an exclusive screening of the US documentary Below the Belt which was produced by a star-studded team, including Hillary Clinton, and tells the story of four women searching for answers to their mysterious symptoms.

This will be followed by a panel discussion and refreshments. It will be the first in a series of FemTech public networking events which will focus on various aspects of women’s health.

Speakers include Dr Tayna Mulcahy, Director of Health Innovation Hub Ireland, Sato Aihie, an endometriosis sufferer who is currently developing a product to deal with pain associated with this condition; Siobhán Kelleher, an innovator in the Femtech area; and Dearbhail Ormond, who also has endometriosis, and is the CEO of Frendo, an app which she developed to support others.

 Dr Tanya Mulcahy of FemTech Ireland.  Dr Tanya Mulcahy of FemTech Ireland.

“If you look at research for health areas that specifically affect women, or those conditions which affect women more than men, it’s clear we are still at the early stages of understanding the science behind many of these conditions,” said Dr Tanya Mulcahy, of FemTech Ireland.

Historically, research in women’s health has been low compared to all other health research – ten years ago this figure was 2% of the global healthcare research budget, this is increasing slowly and is now at about 10% – this is still not enough and there needs to be more funding for women’s health research, including endometriosis, not only in Ireland but also on a global level.

Endometriosis is an inflammatory chronic condition where tissue, similar to the lining of the womb, goes rogue and grows outside the uterus and into other parts of the body.

This can be very debilitating, causing really painful periods, intense pelvic and back pain, and can also take its toll on a woman’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

There are also other longer term complications associated with this condition such as difficulties in conceiving a baby, which when combined with the chronic pain of endometriosis, can make for a very challenging life overshadowed by this condition.

However, thanks to the resourcefulness of several women, some of whom themselves suffer from this condition, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

In November, 2022, FemTech Ireland was launched by Health Innovation Hub Ireland whose aim was to support the development of new products and services that address women’s health issues by creating a community of people with expertise and interest in this area, including researchers, clinicians, start-ups, and anyone with expertise that can support product development, and some of these women will be speaking at this event.

Dearbhail Ormond, who founded Frendo.Dearbhail Ormond, who founded Frendo.

Dearbhail Ormond, originally from Dublin, suffers from endometriosis, and she developed an app, ‘Frendo’, in 2019 having experienced nearly 20 years of misdiagnosis.

“ I was driven to make a change for others so they would not experience the dismissal and isolation that I did,” she said.

‘Frendo’ is available on IOS and Android and provides information on how to check for the signs of endometriosis and adenomyosis, which is a gynaecological condition causing endometrial tissue in the lining of the uterus to grow into the muscular wall of the uterus.

“ I essentially built what I wished I had all those years ago when I felt so isolated on my own journey,” explained Dearbhail.

Often women are dissatisfied when they cannot get a defined diagnosis from their doctors and Dearbhail confirms that is often the case.

The response we often get is dismissal, and a sense that the severity of the illness is all in our heads, and a feeling that we, as women, should accept and tolerate pain when it comes to periods.

“I suffer from endometriosis pain 70% of the month, and statistically women with ‘endo’ are affected one third of every month, therefore seriously affecting their lives and work.”

Conception can also often be a challenge to women who suffer from endometriosis.

“In my own case for example, I was told by doctors that I would not conceive naturally. I have stage 4 complicated endometriosis which has caused nerve damage for which I have had three surgeries, however I was lucky to conceive my miracle little girl.

We should be providing education about this condition and informing girls about fertility and their bodies at a much earlier point.

“For example, we can check our AMH levels in our early twenties (AMH levels correspond to the number of eggs you have.) I never knew about this until my mid- 30s!

“This won’t show you the whole picture but will empower you more. This is what we at ‘Frendo’ are all about, empowering people as much as possible to make the best decisions and be the CEO of their own bodies.

“My hopes, and Frendo’s mission, is for a National Endometriosis Screening at school level in every country, along with major information campaigns,” Dearbhail added.

