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

| Posted on: 27 May, 2024

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