Interreg Europe names HIHI as an example of good practice supporting businesses in the Silver economy

| Posted on: 15 September, 2021

An Interreg Europe Policy Learning Platform expert has recognised Health Innovation Hub Ireland as a sectoral innovation hub example of good practice and acknowledged HIHI as: “A hub accelerating healthcare innovation and commercialisation through addressing healthcare challenges.”

Interreg Europe helps regional and local governments across Europe to develop and deliver better policy. They create an environment and opportunities for sharing solutions and policy learning as well as aiming to make sure that government investment, innovation and implementation efforts all lead to integrated and sustainable impact for people and place.

The Policy Learning Platform expert highlighted that: “HIHI is an example of a good practice that supports businesses in the Silver Economy to innovate and develop healthcare solutions for older adults. This good practice has the potential to be replicated across European regions.”

Interreg Europe’s site recognises that HIHI is as an example of cooperation between two governmental departments that bring their most relevant knowledge to have a successful SME innovation facilitation service. The hub also has a strong partnership in terms of clinical and academic centres. It was outlined “that hubs such as this are a great way of facilitating innovation in companies”.  It was highlighted that for SMEs, it is imperative to access expert knowledge to validate prototypes and pilot market-ready solutions in real-life situations. “This practice has a high replication value in other regions. It is a holistic cooperation mechanism that can enable innovation and SME growth in health-tech and silver economy services.”

Interreg Europe’s expert further outlines how HIHI is a valuable resource for SME’s as HIHI facilitates pilot market-ready solutions in real-world healthcare settings, validates prototypes with healthcare experts and verify ideas that meet healthcare and market needs. They also recognised that HIHI provides guidance and advice on health priority needs, product development, regulatory requirements and procurement as well as promoting cultural change in the healthcare system to support and drive innovation from within.

Interreg Europe’s site points to the fact that the Irish government recognises the need for an integrated healthcare system to enable older people to remain at home for longer and recognised HIHI’s role.  “HIHI in Cork supported the enterprise ‘CareFolk’, who developed an integrated care platform (web & mobile) for clinicians, health professionals and community services for the assessment, management, co-ordination and review of patients. One clinician reported Carefolk ‘reduced my admin time by up to 50%’. This pilot allowed sharing of patient information between care team members. Following completion, this has been recommended with the addition of extra features to the national health service”.

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