Healthcare as we know it is about to change. Immersive reality, video consultations and GSM-enabled blood labs are all poised for wide scale adoption. Ken McGrath, Head of Government Sales at eir Business, looks ahead to Health Innovation Week, where all of this innovative technology will be on display and health IT leaders will be discussing future applications.
You can feel it, there’s a shift in the air. The past month has been an eventful and exciting one for the e-health sector. Only a couple of weeks ago eir Business participated in an NDRC and HSE organised initiative called HealthTech, a pre-accelerator programme aimed at finding disruptive digital health ideas. The overall winner was Medimorpho Micro Blood Lab, which created a GSM-enabled portable blood lab. Thirteen other entrepreneurs also won a place on the programme, with ideas that ranged from digital diagnostic tools to assistive technology.
With the enthusiasm and innovation of HealthTech still bright in our memories we’re heading into Health Innovation Week. This week, packed full of events, discussions and showcases, is run by eHealth Ireland and the HSE. There’s so much to look forward to; I would encourage anyone who’s interested in what our healthcare sector will look like in the future to drop into the Science Gallery to get up close and personal with the digital and connected technologies that are going to transform the healthcare sector as we know it.
In a healthcare meets Minority Report scenario Microsoft will be showcasing its new immersive technology – Hololens. It’s as futuristic as it sounds. We all know about virtual reality but with this ‘mixed reality’ technology you can interact with holograms and engage with the digital content in the world around you. Of course the applications for healthcare are many, not least in the area of training and skills. Trainee healthcare professionals will be able to virtually partake in surgeries, learning from real-world scenarios. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg
The great thing about Ireland’s place in this healthcare revolution is how open the HSE is to embracing innovation. Under the guidance of CIO Richard Corbridge we’re seeing a real appetite with the healthcare sector to take giant strides forward and fulfill the potential we’re already seeing. I’m looking forward to hearing about all of these possibilities and more at the Himss Europe Executive Leadership Summit event on 24th November. During the conference we’ll be hearing from healthcare CIOs from England, Ireland and Wales about the best use and adoption practices for healthcare IT in Europe. It’s the first time this event has been held outside of London and is an indication of Ireland’s growing influence in the global ehealth sector.
What’s exciting from eir Business’s point of view, apart from all the innovative technologies, is how fundamental our network is going to be in this healthcare future. Whether fixed or mobile, our networks are going to play an important role and we’re absolutely committed to that future.
There are far-reaching plans in place for a connected, digital health service that will benefit all citizens. The Health Innovation Week is our chance to get a glimpse of what that future will look like and I for one will be queuing up to take a look.