Smart D8 Announces Four New Pilot Projects to Transform Health & Wellness Outcomes

Smart D8 is led by The Digital Hub, St James’s Hospital, Dublin City Council and Smart Dublin. One of five Smart Districts of the Smart Dublin programme and an urban demonstrator for improving health and wellbeing in an urban population, Smart D8 has today announced the successful applicants from their third call for pilot projects. A record number of 60 applications from private and public organisations were received. Four projects have been selected to focus on menopause, physical rehabilitation, exercise and sleep apnea and will share a €50,000 fund to advance their existing work:

Menopause and the City from Dr Louise Fitzgerald of Grafton Medical Practice/ This pilot is seeking to create a better educational ecosystem around menopause health for both individuals as well as families and friends. A project with truly scalable potential, Dr Louise Fitzgerald is aiming for Dublin 8 to become the centre of the first city-wide approach to positive menopause education and support.

Brace from Conor Motyer: Brace is a community-based recovery app which seeks to assist patients who are undergoing physical rehabilitation. With an added focus on the mental wellness aspect of rehabilitation, Brace uses exercise tracking, gamification and community support to improve both recovery engagement and mental health outcomes arising from research that has found that rehab program completion rates can be as low as 50%.

MoveAhead from Dr Jamie McGann and Dr Johann Issartel: MoveAhead is based on years of clinical experience from both founders, as well as practical research carried out with the GAA which has found that children’s movement skills are deteriorating in line with increased use of screens and technology. MoveAhead is the world’s first motion tracking and movement analytics platform built specifically for children, which informs games to assist with improving children’s movement skills.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Identifier from Dr Brian Kent/St James’s Hospital: OSA Identifier is seeking to reduce the wait time for a sleep apnea diagnosis, which is currently up to two years. OSA Identifier has developed an app to provide at-home data which can be reviewed by clinical specialists and both inform and speed up diagnosis and treatment options for sleep apnea.

Jack Lehane, Smart D8 Ecosystem Manager, said:

“We were really impressed with the quality of applications for our most recent call for pilots. With the four successful projects we are confident that they have potential to address issues and conditions that are impacting large numbers of people. One thing which particularly stood out was the potential many of them have to scale. At the heart of Smart D8 is cross-sectoral collaboration that allows healthcare innovation to be fast tracked and these projects will greatly enable this.”

The Smart D8 consortium is led by The Digital Hub, St James’s Hospital, Dublin City Council and Smart Dublin, together with the Guinness Enterprise Centre, HSE Digital Transformation, Tyndall National Institute, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Trinity College Dublin Research & Innovation, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, National College of Art & Design, and Health Innovation Hub Ireland.

The initial work of Smart D8 focused on significant community research to measure unmet population health and wellness needs.

Following on from this research, a number of pilot projects were actioned to directly respond to this community feedback. A range of innovations have already been rolled out with positive impacts on population health and wellbeing – reaching over 5,000 citizens in and around the Dublin 8 district, before scaling nationally. These initiatives include Heart of Our City which aimed at improving awareness around and management of cardiovascular disease in the community, Civic Dollars which enabled people to earn digital currency through spending time in local parks, and Ways To Wellbeing which boosted the wellbeing and mental health of elderly people by giving them the chance to connect with young people in their community in a meaningful way.