Tag Archive | "Dublin"

ARCH Launches Remote Clinical Trials Study for Care Home Patients

ARCH, the Centre for Applied Research for Connected Health, announced on Wednesday the launch of a collaborative study to assess the feasibility of collecting clinical trial data remotely within a care home environment.

The findings from this connected health study could enhance the design of future clinical trials to make them more patient-centric, more engaging and more convenient for those who participate in them. Researchers will also assess if the remote trial places additional burden on care home staff and patients.

ARCH is undertaking this research study, called REACHES (REmote Assessment of older people in a Care HomE Setting), in collaboration with industry partners; ICON Clinical Research, Kinesis Health Technologies, a University College Dublin (UCD) spin-out company, and Big Cloud Analytics and supported by Dublin-based Physiotherapy Clinic, Fit for Life.

Clinical trials traditionally take place in a hospital setting, which often restricts participation from patients with limited mobility and independence due to problematic logistics and limited travel ability.

An alternative approach is to move the clinical trial beyond the confines of the hospital. Enabling this ‘place-shifting’ may result in wider participation and engagement in clinical trials.

Led by a team of ARCH researchers, this study will assess the feasibility of collecting clinical trial data remotely in a care home, Mount Hybla Private, in Castleknock, Dublin, using a selection of mobile and wearable solutions provided by the collaborating companies.

The QTUG device provided by Kinesis Health Technologies, will assess aspects of mobility, balance and fall risk of participants. The Aging Research App developed by ICON with mProve Health using Apple Research Kit, will be used to deliver an electronic version of the Age-Related Muscle Loss Questionnaire. The Covalence analytics platform from Big Cloud Analytics will allow visualisation and engagement messaging for trial participants and clinicians for overall health and wellness monitoring and improvement.


“I’m delighted to see this academic-industry-clinical multi-disciplinary collaboration taking place.,” ARCH Centre Director Michael O’Shea said. “Traditional clinical trial research is becoming financially unfeasible. Sponsors and clinical research organisations (CROs) are looking to decrease costs and improve efficiency. An important strategy is the use of technology in the design and execution of clinical trials. The promise and potential benefits of the ‘Patient Centric’ clinical trial design needs to be traded off against what is referred to as the ‘Patient Burden’.

“The importance of understanding the optimal level of interaction with technology and devices for patients is key to successful trial design and execution and projects like this are a fundamental step in answering this question.”

ARCH, the Irish national centre for applied connected health research, is headquartered at NexusUCD, the Industry Partnership Centre at UCD. As an industry-led technology centre, funded by Enterprise Ireland and the IDA, ARCH provides access to world-class healthcare professionals, academics, patient cohorts and industry networks to explore and evaluate connected health solutions for the global market.

ARCH focuses on the adoption, deployment and sustainability of connected health solutions which will benefit the Irish and international economy and society.

Over 30 industry partners, from start-ups to multinationals, are currently steering ARCH’s research programme.

These industry partners; S3 Group, Vu2Vu, Hermitage Medical Clinic, Novartis, ADA Security Systems, Relate Care, Two Ten Health, Philips Healthcare, ResMed, ICON, SwiftQueue, HealthBridge Technology, Dolmen, PatientMpower, Nurse Buddy, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Salaso Healthcare, McGreal Group, Caragon, Evolve Technologies, nSilico Lifescience, Neuromod Devices, Odyssey Validation Consultants, Kinesis Health Technologies, Medaval, Insulcheck, Foundry Innovation & Research 1 (FIRE 1), 3rd Pillar Clinical, Big Cloud Analytics and IBM; are all actively involved in the connected health sector.

