“Inspiring” assistive tech innovations in Ireland recognised in 2022 showcase
The showcases features various healthcare technology innovations from a wide range of areas, including remote care products, a children’s occupational therapy resource, a hand therapy app, an oral care programme, an appointment scheduling system, and more.
These projects have been delivered through HIHI in Irish healthcare sites nationally – in Health Service Executive (HSE) acute, primary and community sites; in private healthcare; in pharmacies and GP practices; and directly with the public.
HIHI provides a vital link between Irish companies and leading health professionals and clinicians to pilot and test these innovative solutions.
Dr. Tanya Mulcahy, Interim Director Health Innovation Hub Ireland, explained the role of the health tech innovation sector: “There is a real buzz in the health technology innovation sector in Ireland today, with new ideas and start-ups being developed throughout the country.
“It is imperative that these companies are supported at the critical stages of their product development to access our healthcare system and to engage with clinical experts.
“Through our strong collaboration with the HSE, and Enterprise Ireland and our academic base in UCC, NUIG, MTU and TCD, we make it easier and faster for these companies to develop their products. We are immensely proud of the companies that we’ve chosen for our showcase, in working with these companies we have seen the value that they bring to healthcare and to Ireland.”
HIHI says that the 20 companies showcased have demonstrated impact and value in healthcare. They have availed of the unique HIHI innovation pathway for companies seeking pilot or validation studies in an Irish healthcare setting.
Below, AT Today has highlighted four of the key assistive technology innovations from the showcase.
In line with Ireland’s ageing population and the need for more digital healthcare solutions to enhance current services, PacSana provides products to help prolong independent living for older people. The primary sensor is a movement tracker contained in a bracelet. The PacSana bracelet sensors provide critical insight and understanding of users’ movement and health status. Data generated from the sensors can help family members and carers predict possible future issues and react to urgent ones.
HIHI facilitated a clinical evaluation study for PacSana to explore, through expert clinical feedback, potential product application and market value across different therapy areas. Comprehensive clinical feedback was given via HIHI’s national network.
Created out of the need for healthcare professionals to have easy-to-use mobile apps to support their clinical work, Zendra Health’s medical device-grade software creates personalised self-management solutions aligning with specific care pathways to provide timely care. The hand therapy app prompts patients when to do their rehabilitation exercises, how to carry them out correctly, and records progress. This helps to improve outcomes and reduces hospital travel times.
HIHI is supporting Zendra Health to conduct pilots with patients and staff of the hand therapy teams in Cork University Hospital and University Hospital Galway. This will enable Zendra Health to demonstrate its capabilities to design, develop and manufacture customised health apps in conjunction with the local clinical teams.
To help modernise how healthcare organisations care for, and communicate with, their patients, Wellola’s end-to-end patient communication platform was designed to ‘plug-in’ to hospitals, organisations and primary care systems, giving patients access to their medical information in addition to facilitating remote care delivery via Wellola’s video and online consultation tools.
HIHI facilitated a pilot study with the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) to evaluate remote psychotherapy and counselling care supported by Wellola. Feedback from users was used to inform product improvements and enhancement of the Wellola platform.
Salaso Healthcare Solutions
Salaso is an online, mobile application used by healthcare providers and clinicians. It educates and supports patients in performing their prescribed exercises, whether in hospital or community environments. The Salaso care management tool combines multimedia and technology to engage, educate and support patients and employees of all ages and ability levels in building targeted exercise routines and advice into their daily lives.
HIHI is supporting Salaso to run a pilot in Tralee with patients on orthopaedic waiting lists. Following consultation with the orthopaedic consultant, those patients that do not require further investigation or surgery and who are suitable for, and would benefit from, an exercise programme are enrolled by the orthopaedic consultant on a Salaso programme that they can undertake at home.