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Smart D8 is extending the call for pilots to Friday 05th May 2023 at 23:00

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Following two years of success in engaging Enterprise, Academia and a range of relevant stakeholders, the Smart D8 initiative has delivered 8 impactful and scalable pilots. In 2023 this engagement will continue with a third open call for pilots – deadline now extended to May 5.

Apply here

Continuing to focus on the measured health and wellbeing needs of the 25,000 strong diverse Dublin 8 population, this call will focus on three themes namely:

  • Positive and Healthy Ageing,
  • Connected Patient in the Community, and
  • Population Health.

Smart D8 seek to support the development of impactful, scalable and sustainable pilots involving enterprise, academic and other relevant public and private stakeholders. The pilot proposals should be ready to deploy with end users and should be in a position to measure impacts within a six-month timeframe.

To apply, please submit your proposal here: by Friday, 05th May 2023 at 23:00

Smart D8 Pilot Call Themes

Some examples of the types of pilots which would be relevant to the Dublin 8 population are given here for illustrative purposes. Smart D8 takes a very broad perspective on population health and wellbeing. Balancing preventative approaches with the support for patients in the community and in innovation in the delivery of healthcare, the pilot call is broad in the application areas.

Positive and Healthy Ageing

  • General Preventative Health solutions that can be implemented in a community setting to maintain good health and wellbeing.
  • Support for patients living in the community.
  • Ways to better integrate the ageing population into communities.
  • Providing support for the ageing population making a valuable contribution to communities.
  • Health and wellbeing services focused on an ageing population.

Connected Patient in the Community

  • Connected Patient in the Community
  • Support for patients living in the community.
  • Health and wellbeing services focused on patients living in a community.
  • Chronic Disease Management which will allow people to manage chronic health conditions in the community.
  • Social prescribing and related services.
  • Support for community-based services.
  • Approaches to Health and wellbeing education and learning.

Population Health

  • Chronic Disease Management which will allow people to manage chronic health conditions in the community.
  • General Preventative Health solutions that can be implemented in a community setting to maintain good health and wellbeing.
  • Ways to encourage better exercise and nutrition.
  • Ways to reduce stress in the general population.
  • Approaches to Health and wellbeing education and learning.
  • Health and wellbeing services focused on a general population.

Who Should Apply?

The pilot call is open to all Enterprise, Academy, Public and Private sector organisations, who:

  • Offer innovative and scalable solutions (products, services or devices).
  • Provides new practices/solutions/perspectives that address an unmet need in the community.
  • Have a solution that is ready for end user deployment within six months.
  • Can be enabled by a co creation and collaboration with the Smart D8 partners and beyond.

Why Apply?

  • Opportunity to pilot and demonstrate the impact and scalability of your offering in a real-world community setting.
  • Access to a unique collaborative ecosystem with established clinical, academic, public and private sector engagement
  • Funding support available for selected pilots.
  • Project management support
  • Marketing and promotion support
  • Access to free workspace in Dublin 8 during the pilot period.

Application Process and Timelines

  • Process : Applicants must submit a completed application form through the Smart D8 website. Applicants can apply for more than one call.
  • Call opens : Monday, 27th March 2023
  • Call closes : on Friday, 05th May 2023 at 23:00
  • Evaluation of proposals :
    Your submission will be reviewed by expert panel drawn from the Smart D8 partners.  A shortlist of applicants will be selected and will be asked to make a presentation to the evaluation panel. An update on the call outcome will be provided to all applicants on Monday 22nd May 2023.   
  • Projects start : June 2023
  • Projects present results/interim results : December 2023

Spotlighting a HIHI pilot with My OT & Me with the potential to reduce paediatric OT waiting lists

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Health Innovation Hub Ireland were delighted to work with My OT & Me an Irish start-up founded by Jessica Kennedy, Senior Paediatric Occupational Therapist and Seán Ó Tuama. My OT & Me is an online paediatric occupational therapy (OT) resource to support children and families who are in need of OT support. It aims
to support and empower as many families as possible in an innovative, accessible and interactive way. The focus is on positive child development, encouraging independence and creating confident children. Paediatric Occupational Therapy helps children and young people with different needs and abilities to become as independent as possible by developing the skills they need to perform the purposeful activities that make up everyday life.

HSE Primary Care Occupational Therapy Services are experiencing increased numbers of referrals. This can be challenging particularly in times of limited resources, long waiting lists and redeployment of existing staff to COVID-19 testing duties. There is also a significant demand for private paediatric OT services in Ireland amongst parents, caregivers, educators, professionals and students.