Siobhan Kelliher is currently leading projects to develop a novel digital biomarker to diagnose, monitor and treat chronic inflammatory endocrine conditions such as endometriosis.Siobhan Kelliher is currently leading projects to develop a novel digital biomarker to diagnose, monitor and treat chronic inflammatory endocrine conditions such as endometriosis.

Another speaker is Siobhán Kelleher, who is passionate about health and wellbeing and the ability of food, medicine and technological innovation to save and improve the lives of patients.

She has completed BioInnovate, a needs-led innovation programme aligned with Stanford Biodesign, and is currently leading projects to develop a novel digital biomarker to diagnose, monitor and treat chronic inflammatory endocrine conditions such as endometriosis.

Sato Ahie, an endometriosis sufferer who is currently developing a product to deal with pain associated with this condition.Sato Ahie, an endometriosis sufferer who is currently developing a product to deal with pain associated with this condition.

Sato Ahie is a Cork-based engineer who was driven to find a solution to manage her endometriosis pain because she was unable to find anything on the market which worked for herself and her sister. She is using her engineering background to develop her own pain management device, and she will also be sharing her experiences.

One of the executive producers of the documentary Below The Belt is Rosario Dawson, who will be in the lead role of the upcoming Star Wars series Ahsoka.

She said: “ We deserve to be believed. We deserve to be understood. We deserve to be empowered to understand ourselves, our bodies and any medical treatments presented to us. We deserve better across the entire healthcare system. Below The Belt aims to revolutionise the status quo so that people with endometriosis get what we deserve- the right to live healthy, informed, fulfilling lives.”

Sign up for the event at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/hihi-femtech-event-below-the-belt-tickets-629831010507

The event runs from 6.15pm to 9pm on Thursday, June 22 at UCC.

 

Cork cousins develop compostable PPE apron to reduce plastic usage in Irish healthcare

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Cork cousins develop compostable PPE apron to reduce plastic usage in Irish healthcare

Two Cork cousins have developed a compostable PPE apron to reduce plastic usage in the healthcare industry.

Dr Mary O’Riordan and Lisa O’Riordan developed their ‘guilt-free’ HaPPE Earth apron in response to an increase in plastic pollution during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We had all become aware of the crisis around plastics production and pollution. A truckload of plastic goes into the sea every minute of every day. So it’s a major problem and we feel all sectors need to come together to solve it,” Ms O’Riordan explained.

Billions of single-use plastic PPE aprons are used globally each year.

Made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE), they can take up to 50 years to disintegrate.

The new compostable apron is made from proprietary resin and disintegrates in just five weeks.

An LDPE apron beside the compostable HaPPE apron

“The single-use plastic apron is something that’s used all the time and thrown away,” explained Dr O’Riordan. “We were speaking to one surgeon who went through 27 in one session.

“If every one of those is ten grams and each of those, if you count them up – in Ireland, there’s 50 million of them used every year then that’s 500 tonnes of waste in Ireland per year alone.

“So then, you extrapolate that out globally and you’re talking about hundreds of thousands of tonnes year-on-year of single-use plastic apron. And we thought, ‘Look, this has to stop’.”

The HaPPE Earth apron is CE approved for use in healthcare.

The apron was one of 11 winners of the Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) Open Call 2022.

HIHI conducted pilots in hospitals and nursing home setting to assess the usability, durability and acceptability of the HaPPE apron within healthcare settings.

Dr Ruth Lernihan, Chief Executive Helen Donovan, and Niamh Allen of SIVUH

Healthcare workers and catering staff at South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH) in Cork were involve in the pilot scheme.

“In 2022, we used 700,000 aprons,” Dr Ruth Lernihan, Director of Nursing at the hospital said. “If you just think of that and the waste stream from non-clinical waste and the environmental impact of that and where that all ends up so we were delighted to get this opportunity.”

Becoming more sustainable is a priority for the hospital.

“Certainly, when you look at PPE, there is a lot of waste,” Helen Donovan, Chief Executive of SIVUH said. “As an elective hospital, we are in an unique position to look at our processes and how we do things.

“The multi-disciplinary team here who were involved in the trial, nurses, catering staff, cleaning staff, each one of those individuals has an unique perspective and contributed to patient care.”

