New Digital Innovation Programme aims to inspire next-generation solutions for Irish health sector

Sep 28th, 2023

Connected Health Skillnet has launched its new Digital Health Innovation programme for Irish medtech, digital health, pharma and biotech industry firms and potential intrapreneurs. 

The programme, which was officially launched at an online event hosted by IBEC, provides tailored, needs-led innovation training for employees and intrapreneurs in Ireland’s health technology sector. 

Participants will work in multidisciplinary teams on company projects and strategic focus areas throughout the programme. The course is designed specifically for suitable R&D, commercial, clinical, regulatory, legal, finance, and operations staff from the medtech, pharma, biopharma, technology, and other aligned sectors. 

Ireland is a world leader in health innovation and IT 

Speaking at the launch, Aoife O’Sullivan, Skillnet Ireland Head of Network Development & Innovation, said Ireland has a “well-established reputation as a world leader” in the health innovation and IT sectors.  

“In partnership with industry, Skillnet Ireland offers demand-led upskilling programmes that are innovative and flexible, to enhance the productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of the Irish economy. The launch of this new needs-led Digital Health Innovation Programme from Connected Health Skillnet, is significant for the health technology sectors in Ireland. It demonstrates the power of industry and academia collaborations in meeting the fast-moving technological trends of companies in this dynamic space. This programme will support the growth of the sector and further enhance Ireland’s potential as a global leader in digital health,” Aoife O’Sullivan said. 

Connected Health Skillnet Network Manager, Jennifer McCormack, said the network aims to enhance Ireland’s “world-class capability” by delivering niche training to the sectors developing and deploying digital health solutions.  

“Our recently published skills needs report, ‘Where Digital Health Thrives: Future Skills Needs’, showed that health technology companies in Ireland clearly see the potential for growth through digital health, with 87% of companies surveyed as part of that research planning to increase their digital health activity and investment over the next four years,” she said. 

“This programme, developed by Connected Health Skillnet in partnership with dConnect, Angles Consulting and Ibec, will support this growth by embedding the mindset and methodology of needs-led innovation across organisations, in particular around digital health and connected devices, to support increased innovation capability and new product development in the sector. The programme has been tailored to industry needs to ensure participants can apply the skills and knowledge learned in real-world company projects.” 

Delivering the future skills of the digital health sector 

Meanwhile, Ibec Head of Sectors, Dr Sinead Keogh, highlighted that the Digital Innovation programme “marks an important milestone in delivering the skills required” by the digital health sector which is projected to be worth in excess of $1.5 trillion by 2030. 

 The first half of the programme will concentrate on identifying and prioritising business needs, while the second half will focus on solutions and concept development. 

The modules will be delivered through a blend of in-person and online engagements from the middle of October through to February 2024. 

On completion of the course, the participants will be aware of the tools and approaches necessary for innovating healthcare and digital health solutions. They will also learn how to develop and refine a business proposition, and how best to position it for a funding pitch. 

Further information about the programme can be found here. 

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