Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Showcase reveals health innovations

Edwin Poots said a delegation of health technology firms in Brussels could help attract investment

State-of-the-art health technology from Northern Ireland is to be exhibited at the European Parliament.

Remotely monitoring patients from home and innovative efforts to help prevent elderly people from falling are among techniques to be demonstrated.

Health Minister Edwin Poots led a group of businesses, universities and health care professionals to Brussels.

"Our mission here is simple: demonstrate how the Connected Health And Prosperity agenda is working in Northern Ireland and we will attract more interest, expertise and investment," he said. "This can only improve the ways we deliver healthcare."

The event, which opens on January 29, is hosted by MEP Diane Dodds and takes place over two days at the European Parliament.

It includes seminars and an exhibition which will demonstrate how Northern Ireland, through a collaboration between the Department of Health and government investment body Invest NI, is using innovation and technology in health to improve the experience of patients and promote the local economy.

Investment Minister Arlene Foster and Mr Poots are due to meet Tonio Borg, European Health Commissioner and Consumer Policy and Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science. They will draw to the Commissioners' attention the success Northern Ireland has had in this field while emphasising that more can be achieved working with the EU.

Ms Foster said: "Healthcare is one of the key industries capable of delivering a strong knowledge-based economy and in Northern Ireland many of our companies are at the forefront of the connected health and medical devices sector.

"Treating more people in their homes will be a major feature of future health services, offering significant opportunities for industry and academia to commercialise research and ultimately improve patient care."

Companies from Northern Ireland attending the event include: Kainos; Intelesens; Exploristics; Connected Health Ltd; EMC and Yarra Software. Representatives from Queen's University Belfast, the University of Ulster, Belfast City Council, the Connected Health Innovation Centre (CHIC) and the European Connected Health Alliance (ECHA) will also be in attendance.

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