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The HIHI Team were delighted to present at the recent WHO meeting in Copenhagen “Building a Public Health Innovation Ecosystem”

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The Health Innovation Hub Ireland team were delighted to present recently in Copenhagen at the WHO Regional Office for Europe meeting “Building a Public Health Innovation Ecosystem”. Our colleagues Dr Tanya Mulcahy, Dr Michael Twomey and Jane O’ Flynn took part in the event.

Dr Tanya Mulcahy, Director of HIHI and founder of FemTech Ireland joined the line up as one of the keynote speakers on the day where she presented to a packed house on how Ireland has developed a Health Innovation Ecosystem- discussing the benefit of innovations to healthcare, how innovative enterprises support the economy and how Health Innovation Hub Ireland enables the essential connection between healthcare and enterprise in Ireland.

“Emerging diagnostic tools/innovations in Neonatal Healthcare“ – An Irish Perspective was presented by Dr. Michael Twomey. 2 case studies were explored CergenX with the CergenXWave a medical device that leverages AI to identify newborn infants most at risk of brain injury and Neurobell which developed an AI powered medical device to accurately detect seizures in newborns.

Special thanks for the invitation to present go to Moredreck Chibi PHD, WHO Regional Innovation Lead. Thanks also to Gauden Galea on his closing remarks on how a public supported agency like HIHI assist innovators and help them navigate public health systems.

Newstalk Breakfast covers findings of new HIHI report

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The ‘Buying All-Island in Healthcare – North and South’ report was launched yesterday with an interview on Newstalk Breakfast. This was carried across all national bulletins throughout the day and Bauer Media’s local stations. HIHI Regional Manger Eimear Galvin, discussed the fact that SMEs and start-ups in Ireland struggle to compete with established vendors for healthcare tenders, unfairly affected by scale and liquidity requirements. Outdated assessments for software products, lack of innovation procurement and funding for its mechanisms, limited use of dynamic purchasing systems and purchasing standards that vary widely across secondary care sites in ROI are also perceived to be prohibitive.

‘Buying All-Island in Healthcare – North and South’ report yesterday published the findings and recommendations framework of the All-Island Medtech SMEs (AIMS) initiative, delivered through a 12-month cross-border partnership of Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) and Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI), supported by InterTradeIreland’s Synergy programme.

New HIHI cross-border report finds common barriers for smaller vendors in healthcare and urges an all-island shift to innovation procurement, enabling SMEs and Start-ups to thrive in domestic health tech markets

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Launched today, the ‘Buying All-Island in Healthcare – North and South’ report publishes the findings and recommendations framework of the All-Island Medtech SMEs (AIMS) initiative, delivered through a 12-month cross-border partnership of HSE and Enterprise Ireland partnership Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) and Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI), supported by InterTradeIreland’s Synergy programme. This all-island collaborative initiative with SMEs and healthcare stakeholders – health sector, health industry, policy, state agency, academia and procurement – identified barriers and experienced by smaller vendors in Irish healthcare and proposed solutions.

38 stakeholder groups from health, industry, policy, state agency, academia and procurement, identified common challenges to SMEs and start-ups within the Irish (North and South) health market.  New and smaller suppliers below certain revenue thresholds are not equally positioned to compete with established vendors for healthcare tenders, unfairly affected by scale and liquidity requirements. Outdated assessments for software products, lack of innovation procurement and funding for its mechanisms, limited use of dynamic purchasing systems and purchasing standards that vary widely across secondary care sites in ROI are also perceived to be prohibitive.

