Minister opens Connected Health Leadership Summit

Copyright: Press Eye Photography

Pictured alongside the Minister are (from left)Trevor Newsom, co-Chair – European Health Campus and Tom Boyle, co-Chair – European Health Campus.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster officially opened the second European Connected Health Leadership Summit this week.

This international leadership gathering from the business, academic and clinical sectors, is part of European Connected Health Week 2010, which runs from 14–18 June in Belfast and is co-sponsored by the European Connected Health Campus and the Continua Health Alliance.

The Leadership Summit, which is supported by Invest Northern Ireland, is an opportunity for professionals working in the area of connected health, to address the challenges of introducing new innovative solutions, which have the potential to transform the management of chronic disease.

Welcoming the delegates the Minster said: “The fields of connected health and telecare have huge potential to improve the lives of patients, to generate new economic opportunities and at a time of increasing pressure on public spending, to reduce healthcare costs.

"My department, through Invest NI, is supporting the commercialisation of research in this area, and I am confident that this leadership summit and the events of European Connected Health Week, will stimulate further commercial opportunities and strengthen Northern Ireland’s position at the centre of a key international collaborative community."

Tom Boyle, the co-Chair of the European Connected Health Campus, who are hosting the Leadership Summit said: "The theme of this year’s summit is engagement – how to make it happen. Over the next two days, expert speakers and panellists will offer delegates a unique insight into how to successfully deploy Connected Health solutions, which integrates innovative technology, along with clinical care.

"Connected health is a rapidly developing area and one in which collaboration between academia, healthcare practitioners and industry, is already producing impressive results. A key element of this year’s Leadership Summit is economic outputs and I am delighted that the Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, along with Declan Kelly, the US Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland, are contributing in this key area."

Almost 200 delegates from Europe and North America are attending the Leadership Summit in Belfast with others coming from as far as Australia and Japan. There are also many local delegates from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland representing clinical care as well as commercial interests. Other activity planned for European Connected Health Week includes the Continua Health Alliance’s Summer Summit and a Massachusetts Life Sciences collaboration visit, led by the Massachusetts Senate President, Therese Murray, who is addressing the Leadership Summit on Tuesday.

The Massachusetts group are meeting with representatives of Queen’s University in Belfast and with the University of Ulster in Londonderry and Jordanstown. The group will also meet with representatives from the Western Health and Social Care Trust and will visit the Clinical Translational Research and Innovation Centre (C-TRIC), at Altnagelvin Area Hospital.