The Health Minister has said he is keen to share experiences that have put Northern Ireland at the forefront of Connected Health.

The Minister was invited to address the Health Informatics Society of Ireland annual conference on the progress Northern Ireland has made in advancing its eHealth agenda.
Mr Poots said “We have come a long way in Connected Health in recent years and much of this progress has been achieved through leadership and collaboration. Now we in turn are keen to share our experiences and knowledge, to work with others to help them take forward their own eHealth initiatives.

“My aim as Northern Ireland’s Health Minister is to ensure that we have a health and social care system which is safe, resilient and sustainable into the future. If we are to make this happen, we cannot stand still.

“Transforming Your Care is clear about the need to maximise the use of technology. We need to seize opportunities to embrace technological advances and support innovation and development to create new opportunities. In doing so we will not just improve the health and wellbeing of citizens, but also contribute to economic growth.”

The Minister said that the investment of time, energy and resources to build foundations and develop networks are already having an impact on how services are delivered on the ground.

He said: “Within the past year, we have rolled out an £18million telemonitoring project across Northern Ireland. The service enables those with chronic conditions to live independently in their own homes while still being closely monitored by health professionals. This results in earlier interventions which can help prevent deterioration of condition and acute illness – the end result being reduced numbers of hospital admissions.”

He continued: “The introduction of a Telepresence robot at Daisy Hill Hospital’s High Dependency Unit is also at the cutting edge of innovation in our health service. It enables intensive care specialists from one hospital to examine and interact with patients in another more than 20 miles away. For patients, this means better access to specialist advice and expertise, while optimising our healthcare resources.”