AIMS stakeholder workshops; expert advisory group sessions and European benchmarking informed the proposed solutions contained in the ‘AIMS Framework of recommendations for Innovation Procurement’. The framework focuses on four key areas to deliver system-wide impact that will facilitate the procurement of innovative products across the healthcare sector on the island of Ireland from all vendors, regardless of size –

  1. Budget and Mechanisms – create a protected healthcare budget for the procurement of innovation, implement EU approved mechanism

To boost innovation procurement allocate a portion of the public budget, replicating successful European exemplars. Public Procurement of Innovative solutions (PPI) is one mechanism. The public sector uses its purchasing power to act as early adopter of innovative solutions that are not yet available on large-scale commercial basis. PPI can target specific healthcare challenges by seeking innovative solutions, and through a testing phase, reduce risks commonly associated with smaller vendors

  1. Review and revise procurement thresholds — hardware vs software

Tender requirements often demand high turnovers, a relic of old hardware focussed companies. This excludes smaller, innovative firms. Unlike hardware, software does not rely on costly supply chains; its main costs are licenses and setup. Software procurement should prioritise features, capabilities, and fit with needs over financial size.

  1. Increase use of Dynamic Purchasing Systems (DPS) in healthcare procurement

A DPS is a digital tool allowing qualified suppliers to join anytime to compete for contracts. In contrast to tender frameworks, which usually last four years. DPS increases small businesses access to public contracts, simplifying the process by cutting out repetitive bids.

  1. Co-develop and publish education tool for SMEs navigating HSC and HSE

Developing an educational tool with HSE procurement for SMEs and start-ups will benefit small entities understanding of a multi-faceted complex process. The online tool will be co-developed, user-friendly, accessible and regularly updated to reflect any changes in regulations or best practice

Currently, there are no Irish innovation procurement policy frameworks driving public buyer engagement with smaller vendors. This is in stark contrast to common European practice. Austria, Belgium, Finland, and the Netherlands have specific action plans for innovation procurement. Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, France and Sweden include specific objectives on innovation procurement in wider national strategies.

Dr Tanya Mulcahy, National Director Health Innovation Hub Ireland said:

 “While the development of innovative healthcare products by Irish and Northern Irish-based companies is something we excel at, the application and procurement of those innovations in Irish healthcare has not been realised. This report identifies some of the barriers and measures that could be implemented immediately with significant effect. The ‘Programme for Government – Our Shared Future’ identified the role public procurement can play as an instrument to support innovation and allow greater access for SMEs to public procurement. The six new Regional Health Authorities also present an opportunity to assess these recommendations and consider suitability per region.”

“The HSE is making changes to its procurement processes and has specifically identified working with HIHI in its Corporate Plan 2022-2024. The recommendations of the ‘Buying Irish in Healthcare – North and South’ report recommend priorities on which we can collaborate.

 Eimear Galvin, HIHI Regional Manager and  AIMS project lead said:

 “We know that for Irish start-ups and SMEs the process of engagement from ‘procurement’ through to ‘use’ can take on average 12-24 months and the AIMS workshops corroborated this. The effects of this lag are multi-layered: healthcare sites endure a wait before the product required meets the identified need; revenue streams for SMEs and start-ups are negatively affected; restricted revenue streams limit ability to create employment; may lead to discontinuation – affecting GDP. Our recommendations are designed to counter this across the board – benefitting healthcare systems, indigenous health tech vendors and economic growth”

Prof Joann Rhodes, CEO HIRANI said:

“Innovation is defined as the process of bringing about new products, services, or solutions for challenges that will have a significant positive impact and value. Challenges within the health systems for both vendors and suppliers are largely mirrored across North and South. This report examined the benefits of working pro-actively together to guide suppliers to develop their products ‘in sync’ with the key priorities of both health systems on the island of Ireland and to create a framework to support procurement.

“The Northern Ireland Executive has already recognised the benefits of local public procurement in 2022, and as they develop their new Programme for Government, this report will be a valuable resource to influence decision makers to better support the benefits of local procurement in Health. Despite the differing policy landscapes, North and South, a joint delivery of recommendations such as an all-island Dynamic Purchasing system to provide a route for local innovation to enhance health and prosperity across the island of Ireland would be highly advantageous”.

