Collaboration key to making best use of technology in health service - Poots

Health Minister Edwin Poots has said that everyone must work together to exploit the use of technology to best effect in the delivery of health and social services.

The Minister was speaking as he and Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster launched the Northern Ireland Connected Health Ecosystem. The ecosystem is a forum which will bring together stakeholders from the HSC, academia and business to discuss and take forward connected health solutions within Northern Ireland.

Minister Poots said: “The launch of this Ecosystem is yet another example of Northern Ireland leading the way in Connected Health. It provides an excellent opportunity to bring together expertise and experience to explore and identify innovative approaches to the provision of health and social services.

“This is a challenging time for healthcare, but it is also an exciting one. New developments have the potential to allow clinicians to work in innovative ways to take forward health priorities as outlined in the Transforming Your Care report. We only have to look at the introduction of the Telepresence robot at Daisy Hill’s High Dependency Unit to see a perfect example of innovation and technology being used to great effect. The Ecosystem provides an opportunity to take forward other such innovations.”

The development of the Ecosystem was a priority set out in the Connected Health and Prosperity Memorandum of Understanding signed by Minister Poots and Minister Foster last year.

Minister Foster said: “Connected health encourages communication and collaboration among all of the various stakeholders involved in a patient’s health.

“Invest Northern Ireland has been working closely with the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to identify innovative ways that industry could support the development and introduction of Connected Health solutions. This ecosystem will be an important vehicle to accelerating the adoption of these solutions within Northern Ireland.

“Stimulating innovation in this area will in turn help to boost the local economy and create jobs by attracting inward investment in technology and life sciences.”