Director, Digital Transformation and Open Innovation at Health Service Executive
Martin Curley shares how the HSE has begun the process of transforming our healthcare system using digital technology.
What is the current state of digital transformation in the HSE?
We have taken an overarching digital transformation strategy which is driving our focus. We have taken important and impactful first steps on our journey to become a European digital health leader. As a result of COVID-19, we have introduced several new platforms which are enabling completely new capabilities and improving patient safety and outcomes.
What is the purpose of the leap ahead strategy?
Ireland currently has a health system which is a paper-based system focussing on ‘presence’ at primarily acute hospitals. Many countries have installed electronic health record systems in acute hospitals in the past few decades but Ireland did not do so.
Aligned with Slaintecare, we propose to leap ahead and move the focus of care to a digital home and community centred approach which is supported by digital, mobile and cloud based solutions. All sorts of Internet of Medical Things based solutions will enable better remote monitoring, proactive healthcare, shared care records and better health outcomes.
We look for four outcomes through digital interventions – these are reduced cost, improve care, improved quality of life and better clinician experience.
Can you give examples of what is possible with digital transformation in the health sector?
In our Heartcare at Home living lab, jointly developed with Centric Health and Roche, 100 patients are being remotely monitored to detect exacerbations early and proactively respond. To date in 2021, there have been 32 exacerbations but not a single patient has been hospitalised.
Using our remote respiratory monitoring platform co-developed with PatientMPower, thousands of COVID-19 patients have been monitored from home or have had an earlier discharge. With PMD solutions, we have installed an automated respiration rate measurement system Respirasense, into 19 acute hospitals so far and this is providing up to 12-hours notice before a patient deteriorates, giving time to react and help patients recover more quickly.
What is the Stay Left, Shift Left strategy?
Stay Left, Shift Left (SLSL) helps us coordinate and align the ecosystem to help us deliver the most impactful digital health solutions and is fully aligned with Slaintecare.
Stay Left is about keeping well people well, or if you happen to have a chronic condition you can be managed best of all from home. Shift Left is about moving patients as quickly as possible from acute to community to home care.
In Stay Left, Shift Left, we look for four outcomes through digital interventions – these are reduced cost, improve care, improved quality of life and better clinician experience. The cumulative impact of SLSL is that citizens should be able to live longer healthier lives and we can shift the focus of the healthcare system from reactive to proactive, improving lives and saving money.