We use strictly necessary cookies to make our site work. We would also like to set optional cookies (analytical, functional and YouTube) to enhance and improve our service. You can opt-out of these cookies. By clicking “Accept All Cookies” you can agree to the use of all cookies.

Cookies Statement and Privacy Statement

Spark Ignite Winners 2018

Spark Ignite is an innovation competition that is run in collaboration between NDTP and Health Innovation Hub Ireland. The goal of this competition is to help staff in the health service develop solutions to the challenges faced by care providers and patients. The competition is open to all disciplines and departments. This year, we are hoping to run the event in two more locations (Cork and Dublin) so that we can reach a wider range of staff. 

The first Spark Ignite event took place in Galway in 2018. Applications were open to all healthcare staff working in the Galway region. Entrants were asked to plan, perfect and then pitch their ideas at the event.  This event led to several exciting projects and showed how creative our staff can be! The winners of the competition were given funding to further develop their ideas and are getting on-going support and mentorship from Health Innovation Hub Ireland.  

If you would like to take part in Spark Ignite 2021, please contact spark@hse.ie for further information.  

Spark Ignite Winners 2018 

Spark Inginite

Individual Winner

Liam Connolly – Medical Student, Galway University Hospital

‘My idea is to use a specific belt and monitor that would instruct and guide GERD suffers on how to perform diaphragmatic breathing at home. This would replace the need for patients to be instructed by a language therapist. The belt will lightly constrict and retract in time with the specific diaphragmatic breathing method. It will also have an audio box to instruct and guide users on the timing for inhalation.’


Group Winner

Prof Derek O’Keefe, Consultant Physician, University Hospital Galway.

Team members: Brendan Tuohy, Clinical Engineer UHG, Frank Kirrane, Clinical Engineer UHG, Michael Kerin Consultant Surgeon, UHG, Peter McCarthy Consultant Radiologist, UHG.

‘Our novel idea is to develop an inexpensive handheld medical electronic device that will accurately tell if a Naso-Gastric (NG) tube has been placed correctly in the stomach before NG feeding commences.’


Judges Prize: High Potential (Fastest to Market)

Bronwyn Reid-McDermott | Simulation Technician, ICAPSS

Team Members: Ethel Ryan Consultant Paediatrician, Lisa Dann Paediatric SpR,

“BETTY-BEAR” is a teddy-bear backpack for children with type 1 diabetes. The bear is designed with an injectable simulated skin pad on his stomach for practice of administration of subcutaneous insulin injections.’  


Judges Prize: One To Watch (Future)

Frank Kirrane | Head of Clinical Engineering, at the Department of Medical Physics and Clinical

Team member: Aine Binchy ANP Neonatal ICU.

‘This project idea proposes the design, build and testing of a new device; comprising a microphone, that is synchronized with an infant limb movement sensor (hacked activity tracker sensor), and associated analysis hardware/software, that is placed inside a neonatal incubator, to provide the (currently not available) tangible link between the noise levels experienced by the infant, and the associated infant startle in response to the auditory stimulus.’


 Judges Prize: Novelty (Risk)

Clare Kinahan | Senior Pharmacist Portiuncula University Hospital Ballinasloe.

‘The development and delivery of a pharmacist led Holistic Medication Review service to elderly, frail, multimorbid patients in line with the process outlined in the SIGN polypharmacy guidance 2018. The service could be delivered in the outpatient setting in secondary care or in GP practices.’

 Spark ignite winners

Spark banner