 ENDS

Smart D8 Call for pilots Community Health, Health Literacy and Environment – Closes this Friday 29

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Smart D8 Opens New Call for Pilot Projects following three years of success

  • New call for pilot projects in three areas: Community Health, Health Literacy and Environment
  • Up to six pilot projects will be selected from call, following success of 12 projects over three years
  • Smart D8 is led by The Digital Hub, St James’s Hospital, Dublin City Council and Smart Dublin

 Smart D8, an urban health initiative using innovation to improve and sustain community health and wellbeing in Dublin 8, has opened a new call for pilot projects following three years of successful pilot projects.

Smart D8 is set to expand the number of pilot projects selected from this year’s call, with up to six successful pilots to receive support of up to €12,500 in resourcing.

Smart D8 is now seeking applications for pilot projects focused on Community Health, Health Literacy and the Environment to continue developing Dublin 8 as a demonstrator centred on enhancing the health and wellbeing of the 45,000 citizens in the community.

Over the last three years, Smart D8 has engaged with several public organisations and private companies. Through a series of pilot projects as well as ongoing partner collaboration, Dublin 8 has gradually transformed into a demonstrator focused on the health and wellbeing of citizens.

The 2024 pilot call is open to all Enterprise, Academic Institutions, and Public and Private sector organisations who offer innovative and scalable solutions that address unmet needs of the community and can be enabled by collaboration with Smart D8 partners.

Jack Lehane, Smart D8 Ecosystem Manager, said:

“Following the success of our previous pilot projects, which have positively impacted over 6,000 citizens in Dublin 8 by enhancing awareness across various health issues including heart health and mental wellbeing, we are now inviting applicants in the areas of Community Health, Health Literacy and Environmental.  Smart D8 provides an excellent opportunity for businesses and researchers to meaningfully contribute to improving the health and wellbeing of citizens in Dublin 8 and beyond, and we strongly encourage any organisations who have developed innovative products or services in these three areas to apply.”

Giulia Camera, Smart D8 Enterprise and Learning Coordinator, added:

“The community is central to the development and innovation at Smart D8. The latest call for pilot projects provides an excellent opportunity for developments to flourish in three critical areas of local health innovation, which will not only support the health and wellbeing of the local community but will also enable improved education on key areas of everyday wellness. By providing access to new projects and resources on health, we can progress the wellbeing of the Dublin 8 community, and beyond, one step further.”

The success of Smart D8 is evident through various pilot projects over recent years. These initiatives include Menopause and the City which aimed at educating women and their surrounding family and friends about menopause so they can be empowered to manage their symptoms, Heart of Our City which aimed at improving awareness and management of cardiovascular disease in the community, and Civic Dollars which enabled people to earn a digital currency through spending time in local parks and nature.

Smart D8 is led by The Digital Hub, Smart Dublin, Dublin City Council and St. James’s Hospital. They are joined by Tyndall National Institute, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Trinity Research & Innovation, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, National College of Art & Design, Guinness Enterprise Centre, Health Innovation Hub Ireland and the HSE in this unique collaborative initiative.

Applications will close on Friday, March 29th at 11pm. For more information on Smart D8 and to find out how to apply for the latest round of pilot projects, please visit https://smartd8.ie

 

Read an article in this weeks’ WOW, Women on Wednesdays featuring identifyHer, a HIHI supported company, with their new tech sensor which monitors the menopause

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Read Deirdre McArdle article for WOW (Women on Wednesday) for the Evening Echo featuring HIHI supported company identifyHer.  New tech is getting to the crux of perimenopause (echolive.ie)

identifyHer was one of the winners of HIHI FemTech Call Competition 2023.

New tech is getting to the crux of perimenopause

identifyHer founder Heidi Davis

 

Gamechanging wearable sensor technology set to prolong independent living for Ireland’s elderly population

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HIHI is this week spotlighting a game changing wearable technology for elderly people living in the community in Ireland. As the Irish population over the age of 65 increases over the coming decades, there will be an increased demand for health and social care services. PacSana has come up with a novel primary sensor which is a movement tracker contained in a bracelet.

