After the successful events in Budapest and Copenhagen, this year Dublin is hosting the largest pan-European eHealth conference. eHealth Week 2013 is taking place in the Convention Center in Dublin from 13th to 15th May as part of the Irish Presidency of the EU. Over a three day period, Ireland will be the eHealth capital of Europe. Attracting more than 2,500 international delegates and 100 exhibitors, the eHealth Conference is the biggest eHealth event in Europe.
eHealth Week features two main events: the High Level eHealth Conference co-organised by the European Commission and the Irish Department of Health, and the World of Health IT Conference and Exhibition organised by HIMSS Europe.
The theme of this year’s eHealth Week is “Delivering Innovative Healthcare and Well-being”. The event will highlight the potential for eHealth development and showcase the very best that Ireland has to offer in this area, while also supporting the broader EU objectives of economic stability and sustainable growth.
Europe at national as well as cross-border level is facing challenges such as ageing society, chronic disease management, patient and professional mobility, health professional shortages, that eHealth could help to improve.
E-health provides a new method for using health resources – such as information, money, and medicines and is a recognised tool in enhancing the modernisation of national healthcare systems.
The EU e-Health sector includes large companies, but is particularly characterised by a very large number of SMEs.
Connected Health (which encompasses eHealth) has been designated as one of the 14 prioritised research areas. These priority areas should deliver sustainable economic return through their contribution to enterprise development, employment growth, job retention and tangible improvements in quality of life. The development of Connected Health technologies requires a cross disciplinary approach involving many research disciplines and sectors. As such, recently, there have been a number of key strategic research investments:
Year 1 of a Technology Centre in Connected Health (ARCH - Applied Research in Connected Health) under the Technology Centre Enterprise Ireland/ IDA Initiative
The HIH (Healthcare Innovation Hub which is an interface between enterprise and the healthcare system and is supported by Enterprise Ireland)
INSIGHT (National Centre for Data Analytics – an SFI Centre) which will specialise in data analytics and deriving value from Connected Health data
Ireland has proven expertise in R&D and advanced manufacturing in medical technologies, embedded software systems and wireless communications. The Government continues to make significant investment in building the research capability in the eHealth arena and Ireland is now developing rapidly as an eco-system for eHealth solutions which will enable Irish companies to supply innovative products and services to global markets.