Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Digital Hub Announces Health Tech Partnership with Health Innovation Hub in Cork



Paperless hospitals, video prescriptions, online therapeutic programmes and cloud solutions for medical imaging are amongst the products and services being developed by tech companies supported under a new phase of Connected Healthat The Digital Hub.

Connected Health is an initiative that has been run by the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA) since the beginning of 2013. It aims to promote and support the development of digital solutions to healthcare problems, and has seen the DHDA partner with a number of leading stakeholders in the healthcare sector over the past 18 months, including its close neighbour, St. James’s Hospital.

Under the new strand of Connected Health – details of which were announced today (16.06.14) – The Digital Hub will partner with Cork’s Health Innovation Hub (HIH).

The HIH was created under the government Action Plan for Jobs 2013 to support Ireland’s healthcare sector in developing new solutions that improve outcomes and lower costs. The initiative has been piloted in Cork over the past year. The DHDA, meanwhile, is the government agency that manages the Digital Hub enterprise development project in Dublin’s south-west inner city.

Commenting today, Edel Flynn, CEO of the DHDA, said: “The aim of Connected Health is to promote the use of digital tools in enhancing healthcare offerings.

“We began meeting with the Health Innovation Hub earlier this year, and we immediately saw the potential for synergies and collaboration between our two organisations. We are delighted with this partnership, and – over the coming year – we look forward to working together to support a number of tech companies whose focus is on healthcare products and services.”

Earlier this year, the HIH Cork demonstrator – under its second call for innovative healthcare solutions – selected 18 company projects. Fourteen of these are being directly managed by the HIH demonstrator, while a further four projects were selected for HIH support in collaboration with a partner who would provide added value to the projects.

Under the new Connected Health initiative, these four projects will now be managed by a designated HIH project manager, working out of The Digital Hub. This marks the first expansion of the HIH initiative outside of Cork. The four companies involved are:

· Sláinte Healthcare, which focuses on technologies that enable paperless hospitals.

· Vidscrip, which aims to facilitate healthcare providers to easily create and deliver video prescriptions.

· SilverCloud Health, which provides online therapeutic solutions using the latest technological tools.

· KJAYA Medical, which delivers medical imaging and workflow solutions through cloud technologies.

By participating in this Connected Health initiative, these four companies will be supported to identify and establish appropriate ‘test-bed’ hospitals and healthcare settings for the products and services they are developing. Cork’s HIH will act as a broker for the companies, facilitating them to build relevant links with industry, academia, government and clinical players. The location of a designated HIH project manager at The Digital Hub, meanwhile, will expose participating companies to the ecosystem that exists at the Hub and connections already in place with key healthcare stakeholders as a result of the ongoing Connected Health programme.

In addition to supporting digital healthcare projects, the new phase of Connected Health will also focus on identifying opportunities to commercialise technology and offering input to government on digital and national e-health policy.

Commenting today, Dave Shanahan, Chair of the HIH national project team, and formerly of Pfizer in Ireland and IDA Ireland, said: “We are delighted with the collaboration between Cork’s HIH and The Digital Hub in Dublin, which is supporting projects identified under the HIH demonstrator’s second call.

“One of the aspects of this partnership that made it really attractive to us was the exposure we will get to a range of relevant players in the digital healthcare innovation arena. The Digital Hub has worked successfully with St. James’s Hospital in the past, and the two organisations are neighbours in Dublin 8. But having a HIH project manager based at The Digital Hub will also enable us to strengthen our links with an extended range of digital healthcare experts. The national project team has submitted proposals to government for consideration of a national HIH, as committed to under the Action Plan for Jobs 2014.”

Further information about the new partnership between The Digital Hub and Cork’s HIH is available at: www.thedigitalhub.com/connectedhealth.