Supporting Health Care Professionals

The future of medicine / Professor Derek O'Keeffe

Derek O’Keeffe, NUI Galway Professor of Medical Device Technology and Consultant Physician at University Hospital Galway

“With medical problems, there can be digital solutions… Combining clinical skills with digital and engineering skills is a good way forward for the industry. It creates patient-focused solutions by applying problem-solving competencies within healthcare.”

One of these solutions is the ‘JediGlove’ – a new piece of technology for the visually impaired which sends micro-vibrations through the users’ fingers and thumb proportional to an object's distance. This helps them sense obstacles in their path.

“Before Covid-19, clinics had been doing things the same way for decades. I wondered why we were bringing people from an hour away into a waiting room to wait for another hour just to see a doctor for 10 minutes… Virtual doesn't have to be futuristic 3D holograms, it can simply be a phone call or audiovisual software. In our diabetes clinic, we didn't have to cancel one outpatient appointment because we embraced technology early.”

The future of medicine pdf | 269.8 kb

Getting ahead with digital / Professor Richard Costello

Professor Richard Costello, Consultant Physician in Respiratory Medicine at Beaumont Hospital Dublin and Professor of Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

“Digital health is becoming huge. There’s still a long way to go, but the healthcare system needs to be at the forefront in terms of digitising processes like the banking or legal industries have... The introduction of better systems to integrate and visualise large amounts of complex data may mean a more personal patient-physician experience.” 


Getting ahead with digital pdf | 204.4 kb

Virtual care for heart failure / Professor Ken McDonald

Professor Ken McDonald, Consultant Cardiologist and Medical Director of the Heart Failure Unit at St Vincent's University Hospital

“While face-to-face healthcare is still necessary, I think several health encounters could be changed to an eHealth or virtual platform, this will have important allied benefits, reducing the need to travel to hospital or clinic settings.”

“Preventing a disease is always a better alternative than waiting for it to develop. Another theme of our research has been to develop new ways of delivering care. Our Virtual Consultation is one aspect of that. This has led us to link-up with digital health and medtech companies. They have the expertise in devices, and we have the expertise in knowing what the patient needs. We try to leverage IT to make sure that it's user-friendly for all generations while delivering what it needs.” 

“There are plenty of opportunities for growth, especially if we keep the focus on e-health. That is a critical aspect of the way forward in all healthcare delivery. In this respect, Ireland can do very well.”

Virtual care for heart failure pdf | 238.4 kb