Irish research collaboration taps €17bn mobile health market


1 July 2013

Fujitsu has announced a collaboration with three Irish research groups to work on KIDUKU, a sensor-based healthcare project to help prevent falls in the elderly and gain a better understanding of chronic lung disease.

The new wearable sensors will monitor biological, physical and social aspects of a patient’s environment in a home or community setting, enabling health care professionals to detect the early onset of disease, prescribe appropriate treatment regimes and drive down costs.

The project will also seek to maximise the benefits of remote healthcare technology by improving communication among all parties involved in eldercare, including elderly patients, family members, primary care providers, and health care professionals.




"The overall aim of this research is to enhance the care and empowerment of those living with a range of health conditions through the effective use of technology", said Regina Moran, CEO of Fujitsu Ireland at the launch of the research initiative. "Fujitsu Laboratories is very experienced in harnessing technology to deliver solutions to address human challenges and by working with medical experts and the three research organisations we will be creating a unique business opportunity in a market area that is estimated to have a world-wide value of $17bn by 2017."

The Fujitsu KIDUKU project brings together three Irish based groups – CASALA based at DKIT; CLARITY, a DCU group which leads the field in the analysis of contextual audio and visual data; and UCD’s TRIL, which researches the application of sensory technology within medical environments.

The multidisciplinary team will be complemented by Dr Dermot Power, Gerontologist at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital who said: "With an aging population right across the world, there is a significant requirement to utilise ICT to enable patients to be cared for remotely. This research will assist clinicians in delivering effective medical care while maintaining patient independence. KIDUKU will provide the basis for a real world solution where technical and medical know-how meet to deliver better quality of life and empower patients to manage their healthcare needs."

Tatsuo Tomita, president, Fujitsu Laboratories, said: "In seeking to address challenges resulting from an aging society, Fujitsu Laboratories is teaming up with three of Ireland’s research institutions, including a medical specialist team, to examine smart houses inhabited by senior citizens."

The project which commences in June 2013 will last for three years.

According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the global market for mobile health products and services is projected to be worth €17 billion by 2017.

TechCentral Reporters

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