During the pilot staff were asked to provide feedback on the compostable aprons.

“When staff were using them in the pilot, there was fierce results,” Niamh Allen, a Clinical Nurse Manager said. “They found them comfortable, less heavy, less static, more breathable which allowed them to feel more flexible in their daily order of work.”

With positive feedback from healthcare workers in the pilot schemes, Mary and Lisa O’Riordan now hope their compostable PPE apron will ultimately replace the 50 million singe-use plastic aprons used every year in Irish healthcare.

“Every time we see another one of our HaPPE aprons on someone in a healthcare setting, we know that we’ve reduced the use of another plastic one,” Dr O’Riordan said. “For us, that’s less 50 years in landfill.”

“It would be amazing to think that Ireland will be on of the first to pioneer bringing compostable consumables into healthcare,” Lisa O’Riordan said.

Watch the RTE video here

https://www.rte.ie/video/id/6574/

Health Innovation Hub Ireland launches an Insurance Factsheet in association with O’Leary Insurances which will help SME’s to minimise risk and protect their businesses

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Today, Health Innovation Hub Ireland launched a new Insurance Factsheet in association with O’Leary Insurances Ltd. Insurance is important for every company. This factsheet covers the types of insurance SME’s should consider in order to minimise risk. This factsheet will give companies an understanding of how they can utilise Insurance as a risk management tool to protect your business.

The following options are explored: Clinical trial insurance; Public and products liability insurance; Employers Liability; Property damage; Business interruption; Professional indemnity/ technology errors and omissions; Cyber Liability and Manager Liability insurance. Read the factsheet here. bit.ly/3MI1bBG

This innovation tool factsheet has been launched as part of a HIHI resource, an on-line Knowledge Network to support Irish healthcare innovators. The HIHI Knowledge Network, provides a portfolio of HIHI developed material, digital programmes, resources, workshops and a formal education programme developed to support Irish healthcare innovators. It supports innovators by providing a tool-kit to assist them through the innovation pathway. HIHI Innovation Tools  assist SME’s on their journey taking an idea or innovation through to a product used in healthcare systems which is challenging, and many innovators need support. HIHI Innovation Tools provide all of this in one repository through easily understood, downloadable factsheets covering advice on areas such as regulations, IP, reimbursement, design standards, medical device classification, (IP), GDPR, research ethics and now the most recent innovation tool, Insurance.

 

HIHI Director Dr Tanya Mulcahy to speak on Innovation in Women’s Health and the Femtech ecosystem at this year’s Future Health Summit

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Dr Tanya Mulcahy, Director of Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) and founder of Ireland’s first FemTech Ecosystem will speak at this year’s Future Health Summit as part of the innovation discussion. Tanya has over 30 years’ experience in the start-up, pharma, product development and research industry in Ireland and the US. She has a PhD in Cancer Genetics, has conducted postdoctoral research in neuropsychiatric genetics, has a BSc in Biochemistry and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Trials. She has been appointed by the Minister for Health to the HPRA Medical Device Advisory Committee. She is an Advisory Committee member of the National Clinical Trials Office (NCTO). She is an independent advisor to a number of HealthTech start-ups. Tanya is an advocate for female founders and is particularly interested in supporting FemTech founders.

The summit will feature the importance of innovation. Healthcare innovation comes in many forms, from breakthrough drugs and devices that can change outcomes on a global level, to small changes in specific settings that improve productivity, efficiency and patient experience. The session will focus on  innovations that are driving change for the better.

The line up for the session on Thursday 25th May is as follows:
Session Chair | Conference Chair

She has over 30 years’ experience in the start-up, pharma, product development and research industry in Ireland and the US. She has a PhD in Cancer Genetics, has conducted postdoctoral research in neuropsychiatric genetics, has a BSc in Biochemistry and a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Trials.
She has been appointed by the Minister for Health to the HPRA Medical Device Advisory Committee. She is an Advisory Committee member of the National Clinical Trials Office (NCTO). She is an independent advisor to a number of HealthTech start-ups. Tanya is an advocate for female founders and is particularly interested in supporting FemTech founders.