Ireland’s Health Service Executive adopts the SFI ADAPT Centre at Trinity College Dublin as strategic partner for health care innovation

Dublin, 1st December 2021: Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) and the ADAPT Centre at Trinity College Dublin announced today they have entered into a new research agreement that will accelerate the pace of healthcare innovation through digital technologies and redefine how healthcare is delivered. ADAPT is the world-leading Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre for AI-Driven Digital Content Technology and HSE Digital Transformation has responsibility for driving the digital transformation of Ireland’s health service.

The collaboration will drive the HSE’s new Digital Transformation Strategy that aims to develop, invest in, and deploy digital solutions that improve quality and access for patients while lowering costs. The announcement was made at the HSE’s Digital Academy forum in the Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore at the new National Digital Health Innovation Lab. Using the Open Innovation 2.0 paradigm the venture will use the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group and particularly the Tullamore Hospital as a Distributed Digital Health Living Lab where new digital solutions can be trialed, improved, and iterated in real world clinical settings.

Professor Martin Curley, HSE Director of Digital Transformation and Information, said: “There is a perfect storm of disruptive technologies that present real opportunities to accelerate our progress in digital healthcare. As an information intensive industry, healthcare is primed to benefit from digital transformation. It will empower us to better serve the needs of the people we treat and allow us to meet them when, where and how it suits them. We are delighted to work with the ADAPT Centre. By bringing together the right experts and data at the right time we can accelerate innovations and place Ireland as the European leader in digital health by 2026.”

The collaboration will combine the industry-leading digital technology and data security expertise from the ADAPT Centre and the HSE’s Digital Transformation team to develop solutions that push the boundaries of technological advances for healthcare. 

Speaking about the partnership, Professor Vinny Wade commented: “Healthcare is one of the fields that will be most significantly transformed by technology over the next decade. By combining our expertise in human-centric AI with the breadth of the HSE’s clinical knowledge we have an extraordinary opportunity to develop intelligent systems that will significantly improve lives. We are proud to partner with the HSE at this critical point in time and we look forward to pioneering innovations that are transparent, ethical, and above all, ensure patient privacy.”

Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Linda Doyle added: “This is an exciting collaboration because of the positive impact it will have on patients’ lives. As we enter a new era of digital healthcare, it brings together the deep research expertise of the ADAPT Centre and the clinical expertise of the HSE. Strategic partnerships which leverage academic research are key to ensuring that innovations in digital technology can address the ever-changing needs of our healthcare system.”

In the healthcare domain, the ADAPT Centre is developing innovations to address some of the most severe medical problems of our time. For example, projects underway include the development of personalised medicine that can minimise the burden of stroke on individuals and society, and the development of intelligent companions that can be tailored to individuals in order to assist with healthcare needs.

The HSE has an active portfolio of disruptive digital innovations along with a digital innovation strategy of ‘stay left shift left’ that is used to orchestrate the innovation ecosystem. This strategy looks for digital interventions that can help people who are already well stay well in their homes or if an individual is suffering from a chronic condition, helping to manage them from home. It also looks to shift patients who end up in an acute setting to a community or homecare setting as quickly as possible. 

The new partnership will help propel digital health projects already underway in the HSE and spearhead new technology tools such as data-driven precision medicine and AI-driven platforms that can discern patterns and further aid in clinical diagnosis to deliver a better service at scale.

Trevor O’Callaghan, CEO of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group said: “We are delighted to be a key partner of this initiative, participating as a co-innovator and working with our academic partner, Trinity College Dublin as we bring the benefits of digital technologies to patients and all staff. Investment in new technology that will benefit patient care and experience is fundamental to our strategic priorities. The location of the National Digital Health Innovation Lab at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore will be a focal point for accelerating progress. This is a new phase of healthcare supported by advances in technology and driven by determination to deliver high quality patient care. Increased efficiencies mean our staff can focus on patient care and improving patient outcomes. We are also very keen for new health technologies to support community integration and the delivery of a truly connected, seamless health service for our patients.”