image of the final winner of HealthTech 2016

HealthTech: the pre-accelerator that energised us all

picture of Ken McGrath, Head of Government Sales at eir Business

Ken McGrath

Head of Public Sector Sales at eir Business


We’ve just finished an electrifying month at eir as sponsors of HealthTech with NDRC, contributing our team’s skills and time to mentor entrepreneurs as they honed pitches for new concepts in health technology.

It’s been a privilege to be involved in HealthTech and work alongside our long-term partners at the Health Service Executive and eHealth Ireland, who under Richard Corbridge’s leadership are doing a remarkable job in transforming how Ireland’s health service finds and uses technology.

HealthTech, a month-long pre-accelerator program, is a great example of this positive change. Drawing interested professionals from eir, the wider Irish business community and clinical backgrounds, the program created multi-disciplinary teams that it matched with entrepreneurs, each of whom had a promising idea that needed testing and development.

Following NDRC’s ideation and business case development framework, 13 separate teams devoted themselves over a series of weekends to thrashing out key elements of each business concept.

Complementing the group work were inspiring keynotes delivered by a series of successful entrepreneurs, including Johnny Walker, founder and president of Health Founders, Fiona Slevin, COO of Orecco and Conor Hanley, CEO of Fire 1. The ultimate aim of the program was to help the entrepreneur ready a concise, compelling pitch that was delivered in a day-long event at the end of September.

It’s hard to describe the feel-good factor and also the emotional attachment our eir personnel felt to the business concepts they helped shepherd through the process. Not only did our teams feel personally invested in the ideas they were helping develop, but they also got a front-row seat to ideation activities, exercises and approaches that will absolutely inform what they do in their day jobs. And since the eir personnel who volunteered for this project were drawn from so many areas of eir — marketing, product and project management, software design – that adds up to a lot of positive ripples through the eir organisation.

Additionally, the program gave us the opportunity to meet potential partners who were also donating mentor time to the HealthTech project. The future strength of Ireland’s health sector, and its ability to adapt to change, will be based in part on its ability to leverage network-based technologies and systems that improve care, reduce cost and cater for an aging population.

This integrated, more efficient, healthcare system is in every citizen’s best interests. Identifying innovative digital ideas that have the potential to deliver this smarter healthcare system has really hit home with us at eir Business. We have 80,000 business and Government customers which means that we see first-hand every day how technology can create real efficiencies and help companies to truly innovate. And as architects of Ireland’s most extensive network infrastructure, which continues to expand as part of eir’s €2.5 billion strategic investment programme, we are a natural partner for innovative companies seeking to deliver network-based services into the health sector.

Huge congratulations to the overall winner of HealthTech, Medimorpho Micro Blood Lab,  and thanks again to the NDRC, eHealth Ireland and the HSE for involving eir in this fantastic initiative.


Ken McGrath is Head of Public Sector Sales at eir Business. Connect with Ken on Linkedin