The Irish Health Service Executive has partnered with the UK’s Department for International Trade to help promote digital innovation in Ireland.

The collaboration between Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) aims to help accelerate digital transformation and is expected to bring benefits to patients in both the UK and Ireland.

News of the partnership was announced at an October virtual trade mission hosted by the British Embassy in Dublin, Ireland.

Expertise highlighted in the DIT’s Digital Health Playbook – a publication showcasing the best in breed of UK digital and ICT solutions – will be a key focus of the venture. There will also be opportunities for the HSE to tap into the UK’s burgeoning digital health sector, to help with Ireland’s ambition to be a Digital Health leader in Europe by 2025.

Hassan Chaudhury, global digital health specialist for Healthcare UK, said: “The DIT Digital Health Playbook contains a unique 10 part taxonomy focusing on needs. It articulates the exportable strengths that the UK has in health teach and showcases those that stand out for being tried and tested and more importantly, making a difference across one of the most complex health systems in the world, during its most challenging time.”

Following the announcement 10 UK digital health companies, who feature in the playbook, pitched their solutions to the evaluation team with the possibility of HSE investment.

Speaking in a video message broadcast at the trade mission, Stephen Donnelly, minister for health in Ireland acknowledged the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and the changes to the health sector. He commented that is it more important than ever “to learn from each other and to build links between industry and our health services that will ultimately benefit patients in both our health systems”.

Attending the event was Professor Martin Curley, director of digital transformation at the HSE in Ireland. He said: “Our digital strategy is ambitious, yet determined. ‘Stay Left, Shift Left’ is about the use of technology to move people as quickly as possible from an acute, to a community, to a home setting. In forming this collaboration, we are looking to tap into the digital innovation and expertise that is out there that can do this, and can do this quickly.”

The ‘Stay Left, Shift Left’ digital transformation policy from the HSE aims to use technology to keep people well and at home. It is underpinned by the Sláintecare health policy that is transforming health and social care services in Ireland.

Ireland’s thriving med-tech sector has previously been called a “unique collaborative environment” in 2019 by Pat Breen, Ireland’s then Minister for Trade, who was highlighting the position Ireland has as a leading global med-tech producer.