HIHI puts out focussed call for ‘positive ageing’ ideas

Pictured: HIHI team members Aisling Dolan, Paddy McGowan, Gillian O' Mahony, Diana Hogan-Murphy, Noreen Lynch, Noel Murphy, Colman Casey, Niamh Allen, Emily Naylor, Dan Maher, Jane O' Flynn, Tanya Mulcahy, Eimear Galvin



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20 June 2018 | 0

Government initiative, Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI), has opened its annual call for ideas from business to solve problems in patient care.

This year’s competition looks at the challenge of Enabling positive ageing. Specific areas of interest include dementia care; integrated care; how to limit acute hospital admissions; promoting healthy living for longer; minimising over-prescribing, and providing care closer to home.

The finalists will take part in a pitching competition with representatives from Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Health Research Board and the HSE, with the winning products fast-tracked into the health service for study.

HIHI subsequently acts as a broker, matching companies with relevant clinical teams, overseeing a study of each product in clinical setting and producing a report that can offer leverage for products in international markets and inform further development.

“HIHI provides a unique quid pro quo – we offer companies the opportunity for pilot and clinical validation studies and the health service access to innovative products, services, devices, that they may otherwise not be exposed to,” said HIHI national director Dr Colman Casey.

“These studies offer added credibility with investors and may help with early adoption. The fact is if you have not tested your product in a clinical setting, then commercialisation is distinctly more difficult. The HIHI study may identify that a product needs further refinement after observing its use by a clinical team, which is crucial prior to achieving commercial return on any product or device.”

HIHI national lead and principal investigator Prof John Higgins said: “The HSE recognises that collaboration with enterprise can benefit patient care, patient pathways and outcomes. Although HIHI operates an open door policy to both start-ups and the healthcare community, we also work with our partners on focussed calls such as this.

“Our population is growing older, with the number of people aged 65 years and over increasing from 11% in 2011 to 13% in 2016. And this trend will continue; forecasts tell us that the number of people aged over 65 will increase by a further 18% to 753,000 in the next five years. HIHI can provide solutions here, working in partnership with the HSE.”

Deadline for entries is 31 August. For more information visit hih.ie.

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