Monday, 7 October 2013

The Digital Hub and St. James’s Hospital Announce Healthy Ageing and Tech Conference



– ‘ActivAge’ event on 5th November to focus on theme of ‘Technology, Health and Wellness in Older Age’ –

A major eHealth conference will take place in Dublin next month.  The ‘ActivAge’ conference – organised jointly by the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA) and St. James’s Hospital – will explore the role of technology in supporting healthy ageing. 

The event will bring together tech entrepreneurs, clinicians, enterprise support agencies and older people.  Guest speakers will include eHealth and ageing experts, and innovative tech-based healthcare solutions will be showcased. 

Initial details of the line-up for ‘ActivAge’ were announced today (07.10.12) by Edel Flynn, CEO of the Digital Hub Development Agency.  Speakers confirmed to date include: 

·         Dr. David Plans, leader of Product Vision at Biobeats, a biotech start-up that uses biometric data to help people live healthier lives.  The company has offices in the USA, the UK and Italy.
·         Dr. Lloyd Humphreys, head of Business Development at Patients Know Best, a UK-based social enterprise that uses technology to allow patients to control their own medical records.
·         Dr. Richard Pope, Consultant Physician (Telehealth) at Airedale Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in the UK. 
·         Professor Rose-Anne Kenny, Director of the Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA), and Principal Investigator of TILDA (The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing).
·         Brothers Stephen and David Flynn, owners of The Happy Pear natural food market in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, who will present their ‘Happy Heart’ course at the conference.  The course was devised by the Flynns with the aim of helping people to reduce their cholesterol levels by up to 20 per cent.  It is delivered entirely online through the Happy Pear website, social networks and video tutorials. 
·         Dr. David Robinson, Consultant Geriatrician at St. James’s Hospital, Dublin
·         Bill Lockhart, Secretary of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association

Announcing the line-up, Edel Flynn highlighted the importance of eHealth as a growth area for digital enterprises. 

“eHealth is one of the major growth areas in digital right now,” she said.  “Over the past few years, it has become increasingly prominent, and more and more tech entrepreneurs are turning their attention to developing health-focused products. 

“This, obviously, is good news for health services throughout the world.  By collaborating with the best and brightest innovators in tech, health services, hospitals and clinicians can contribute to the development of world-class health solutions.  Greater use of technology across our health services will not only result in efficiencies and savings for the sector, but will also lead to improved patient care.” 

Dr. Gerard Boyle, Principal Physicist at St. James’s Hospital and Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA), said the conference would have a specific focus on how technology can contribute to healthier ageing.

“With the rising pressure on health services worldwide caused by an ageing population, technological innovation is often seen as the solution,” he said.  “For engineers and digital innovators, building the apps, devices and software required is relatively easy.  The real issue will be in designing products that can genuinely support health and wellness in older age. 

“‘ActivAge’ is about connecting a broad range of experiences, skills and ideas to imagine a future of technology-supported successful ageing.  We’ll hear from innovators in the digital health arena and clinicians with a deep understanding of health in older age.  But, importantly, ‘ActivAge’ is not just about engineering and medicine; we’ll also be getting insights into older age from artists and social innovators.

“I expect ‘ActivAge’ will be an interesting, eclectic and stimulating fusion of ideas.   I would encourage anyone with an interest in shaping the future of health and technology in older age to attend.” 

‘ActivAge’ will take place at the Digital Exchange, Crane Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8 from 9.30am to 4.30pm on Tuesday, 5th November.  The conference is free to attend; however, advance registration is essential.  To register, and for further information on the conference programme, go to: www.thedigitalhub.com/activage.