Jane O’ Flynn acting Operations Manager HIHI welcomed the pilot “It is really important that children receive early intervention for their occupational therapy needs. The HIHI pilot of the My OT & Me programme with HSE community paediatric OTs in Cork and their clients demonstrated how children and their families benefited from completing this combined eHealth and activity programme at home. There is great potential for this innovative programme to help over 18,000 children waiting from HSE paediatric OT assessments in Ireland.”

My OT & Me’s platform is a unique telehealth-based product providing online paediatric occupational therapy resources to support children and families who are in need of OT support. It provides information through structured high quality educational videos for parents covering a range of OT topics. Children are provided with My OT & Me’s product, Octobox to support them with skill acquisition in a fun and interactive way.

Health Innovation Hub Ireland supported the My OT & Me Innovation Journey via a pilot with North Lee Primary Care Occupational Therapy Department, HSE with twenty-six children and their families in Cork who were awaiting intervention services. The children and their parents or guardians undertook a dedicated 12 week My OT & Me programme which concluded in February 2022.

A significant outcome of the pilot was that

  • half of all children did not need further HSE OT support at the end of the programme. As this programme is carried out by parents and children at home.
  • it can free up OTs to see other children and thus help reduce waiting times.
  • The families who piloted the My OT & Me programme at home responded positively. The programme gave 100% of families more confidence and provided them with practical strategies to support their child and they found the format of the programme manageable.
  • 85% reported that the programme gave them additional knowledge and understanding.
  • 71% said their child enjoyed the programme, they saw an improvement in their child’s skills and the programme helped the child meet the goals set for them.

The feedback from the OTs was also positive. 100% of OTs would recommend it to other Paediatric OTs, 80% would like to continue to have access to the programme for their clients and 60% considered that the piloted programme would help reduce waiting times.

Speaking on conclusion of the successful HIHI pilot Jess Kennedy Co-founder, My OT & Me said “ Having access to clinical teams through a dedicated programme like this has fast-tracked our commercial implementation.”

Read the case study and a selection of our other work here Case Studies – Health Innovation Hub Ireland (

HIHI announces the appointment of new team member Dr. Jonathan Moran

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Health Innovation Hub Ireland are delighted to announce that Dr. Jonathan Moran PhD, BSc, PGDip Primary Care (Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal), PG Cert Statistics joins us as a HSE Clinical Liaison, with the Dublin team at our office based at St. James’s Hospital Dublin. Dr. Moran has spent the last number of years working at the hospital’s physiotherapy department and he brings a wealth of experience and a broad network to the HIHI national team.

Jonathan completed a BSc. in Physiotherapy and graduated from Trinity College Dublin in June 2013. While, undertaking his undergraduate degree, Jonathan developed a keen interest in cancer and exercise, particularly its role in the preoperative setting.

Immediately post his undergraduate degree, Jonathan began a PhD in Physiotherapy entitled ‘Evaluating and optimising preoperative physical fitness to enhance postoperative recovery in major surgery’. Jonathan examined the role of preoperative physical fitness in improving postoperative morbidity and mortality rates. In addition, Jonathan investigated interventions to enhance preoperative physical fitness and examined if this translated to an improvement in postoperative outcome. Jonathan completed his PhD in August 2017.

Following the completion of his PhD, Jonathan began working as a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Julie Broderick. During this position, Jonathan helped develop physical activity guidelines to support mental health service users published by the Health Service Executive

For his research Jonathan has obtained over €30,000 in funding from the Royal City of Dublin Hospital Trust and €2,500 from the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists for The PHIIT Trial ( NCT02674815). In addition, Jonathan has a number of peer-reviewed publications in high-ranking publications such as the British Journal of Anaesthesia and Surgery.

In 2018, Jonathan began working as a Physiotherapist in St. James’s Hospital, Ireland’s largest hospital, quickly becoming a senior in inpatient orthopaedics. While in this role Jonathan also served as the Co-Editor in Chief of the peer-reviewed journal, Physiotherapy Practice & Research, and also serves on the Tallaght/St. James’s Research Ethics Committee.

Health Innovation Hub Ireland, headquartered in UCC, is supporting local companies to develop their HealthTech products.

