Monday 16th December 2019. Health Innovation Hub Ireland today launched a national call to business to provide innovative solutions for healthcare as well as a specific call for the prevention, early diagnosis, and self-management of chronic illness.
Applications may be submitted to either the Open Call, for innovations that address ANY healthcare need or the Focussed Call for innovations that address a HSE identified priority theme. For December 2019, it centres on Supporting Self-Management of Chronic Disease including cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.
Dr. Colman Casey, Director of HIHI explained the specifics of the call. “While the innovations submitted to the HIHI Focussed Call should support the day-to-day self-management for those diagnosed with one (or more) of the identified chronic diseases (cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and diabetes), it may also include early detection and identification of risk factors and provide options for disease prevention. The solution must demonstrate how it could integrate or work co-operatively with current healthcare supports for chronic illness in Ireland.”
Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, said “I welcome the launch of Health Innovation Hub Ireland’s third call since 2016. I am happy to see that this call has both an Open Call for innovation in healthcare and also a focussed call that relates to ‘Supporting Self-Management of Chronic Disease’. In Ireland approximately 1 million people suffer from Diabetes, Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or Cardiovascular disease.
‘I am delighted to see that this call is in line with one of Sláintecare’s programmes which focuses on implementing Integrated Care Programmes focused on people with chronic conditions and older people.
There are also many projects around the country which received funding through the €20 million Sláintecare Integration Fund which focus on people with chronic disease and supporting them to engage in chronic disease self-management.
This will also compliment the additional investment of €40m in 2020 in the reformed GP contract to commence the roll out of a structured Chronic Disease Management Programme in January 2020 targeted at GMS clients aged 75+ with specified chronic disease, focussing on prevention, more treatment in the community and hospital avoidance.’
The work of HIHI has great potential to improve patient experiences and outcomes. I look forward to seeing what innovative ideas and projects come from this call.”
Welcoming the call to enterprise Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation said: “As Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation I would strongly encourage enterprises working in this space to respond to HIHI’s calls to address healthcare needs.
Ireland has a wealth of indigenous and international innovative med-tech companies and I would like to see them get involved in this initiative which can benefit both patients and
Why Chronic Disease? According to the WHO, ‘the burden of chronic diseases is rapidly increasing worldwide. It has been calculated that, in 2001, chronic diseases contributed approximately 60% of the 56.5 million total reported deaths in the world and approximately 46% of the global burden of disease. The proportion of the burden of non-communicable disease (NCDs) is expected to increase to 57% by 2020. Almost half of the total chronic disease deaths are attributable to cardiovascular diseases; obesity and diabetes are also showing worrying trends, not only because they already affect a large proportion of the population, but also because they have started to appear earlier in life.’
Since it was launched in September 2016, HIHI has managed 265 company engagements, 166 of these have resulted in follow-up support activities and 60 of these have developed into active projects within the Irish healthcare system.
HIHI is a joint initiative of the Department of Health and Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation. As a unique joint government initiative, HIHI offers companies the opportunity for pilot and clinical validation studies and provides the health service with access to innovative products, services, devices. HIHI works to impact Irish business and Irish healthcare in 3 key areas.
1. Industry: HIHI matches companies with relevant clinical teams, overseeing a study of each product in an Irish clinical setting.
2. Healthcare: HIHI works with healthcare staff to assess ideas that address problems they have encountered in their work. HIHI provides advice and direction on commercialisation and product development and links innovators to the healthcare innovation ecosystem in Ireland.
3. Education: Delivering a series of five HIHI workshops and a Diploma
in Healthcare Innovation, HIHI is embedding an innovation culture in Irish healthcare.
HIHI issues an annual call but also welcomes direct engagement through any of its offices in Cork, Dublin and Galway.
Dr. Tanya Mulcahy, National HIHI Manager outlines the application process
“The HIHI call is open for submissions until 5pm on Friday January 31st, 2020.
Companies must submit an application form, available for download on hih.ie. Short-listed applicants are invited to pitch to an expert HIHI panel. The panel is comprised of subject matter experts along with representatives from Enterprise Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland, Health Research Board and the HSE. For each successful application HIHI oversees a study of each product in an Irish clinical setting and then authors a report upon completion of the study. The completed report can offer leverage for products in international markets, enhance distribution opportunities and inform further development.”
Enterprise Ireland Director of Life Sciences, Deirdre Glenn added: “Ireland’s Life Science’s sector is continuing to flourish and contribute to the improvements being met across healthcare services and better outcomes for patients.
“Since it was set-up, the Health Innovation Hub has fostered several innovative healthcare products and services that have gone on to achieve major success. This latest call to businesses to step forward with their technologies and solutions not only benefits patients but is aimed too at helping Irish-based companies to sell their products in new markets overseas.
“We have been so pleased to support the initiative since it was established, and Enterprise Ireland remains focused on supporting companies in the sector that are improving the health of others living with chronic diseases, and in parallel are further elevating Ireland’s status as a global leader in healthcare solutions.”