Monday, 4 November 2013

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



Technology’s potential to tackle the health challenges associated with our ageing population will be the focus of a major conference taking place in Dublin tomorrow.

The ‘ActivAge’ conference – organised jointly by the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA) and St. James’s Hospital, Dublin – will take place tomorrow,Tuesday, 5th November, at the Digital Exchange, Crane Street, The Digital Hub, Dublin 8 from 9.15am to 4.30pm.  It will bring together over 100 leaders from the medical, enterprise, tech, research and community sectors, from both Ireland and further afield.

Highlights of the event will include:

·         A panel discussion on how technology can contribute to successful ageing, featuring Brian Fitzgerald, CEO of St. James’s Hospital; Ireland’s first female Olympian Maeve Kyle, who is now aged 85; and a number of enterprise and health specialists (taking place at 3pm). 
·         Inputs from a range of tech companies that have developed successful healthcare products and services, including Lincor SolutionsBiobeats and Patients Know Best
·         Addresses by some of Ireland’s leading experts on health in older age, including Professor Rose Anne Kenny, Director of Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing and Principal Investigator with TILDA(The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing), and Dr. Geraldine McMahon from the Emergency Department at St. James’s Hospital.
·         Insights from Dr. Richard Pope of Airedale Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on how the UK’s National Health Service is using digital solutions to improve the quality of patient care.
·         A special focus on the social dimensions of healthy ageing, with inputs from the Irish Men’s Sheds Association on ‘successful ageing’ and from The Happy Pear on healthy eating; contributions by artists who work with older people; and a dance performance designed to promote falls prevention.

Edel Flynn, CEO of the Digital Hub Development Agency, will give the opening address of the conference at 9.50am tomorrow.  Speaking in advance, she said: “eHealth is one of the major growth areas in digital right now.  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. 

“At the same time, Ireland – and the rest of Europe – has a rapidly ageing population, with the CSO predicting there could be 1.4 million people over the age of 65 in Ireland by the year 2046.  This, obviously, poses huge challenges for our healthcare system and society in general.  The purpose of the ‘ActivAge’ conference is to explore ways in which technology and digital innovations can address those challenges.”