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Health Innovation Hub Ireland, a national initiative supported by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, the Department of Health, Enterprise Ireland and the HSE is led-by and headquartered in UCC with a partner hub in MTU . The goal of HIHI is to support Ireland’s health technology industry by connecting innovators with healthcare and driving the development of products through HIHI’s unique innovation pathway. HIHI supports innovations at idea stage, pre-commercial prototype stage and market ready products. HIHI supports companies based anywhere in Ireland but we are particularly proud of the work we’ve done to support local Cork-based industry. Here is snapshot of some recent successes:


Health Innovation Hub Ireland supports Cork-based Gasgon Medical with clinical feedback of AirVault – a novel device to limit the impact of air bubbles in infusion therapy lines.

Cork- based Gasgon Medical has developed a novel closed-system air trap, the AirVault. As a single-use device, AirVault is designed to provide a safe, easy and effective technology to prevent the impact of Air-in-Line, a common disruptor of infusion therapy, which will result in improved safety for patients and healthcare staff. Gasgon Medical approached Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) to get feedback on its AirVault medical device from clinical experts to ensure it will meet the needs of healthcare professionals and their patients.

Through its clinical network, HIHI identified suitable clinicians to attend five focus groups in three different hospitals in Cork and Dublin. HIHI facilitated the focus groups, advised on the key questions which were addressed by over 35 experts in nurse practice development, nursing management, infection control, oncology, pharmacy, quality risk management and biomedical engineering.

The company received valuable feedback and suggestions, which assisted them in the final design of the AirVault. The clinical feedback also highlighted other use-cases for this technology which HIHI is currently helping the company to explore. Now with a design freeze, Gasgon is beginning a multi-centre study designed to capture clinical evidence and contribute towards CE mark and FDA accreditation

Read the full case study here:


HIHI supports Cork sisters to pilot innovative sustainable PPE in healthcare

Cork sisters,  Dr Mary O’ Riordan and Lisa O’Riordan, have developed the HaPPE Apron- a more sustainable alternative to traditional personal protective equipment (PPE) in a bid to help cut carbon emissions from healthcare.

The “green” PPE apron is made from a proprietary resin that is composed of compostable bioplastics. It matches the safety parameters of current, medical Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) single-use aprons, is CE approved and suitable for use in healthcare. Overall, the apron has a carbon footprint 75 per cent lower than a standard PPE apron, with no waste in the manufacturing process and using sustainable energy sources for production.

Health Innovation Hub Ireland working with the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital (SIVUH) in Cork piloted the HaPPE Apron with 7,000 aprons tested for wearability, acceptability, sustainability and durability, across the elective orthopaedic ward, the orthopaedic rehab ward and across the hospital catering and kitchen services.

“To see our compostable apron being used by frontline staff in the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital and to get such support from the HIHI team was invaluable to us. It is through collaboration like this that we bring practical solutions to our health system,” the co-founders said.

“Worldwide, the healthcare sector is responsible for as much as 4.6 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions. If Ireland is to make an impact, we need to look at innovative products that reduce carbon emissions while maintaining safety, UCC has a strong sustainability agenda and we are delighted to support sustainable healthcare products” said Dr Tanya Mulcahy, Director of Health Innovation Hub Ireland.

UCC based Start-up Teleatherapy begins Health Innovation Hub Ireland pilot with the HSE

Founded in 2020 by Clare Meskill, Teleatherapy has developed a platform to better connect speech and language therapists with patients that have Parkinson’s disease.

The platform enables speech therapists to prescribe exercises for clients, which can then be completed at home through an app on their phone or tablet. This product is designed to save time for speech therapists and reduce waitlists for patients.

Through Health Innovation Hub Ireland, Teletherapy are piloting their platform within the HSE. The company will gather feedback from patients, carers and speech therapists as part of the pilot.

“Clare Meskill is a UCC graduate (College of Medicine and Health) and a UCC Ignite alumna, Teleatherapy has offices in UCC Gateway and it’s great that Health Innovation Hub Ireland is in a position to support the company development. Teleatherapy is improving the quality of life for Parkinson’s patients and we are delighted to be able to help”  Dr Tanya Mulcahy, Director Health Innovation Hub Ireland.


Cork’s Orthopaedic Medical Device Company OrthoXel supported by HIHI to address MDR compliance

Cork-based OrthoXel approached HIHI to assist it in carrying out the human factor usability testing of the completion of its Implant Card in compliance with the MDR. HIHI first identified that orthopaedic theatre nurses are the healthcare professionals responsible for completing the Implant Card in this case. Through its clinical network and the HSE clinical staff assigned to HIHI, HIHI identified orthopaedic theatre nurses and facilitated two rounds of ergonomic usability testing. HIHI provided clinical liaison and project management expertise throughout the project to ensure that this testing was carried out in line with OrthoXel’s tight timeline.

