Innovate Health at TUH has been awarded funding of over €300,000 from the HSE’s Spark Fund

Innovate Health July Release (July 9th 2024), Innovate Health at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) has been awarded funding of over €300,000 from the HSE’s Spark Impact innovation fund. The monies will be split between four separate cutting-edge projects as the Hospital remains committed to introducing the latest innovations in healthcare to benefit patients.

Projects from TUH that have been awarded funding; 

  1. Advanced Practice Occupational Therapy (APOT) Led Integrated Hand & Wrist Clinic. This project creates a modernised care pathway providing GP-referred patients with direct access to specialist occupational health care professionals in a primary care setting, the first of its kind in Ireland. Patients with hand and wrist pathologies including carpal tunnel syndrome and ganglion cysts benefit from reduced waiting times, fewer hospital attendance, and improved overall outcomes.  

  2. Personalised medicine for patients at risk of stroke. This project called Rapid Pharmacogenetics and Platelet Reactivity Profiling to Facilitate Personalised Antiplatelet Therapy in Patients with Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) of Ischemic Stroke will be led by Consultant Neurologist Professor Dominick McCabe. Stroke is the leading cause of acquired physical disability in adults, a major risk factor for dementia, and the second most common cause of death worldwide. This innovative solution focuses on the area of precision medicine using pharma genetics, to optimise secondary prevention for patients following TIA/Ischemic stroke.

  3. Evolution of our Smart CP App for patients. Funding has been secured to carry out a digitally enabled Patient Initiated Review (PIR) of our Chronic Pancreatitis App. The funding will be used to further develop our Smart CP app for patients with Chronic Pancreatitis. The Smart CP app enables patients to react more quickly if their health begins to deteriorate. Whether in Donegal or Kerry, they can use the app to immediately communicate any health problems or changes directly with their medical team.

    4. Stronger for Surgery This innovation project will explore how a special “prehabilitation” programme could be introduced to support patients ahead of elective surgery. The team is creating a hybrid prehabilitation service that integrates both acute and already established community care services to educate and empower patients who are waiting for surgery.

    With the support of the Spark Impact funding and our own Innovate Health team at THU, staff involved in these four projects will successfully design, develop, and deploy novel solutions to complex challenges for their patients, their colleagues and the health service at large.

    Head of Innovation at Tallaght University Hospital Dr. Natalie Cole said, “Projects such as Integrated Hand and Wrist Clinic are a perfect example of collaboration and exemplify our ability to deliver enhanced care in a hospital without walls to better the patient’s experience. This project brings specialists from TUH, St. James’s Hospital and Primary Care together to deliver a modernised care pathway providing patients with direct access to specialist care for hand and wrist pathologies in a primary care setting. This “see and treat” model of care reduces the need for patients to attend the hospital, cuts down on consultant waiting list times, and enables patients to be seen in their communities.”

    The CEO of TUH Lucy Nugent said, “There has been exponential growth in the culture and awareness of innovation in TUH in recent years which is evident from the calibre of projects awarded funding. This would not be possible without the continued support from funders and other groups of professionals both internal and external to our hospital. Their support is much appreciated as we all try to find better ways to treat and care for our patients. The mission of Innovate Health at TUH continues to be that we innovate because lives depend on it.”

    This investment from the HSE’s Spark Impact fund will enable project development, implementation, and scaling, directly impacting how TUH delivers healthcare to our patients and communities by improving efficiencies, access, hospital avoidance, and patient empowerment. This fund is a frontline HSE Innovation Initiative designed to promote innovation among frontline healthcare professionals from across all disciplines and Health Regions in Ireland.

Caption for the above photo.

Front Row left to right: Sinéad Gill – Clinical Innovation Specialist, Dr Natalie Cole – Head of Innovation, Olga Hill – Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist, Siobhan Power - Clinical Specialist Dietician for Perioperative Services.

Back Row: John Kelly – Deputy CEO, Alexander Fives – Designer in Residence, Professor Dominick McCabe - Consultant Neurologist. (Missing Prof Paul Ridgeway, Niamh Wilke, and Consultant Surgeon Maria Whelan)