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Funding innovation: Ten new projects to promote equitable access to healthcare services in Ireland

by | Apr 13, 2023

Pictured above L-R at TUH are Professor Dominick McCabe, Consultant Neurologist; Dr Deirdre Smith, Vascular Neurology Researcher; Dr Hannah O’Keeffe, Clinical Innovation Fellow; Nina Holden, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist; Dr Alison Hay, ED SpR; Dr Andrew Ngaditono, ED SpR; Jonas Monsees, PACCU Nurse; Sabina Mason, CNM 2; Niamh Gavin, Chief Executive of the Adelaide Health Foundation; Dr. Vicky Meighan, Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Dr. Natalie Cole, Head of Innovation

Ten new projects have received funding as part of a drive to promote equitable access to healthcare services in Ireland. The Adelaide Health Foundation (AHF) has put €60,000 towards its New Initiatives Scheme, an annual fund that finances a cross section of clinical areas and services.

AHF works in partnership with Innovate Health at Tallaght University Hospital. Here’s an overview of the 10 projects:

Virtual Reality for Emergency Department education

Using Oxford Medical Simulation software and virtual reality headsets to train emergency doctors, who work in high-stress environments which require rapid information processing and time critical decision making.

Helping patients’ families understand ICU

The creation of a jargon free infographic in the ICU waiting area to help familiarise families with equipment at a loved one’s bedside.

Two new stimulation devices to help patients with difficulties swallowing

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation or NMES use a device that sends electrical impulses to nerves. This causes muscles to contract, increasing the range of motion to help patients with swallowing difficulties.

Improving treatment for patients with COPD

A study will characterise COPD patients using FeNO – a test which determines lung inflammation – in order to individualise treatment and investigate better ways to manage this lifelong condition.

New bedside lung ultrasound

Point of care ultrasounds have become an invaluable tool for physiotherapists treating critically ill patients.

A video to help patients deal with the psychological consequences of long covid

Creating resources for patients experiencing long covid using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to develop skills to improve their quality of life.

Skylights in the Post Anaesthesia Care Unit (PACU)

Some bed spaces in the PACU unit currently have no natural light, making orientation to time difficult for patients coming out of surgery. A project will install a ‘virtual skylight’ to aid day/night differentiation reducing the risk of patients developing delirium.

Respiratory muscle training in Critical Care

Respiratory muscle training helps patients struggling with muscle weakness which has occurred as a result of being ventilated.

Development of an acute respiratory hub in the Emergency Department

This will consist of patients who have presented with acute breathing difficulties. They will be placed in a dedicated area to be treated with special air nebulisation.

Treatment for stroke patients

Patients post a Transient IschemicAttack (TIA) and stroke are commonly prescribed anti-platelet medication but without good clinical measures to assess treatment effectiveness. A new project will study this and hopefully lead to enhanced risk-stratification and secondary prevention measures.

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