OrthoXel is a specialist orthopaedic trauma company, which uses innovative engineering design to evolve the next generation fracture fixation devices. Its innovative orthopaedic trauma devices are inspired by surgeons and are focussed on delivering superior patient outcomes. OrthoXel’s products include the Apex Tibial Nailing System and the Apex Femoral Nailing System, both of which are CE marked and FDA cleared.

New circular to assist SMEs in Public Procurement

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“As part of the Public Service Reform Plan, the Government established the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) to drive a new consolidated and integrated approach to public procurement. In the context of its ongoing commitment to ensure that Small and Medium Enterprises(SMEs) are fully engaged with public procurement and the opportunities presenting, the OGP has undertaken a review of Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Circular 10/2014. 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. SMEs, as defined in EU Recommendation 2003/361 , are enterprises which employ less than 250 persons with an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million.
This Circular is designed to further enable SMEs in competing for public contracts and replaces Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Circular 10/
2014. This Circular should be read in conjunction with the Public Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services and the Capital Works Management Framework as appropriate. This Circular applies to all public sector bodies.” Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Circular
More here:

New Irish TB smartphone study, published on world TB day, shows huge HSE cost reduction, increased patient satisfaction and cuts nursing time from up to 60 minutes to 1 minute

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On World TB Day a new  national TB study reveals a smart health option would cost the HSE just 8 per cent (€300) per patient, compared to current system cost of €3,362 per patient, over a six month treatment period. The Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) and national TB centre study of 34 patients over 18 months, investigated the use of technology against in person care in Tuberculosis (TB) medication adherence. 16 study participants were on the current Irish standard of care, Direct Observed Therapy (DOT) – a public health nurse must physically witness patients taking medication. 18 participants were randomised to the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended UK and US standard of care – Video Observed Therapy (VOT). Patients take TB  medications remotely, recording through their smartphone and sending securely to the clinical team. A total of 3,634 videos were viewed during the study period. Results reveal:

  • Revenue – HSE financial and budget implications: Using the current method of Direct Observed Therapy (DOT) HSE cost is €3,362 per patient over six months, compared to €300 Video Observed Therapy (VOT) for same period.
  • Workflow – HSE resource saved: Time for each public health nurse to carry out DOT in person using hard copy records for one patient was up to 60 minutes. For VOT each patient video was on average one minute at the computer.
  • Clinical pathway – Patient self-management: Seven participants were transferred from DOT to VOT due to inability to comply with DOT citing work hours, or reported undue stress due to DOT Patient sentiment with VOT was extremely positive. VOT empowered continuation of normal work/life routines and taking medications at a time convenient to them. Contrastingly, those on DOT had to be available at set times suitable to the public health nurses, which was disempowering and restrictive..

The study also proved that VOT had higher levels of treatment observation in the first two months of treatment and remained consistently high throughout treatment compared to DOT. VOT can facilitate twice daily dosing at no additional cost. For patients on twice daily dosing on DOT, typically the second afternoon dose in the PM could not be facilitated due to time constraints of the public health nurse. As a result, not all doses were observed which is a significant health risk.

Co- Principal Investigators TB Clinical Nurse Specialist Lorraine Dolan and Prof Ann Marie McLaughlin said:

“TB remains a public health imperative. We are using World TB day to urge the Irish health system to review TB care in Ireland based on the overwhelming results of this new study. VOT is hugely cost saving; time saving across staff teams, supports patient self-management and increased TB patient medication observation per day. Due to resource constraints in Ireland, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre advises selective DOT. However, universal observation is most beneficial to stop the transmission chain and resource is not an issue using VOT.”

Convinced of the efficacy of VOT in TB care, TB Clinical Nurse Specialist, Loraine Dolan, approached HSE and Enterprise Ireland partnership, Health Innovation Hub Ireland, in 2019 to collaborate on the first of its kind research study in Irish TB care. The study site was the National TB Centre, St James’s Hospital, in the outpatient department, incorporating the Respiratory Assessment Unit.

Health Innovation Hub Ireland Manger, Dublin, Eimear Galvin said:

 “Health Innovation Hub Ireland focus is introducing innovative solutions to our health system that meet priority needs of Irish patients. HIHI was thrilled to work with the TB team to deliver this important study, which shows that innovative technology delivers remarkable health system savings, increases treatment access  and supports self-management in the community. The need for this kind of remote care and patient self-management is even more obvious now since Covid-19.”