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Longitude Prize Information Session

An information event on the Longitude Prize will take place at the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) in on November 11th at 4pm. This briefing on the competition details will be given by a member of the Longitude Judging panel, Martin Kiernan, Research Fellow at the Richard Wells Research Centre at the University of West London and is Director of Clinical Research and Education for Gama Healthcare.
Longitude Prize is a challenge with a £10 million prize fund to help solve the problem of global antibiotic resistance. It is being run by Nesta, supported by Innovate UK. The Longitude prize was launched in 2014 to celebrate the 300 year anniversary of the original competition which sought to find a means to measure longitude. Six topics were put to the British public, who collectively voted on antibiotic resistance as the most pressing issue facing humanity in the coming years.
The challenge now, is to create a cost-effective, accurate, rapid, and easy-to-use test for bacterial infections that will allow health professionals worldwide to administer the right antibiotics at the right time.
The competition is open to everyone, from amateur scientists to the professional scientific community, to try and solve this issue, The judging panel will evaluate entries every four months until December 2019 or until a winner is chosen.

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Irish botanist Matilda Knowles honoured after 150 years

One of the world’s great lichen experts of the 20th century, Irishwoman Matilda Knowles, has been honoured with a commemorative plaque at the Botanic Gardens in Dublin 150 years after her birth.

Knowles made a number of important scientific discoveries during her academic career including the discovery of several new species of lichens, and was the first to realise that lichens by the seashore grow in distinct tidal zones.

During her 30 years of research, she worked at the herbarium in the National Museum in Dublin and for the last 10 years she was essentially the curator of the museum, but was sadly only deemed worthy of the title of ‘assistant’.

Knowles was one of Ireland’s busiest publishers of botany literature having begun the study of lichens in Ireland around 1903 after being encouraged by the great Irish naturalist, Robert Lloyd Praeger.

Matilda Knowles. Image: Women’s Museum of Ireland.

She went on to become the acknowledged expert on Irish lichens, and in 1929 published the definitive guide to Irish lichens, a 255-page catalogue of over 800 species, including some 100 ‘new to Ireland’ and several species that were ‘new to science’ which she had discovered.

The new plaque is the latest in a series organised by WITS (the Women in Technology and Science network) and the National Committee for Science and Engineering Commemorative Plaques (NCSECP) and speaking of the importance of Knowles’ work, chairperson of WITS, Dr Marion Palmer, said it was important that she be remembered.

“It is so important to acknowledge the critical role played by women such as Matilda Knowles. So often their work went unnoticed and unacknowledged at the time, it’s right that we honour them now,” said Dr Palmer.

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Irish company Skytek to host major space meeting in Dublin

Astronauts and other space experts are gathering in Dublin this week for a major think tank about the International Space Station (ISS), and Irish company Skytek is hosting the event.

In Ireland we occasionally get an astronaut or two passing through, but this week several will assemble in Dublin as part of a working group to discuss future technical requirements for the ISS.

Officially called the Operations Data File (ODF) and International Procedure Viewer (iPV) Working Group, the gathering will include not just astronauts but also space managers and scientists to talk about work programmes and plans for the ISS, which orbits Earth and supports crews who live aboard and carry out scientific experiments.

“It is the first time the meeting is taking place outside of one of the space agencies’ own facilities,” says Dr Sarah Bourke, CEO of Irish software development company Skytek, which is hosting this week’s events.

Skytek’s CTO Paul Kiernan explains that the meeting “helps defines the future direction that technology to support astronauts on board will take over the next few years, especially of interest now with the emergence of new wearable devices and mobile platforms.”

And although the focus of the meeting will be on ISS requirements and will not be open to the public, Skytek is also organising a public lecture by astronaut Leopold Eyharts tomorrow evening in Dublin’s Science Gallery.

Skytek, which is based in Dublin, developed technology called the International Procedural Viewer, or iPV, that has been aboard the ISS since 2005. The software runs on laptops deployed throughout the ISS, and it allows the astronauts to view procedural information about tasks and experiments, explains Bourke.

“It has all the information they need,” she says. “Our system assists them as they do their work on board – if they have a scientific experiment the system walks them through the process, or if they need to do a spacewalk it tells them the procedures that should be followed.”

The company is now working to deliver the system through other platforms on the ISS, such as tablets and wearables, and on expanding the voice-commanding capabilities.

As well as ensuring that astronauts can access the information they need, Skytek has also been working with clients who are a little closer to sea level.