HIHI was delighted to work with Pacsana, an Enterprise Ireland funded Irish homecare technology company on this product pilot study. The company, a winner of HIHI’s 2020 Innovation Call Competition aims to transform the elderly care sector.

Pacsana’s “wear and forget” bracelet sensor technology aims to prolong independent living for older people. It provides critical insights and valuable data on exercise, location, movement and falls useful for clinicians, carers and families. HIHI’s role was vital for the company in examining usability and feasibility of the bracelet movement sensor working closely with the Sligo Integrated Care Team for Older Persons and testing it in community settings.
Read the full case study and discover the outcomes of the pilot study.

https://hih.ie/downloads/case-studies/HIHI-case-study_Pacsana2.pdf

Vox-AI amongst winners of HIHI’s FemTech Innovation Call with an AI driven tool centred on menopause management

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Vox-AI is an AI-driven platform that uses advanced Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) technology, complemented by multilingual spoken word bots and avatars.


MenoMate is a chatbot centred on menopause management and is trained on data from medical and psychology websites. MenoMate provides reliable answers to questions on menopause based on information from trusted sources. It is currently available in nine languages. The platform’s versatile design allows for applications across various women’s health areas, including mental health, fertility care, pregnancy, contraception and abortion care. MenoMate is available online.

https://beta.ai-vox.com/MenoMate

In advance of International Women’s Health Week – Meet one of the winners of HIHI’s FemTech Innovation Call indentifyHer

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identifyHer Ltd is a femtech company focussed on detecting and tracking menopausal symptoms.


The identifyHer platform is a wearable biosensor to detect and track menopausal symptoms with an accompanying application to present data. The device can be used by women to understand the symptoms they experience and for clinicians, it provides objective symptom data that can be used as a decision support tool in the diagnosis of perimenopause. The wearable device has a combination of sensors that measure physiological changes in conjunction with a data analytics platform to transform the vital sign data into the frequency and severity of vasomotor (hot flushes, night sweats) and behavioural (anxiety, sleep disturbance) perimenopausal symptoms. IdentifyHer is preparing for market launch in the 3rd quarter of 2024.

https://www.identifyher.ai/

Dr Tanya Mulcahy Director of HIHI and Founder of Femtech Ireland to speak at the upcoming National Menopause Summit – Advocating for change

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HIHI are delighted to announce that Dr Tanya Mulcahy will speak again this year at the National Menopause Summit. The event takes place on the 11th and 12th April 2024 at the Aviva Stadium.

Dr. Mulcahy joins an impressive line up of speakers this year and will focus on The Femtech revolution: delivering innovation in menopause. Dr. Michael Twomey, Senior Clinical Research Manager and Clinical Evaluation Lead at Health Innovation Hub Ireland will also join the discussion. The event will be again moderated by Grainne Seoige and Mariella Frostrup will also take to the stage.

The event organisers of the summit highlight  that “The 2024 National Menopause Summit will continue to advocate for a new norm across the Irish workplace through the empowerment and education of Irish organisations on the introduction of inclusive, compassionate and sympathetic workplace policies to ensure all feel supported to forge forward in their careers at this oftentimes highly challenging and transitional stage of life”.

To find out more about the full line up of speakers and the event details log on to National Menopause Summit – Advocating for Change

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The Menopause Hub among the winning companies of HIHI’s FemTech Innovation competition

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The Menopause Hub App will allow women to track their menopause and perimenopause symptoms prior and post treatment and to book appointments. It will provide medication and appointment reminders and has a range of educational resources. Clinicians will be able to view their patients’ menopause and perimenopause symptoms, patient care pathway, outcomes post treatment and medication compliance. The app could also be used in data collection for clinical audit and research. The app will be available free to patients of The Menopause Hub in early 2024 in the first instance. The Menopause Hub app will be offered on a commercial basis to GPs and healthcare providers in Ireland and internationally subsequently

 

 

The Menopause Hub