Irish company Ostoform provides solutions for patients post-surgery with their medical device® Mouldable Seal with FLOWASSIST®which is now available for public and private patients in Ireland

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Health Innovation Hub Ireland worked with Ostoform on a product pilot which will change the lives of Irish patients post -surgery.

HIHI along with Kevin Kelleher, CEO of Ostoform, worked on a healthcare challenge. People who have had a surgically created stoma, particularly an ileostomy, are at risk of developing peristomal skin complications, with incidence rates of up to 63% reported in literature. Currently, treatments of peristomal skin complications are limited. Pastes are available, but they can often impede ostomy bags from sticking to the skin. Furthermore, the bags themselves can contribute to peristomal skin complications, by allowing waste to contact the peristomal skin, causing chemical irritation and standard seals are often broken down by stoma output, which then contacts your skin resulting in irritation and discomfort.

The Healthcare Solution is the Ostoform Class I medical device aims to prevent the development of peristomal skin complications. With all ileostomies, there is a risk of stoma output contacting the peristomal skin and causing irritation. Ostoform was designed to minimise this risk. The Ostoform Seal is a device designed to prevent the development of peristomal skin complications and ensures that stoma output flows away from the skin, keeping it safe, healthy and comfortable.

HIHI played a pivotal role in the development of this product pilot and designed and project managed two separate multisite clinical studies to assess the impact and efficacy of their FLOWASSIST novel ostomy device. The initial study included Tallaght University Hospital St James’s Hospital and University Hospital Galway, engaging two CRFs in Dublin and Galway.

The second study was conducted at Cork University Hospital, Mercy University Hospital Cork and University Hospital Galway. Patients with an ileostomy were screened from the stoma nurse’s outpatients list, those who met the inclusion criteria were invited to participate. There was no control group in this study as currently there is no accepted ‘standard care’ device for the management of peristomal skin complications so patients use a range of different devices. Ethics approval was obtained for both studies.

The outcome of the product pilot obtained its objectives. The purpose of this practical application study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Ostoform® Mouldable Seal with FLOWASSIST® Protection in protecting the skin of people with an ileostomy, as well as to gather user feedback on the perception of the device. 60% of the participants remained at a very low DET score throughout the study, and 35% of participants demonstrated an improvement in DET score provides an indication that the novel barrier ring can be effective in protecting the skin. User feedback was positive with respect to comfort, device handling and the perception of the device’s ability to protect the skin. Furthermore, the majority of participants who already used a barrier ring, indicated that the FLOWASSIST device would result in a longer wear time.

In 2021, the clinical study with Ostoform and HIHI concluded and results were accepted for publication. An application for inclusion of this product on HSE Primary Care Reimbursement Scheme for public patients was submitted to the HSE and approved in September 2022. As a result, the Ostoform FLOWASSIST product is now available to Irish patients.

Kevin Kelleher Ostoform’s CEO spoke about the product pilot and HIHI’s involvement. “HIHI supported Ostoform by preparing and conducting two separate clinical studies, both of which demonstrated very encouraing results. Our FLOWASSIST technology demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in peristomal skin complications, along with additional user benefits. As a result, the product has been awarded premium reimbursement by the HSE. The HIHI played a central role in getting the Ostoform Seal to market in Ireland, and this will result in improved quality of life for ostomy patients across the country”.

Ms Noreen Lynch, Health Innovation Hub Ireland Clinical Liaison said: “As a nurse, I am always looking for new products that make it easier for patients to manage their recovery after surgery. We were delighted to support Ostoform to evaluate their FlowAssist seal with ileostomy patients and to see the real impact these products have on patients. The product is now available in Ireland to public and private patients and is already on the international market”.

Read the full case study here


Winners of the inaugural Clinical Innovation Awards aim at improving patient outcomes

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The inaugural Clinical Innovation Awards were hosted by Health Innovation Hub Ireland and Enterprise Ireland with the aim of supporting healthcare professionals to explore the commercial feasibility of their ideas.

Professor Seamus Morris scooped the overall award for his product, Mint, presented to him by HIHI’s Dr Steven Griffin. Three other winners and their inventions were also awarded prizes of €15,000 from Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Feasibility Fund.

Read more on the awards and on how Mint aims to overhaul the treatment of neural compression in this article in Silicon Republic here