HEALTH LEADERS TO MEET TO DISCUSS TECHNOLOGY IN HEALTHCARE
Dublin, Monday, October 19, 2015: Some of the leading forces in healthcare, including senior officials of the Department of Health and HSE, will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss how the health service could be re-designed to make wider use of technologies in the treatment of chronic diseases.
The meeting is being convened by the Heartbeat Trust which uses technology to manage heart failure patients. Chaired by Dr Ambrose McLoughlin, former Secretary General of the Department of Health, the Trust is bringing together the top 25 in healthcare in Ireland involving Government, medics, HSE, CEOs of pharma, insurance, medical devices, tech companies about redesigning the health service.
The Trust lead by a consultant cardiologist in St Vincent’s, Professor Ken McDonald could be a model for tackling chronic diseases which eat up a lot of the health service’s resources. Using technology the Trust keeps people prone to heart failure out of hospital as much as possible. “If the health system went for a system of connected care on chronic diseases involving service providers, funders, GPs, e-health, pharma and med tech, then it would take pressures out of the system and make better use of resources,” according to Dr McLoughlin, Chairman of the Heartbeat Trust.
The Trust initiative is based on deploying smart community-based diagnostics to broaden the range of people who can benefit from landmark Screening to Prevent Heart Failure (STOP-HF) programme. It also brings the next generation of novel, specific and personalised therapies to the STOP-HF population, as well as delivering care in the community using eHealth initiatives such as telemonitoring and Virtual Consultations between primary and secondary care physicians. This reduces waiting lists and bring care closer to the patient by empowering primary care.
The pioneering work has shown a 40% reduction in heart-related Emergency Department admissions for the patients involved to date. More than one million people in Ireland fit the STOP-HF criteria and amongst those, the model could save more than 17,000 emergency department admissions annually, equivalent to creating a brand new 380-bed hospital, if the model were rolled out nationally. “People are now looking to our group internationally to understand how to roll the model out. For example groups in Germany and Austria are working on the STOP-HF model and the Mayo Clinic in the United States is continuing discussions on how to adapt the STOP-HF model to the US healthcare system,” Professor McDonald said.