Digital Health Living Labs accelerate healthcare solutions

HSE Press Release: Monday, 5th October 2020

HSE Digital Transformation partners with innovators

Today, (Monday, 5th October 2020) the HSE and partners demonstrated a network of digital health living labs whose goal is to accelerate the co-creation and adoption of digital health solutions in Ireland.

Digital Health Living Labs provide test beds for new digital technologies through high impact projects. In collaboration with our partners, these innovative projects focus on enhanced benefits and services for patients in hospitals and local communities as well as delivering value for money.  A network of Irish Digital Labs has now been developed in locations such as Sligo, Cork, Wexford, Roscommon, Cavan and Dublin.

Innovations at the Digital Labs were demonstrated at today’s virtual Digital Academy Forum hosted in Dublin.

Commenting HSE CEO Paul Reid said, “Digital is an important tool in fighting Covid-19 and modernising the broader Health Service. As examples, remote monitoring of patients at home and video consultations have been very important during the Covid-19 pandemic”

Director of Digital Transformation at the HSE Martin Curley said, “At the HSE we are introducing digital health living labs as a new instrument to help co-create, pilot, test, and socialise new digital solutions which improve patient care and quality of life, reduce cost and improve clinician experience. The network of digital health living labs we announced and demonstrated today is the result of proactive collaboration between clinicians, companies large and small, policy makers, academics and importantly patients and patient groups.

“Collectively the output and impact of the Digital Health Living Labs will help Ireland become a European digital health leader in the years ahead with significantly better outcomes for Irish patients.”

Respiratory diseases are the number one cause of hospitalisation during the Winter season and a new virtual respiratory living lab has been created to help reduce the number of respiratory hospitalisations and also facilitate earlier discharge of patients. 

Dr Des Murphy, HSE National Respiratory Clinical Lead said, “I am delighted today to announce the new respiratory living lab in CUH featuring a world’s first for automated respiration rate measurement delivered by Cork based PMD Solutions Ltd. This will deliver highly accurate respiration measurement enabling better care and earlier interventions for deteriorating patients.”  Additionally a virtual ward for patients with long term respiratory disease is being established. This may extend up to five hundred patients nationally.

St James’s Hospital and the HSE Digital Transformation team are collaborating on the use of SJH as a digital hospital living lab.   St James’s Hospital is already digitally advanced with its “Project Oak” installation of an electronic health record, leading the way in Ireland.  Joint projects under way include a patient app, for better communication with patients and a digital dermatology solution which aims to halve the waiting list for dermatology patients. 

Mary Day, CEO of SJH said, “Digital Hospitals will become the norm, we at St James’s want to be at the vanguard of the digital revolution and are delighted to partner with the HSE Digital Transformation team on this digital health living lab initiative. Gemma Garvan, CIO at SJH said,  “We are very fortunate in St James’s to have strong foundations to build upon and we are delighted to work with the HSE Digital Transformation team to demonstrate how digital solutions can be applied to improve healthcare delivery in a live acute hospital setting.”

Similarly Tallaght University Hospital announced a shared digital living lab with HSE Digital Transformation.  Lucy Nugent, CEO of TUH said, “We are delighted to be pioneering the use of a number of advanced digital solutions in our digital health living lab in areas including vital signs automation, pulmonary rehabilitation and stroke treatment.

A new living lab for older persons was announced for Wexford. Catherine McGuigan, Chief Officer of Age Friendly Ireland said, “The role of assistive technologies in supporting Ireland’s ageing population to manage chronic disease and enable them to live independently cannot be underestimated. Age Friendly Ireland recognises the significant role of Telehealth and remote clinical triage in progressing innovative approaches to care management. We are delighted to be working with our colleagues in Wexford County Council, the HSE and partners to progress this living lab and our objective is to produce demonstrable outcomes that will inform future service delivery”. Tom Enright, CEO of Wexford County Council commented, “Wexford County Council are delighted to be working with a number of partners including Age Friendly Ireland and the HSE on an Assistive Technologies Telehealth National Pilot. This pilot will offer older people with chronic health conditions the use of technology to support them in terms of the care they require and any health intervention they need while continuing to live independently in their chosen home setting.”  

A new Digital Health living Lab in Sligo was announced. Ciaran Hayes CEO of Sligo County Council said “We are delighted at Sligo County Council to a announce a new Digital Health living lab in collaboration with HSE and Sligo IT focussed on creating a virtual ward for older persons and using digital technologies to improve paediatric diabetes treatment. The living lab is a great exemplar of the Sligo digital strategy, launched earlier today, at work”.

Also at the Forum HSE Digital Transformation, Roche Diagnostics and Centric Health announced their intention to collaborate on a Cardiac Living Lab entitled Heart Care at Home. Dr Donal Bailey, Centric Health Head of Clinical Innovation commented, "The Heart Care at Home remote monitoring programme is designed to monitor, support and improve the quality of life of patients with Heart Failure throughout Ireland from the comfort of their own homes. We very much look forward to working with HSE Digital Transformation and Roche Diagnostics, which we expect will accelerate improvement in patients’ outcomes and lives through collaborative data analysis, insight generation, and resultant implementation of findings. Dr Jochen Hurlebaus, Head of Roche Digital Health Solutions said, "At Roche Diagnostics we engage with digital health companies, providers and payers to create the best value for patients and the healthcare system. A Living Lab provides the perfect environment to co-create solutions will all stakeholders, thus setting the stage for a solution that can be brought to all people of Ireland.”


Last updated on: 05 / 10 / 2020