In Brief

  • Challenge: Future Innovator Prize 2018
  • Challenge Type: SFI Future Innovator Prize
  • Status: Complete

The Challenge

Waiting times for patients in Irish hospitals have grown in recent years to unprecedented levels. At the beginning of 2018 there were just over 500,000 people waiting to see a specialist for an outpatient appointment from a total population of 4.77 million in Ireland. Irish hospitals are in deep crisis. Waiting-lists for many specialities are increasing and, in some specialities, are considered to be out of control. 

The Solution

The Insight Centre for Data Analytics has been working on the challenge of modelling service delivery capacity in the health service for a number of years. We are combining advances in data analytics and optimization to understand the current situation, predict future short- and medium-term demand, and study the impact of changes in processes and resource levels. We are developing novel AI-based clinical decision-making tools to improve the quality, consistency, and outcomes, of our healthcare system. 

Specifically, we will implement an integrated clinical decision support solution that achieves waiting time targets for 95% of patients. Furthermore, we will demonstrate this in selected clinical specialities with the longest waiting lists within 3 years. At the time of writing, these were Otolaryngology (ENT), Orthopaedics, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, and Urology. 

The solution we will develop and deploy has the potential to transform the delivery of Irish healthcare. 

The Team

  • Prof Barry O'Sullivan and Helmut Simonis, School of Computer Science and Insight Centre for Data Analytics, University College Cork
  • Dr Jane Bourke, Economics, Technology Adoption and Health Care Innovation, University College Cork
  • Prof Martin Curley, Director, HSE Digital Academy