“We have been adapting our technology for use in other industries,” says Bourke. “We developed a satellite-enabled communication system with Dublin Fire Brigade, we have just completed a system with the Irish Navy and the technology is now being adapted for aircraft maintenance.”

This week is a busy one for Skytek, as it also sees the launch of its new ‘space weather’ division, which will work with astrophysicists at Trinity College Dublin to gather and analyse data about solar flares and other events at the sun’s surface that could potentially disrupt satellites and power grids on Earth.

Skytek’s space weather division is being set up to react to the growing threat of solar storms and other space weather phenomena, according to the company, which will provide both consultancy and research in the area.

And in a case of particularly good timing, the news comes hot on the heels of a large burst of solar activity just last week.

The hosting of this week’s meeting in Dublin reflects the long-standing engagement by Skytek with theEuropean Space Agency in developing software solutions for use by the crew of the ISS, according to Tony McDonald, space programme manager in Enterprise Ireland and a member of the Irish delegation to the European Space Agency (ESA).

“It also reflects on the quality and performance of Irish technology in supporting mission-critical activities for ESA and (US space agency) NASA,” he says. “This technology also has multiple applications in non-space markets, such as aerospace and emergency response (and) Skytek is an excellent example of a growing number of Irish technology companies developing highly innovative technologies for the space market, in line with the national strategy for Ireland’s membership of ESA.”

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SAP and Ericsson to create almost 400 R&D jobs

Almost 400 new jobs are to be created across three counties by two multinational technology companies.

SAP is increasing the numbers it employs in Galway and Dublin by 260, while Ericsson is to create 120 new jobs in Dublin and Athlone.

Global business software firm SAP operates in 130 countries, including Ireland where it already employs 1,200.

This morning the company announced it is to add 60 new research and development roles at its R&D centre in Citywest in Dublin.

It also expects to fill a further 200 technology support positions in Dublin and Galway this year, with recruitment already under way.

Elsewhere, the fifth largest software company in the world, Ericsson, is to add 120 jobs at its Dublin and Athlone operations.

The jobs are across a range of areas, including software development, programme management and consultancy.

Both investments are supported by the Department of Jobs through the IDA.

Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton said ICT was a sector targeted by the Action Plan for Jobs and the announcements were a huge boost for the counties concerned and the country.

He said the Government had put in place measures to support growth in the ICT sector and he was determined to see further growth.

IDA Chief Executive Barry O’Leary said the R&D carried out by Ericsson in Ireland is at the cutting edge of technology, and helps attract other ICT firms.

On the SAP announcement, he said the company’s decision to invest further in Ireland is a vote of confidence in Ireland’s technological capabilities and strong track record in the sector.

Liam Ryan, Managing Director of SAP operations in Ireland, echoed Mr O’Leary’s comments, saying the expansion is a vote of confidence in the ability of SAP’s Irish-based operations to continue to attract talent that will be a source of innovation and support.

He also urged all stakeholders in the education and employment sectors in Ireland to work together to ensure a continued healthy pipeline of talent and skills to meet demands in the ICT sector.

Traoloch Collins, Managing Director of Ericsson in Ireland, said the country is now a major research and development hub for the company globally.

He added that the business is seeking highly-skilled people who want to work in a dynamic and creative environment.

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Pharmaceutical firm creating 50 jobs in Dublin

BioMarin Manufacturing Ireland, a subsidiary of BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., is to add the positions at its Dublin Global Commercial Operations Hub.

The expansion follows the announcement earlier this week that the European Commission had approved VIMIZIM, an enzyme replacement drug made by BioMarin.

The jobs will be in accounting, finance, customer service and marketing.

The Dublin operation has responsibility for international supply chain, logistics and high-level commercial decision making, including price, distribution and third party contracts for the launch of VIMIZIM.

BioMarin also has a biopharma manufacturing facility in Shanbally in Cork, which is expected to grow to 140 employees by 2015.

The investment is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said the announcement was a further boost for the sector and for the city.

BioMarin Vice-President James Lennertz described Ireland as an ideal business environment and said Dublin was an essential part of the company’s strategy.

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