Press Release

Minister McEntee launches Trinity College Dublin ProACT Programme

Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People Helen McEntee TD officially launched a programme event today that links technology with the healthcare support of older people. Amongst those who joined the Minister at this event in Trinity College Dublin was Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Professor Mary McCarron, Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin and Dr John Dinsmore, ProACT Project Coordinator, Trinity College Dublin. Also in attendance were representatives from the multinational programme partners Mr. Sybo Dijkstra (Philips UK), Barry O’Brien (IBM) and Dr. Gianluca Borghi (ASP Citta di Bologna).

Co-ordinated by researchers in Trinity College Dublin, the ProACT (Integrated Technology Ecosystems for ProACTive Patent Centred Care) programme aims to develop and evaluate a digital integrated care system to support older people with multiple chronic illnesses. Most healthcare models in the EU are aimed at a single disease rather than multiple chronic diseases. ProAct will use digital solutions to support these older adults aged over 65 to remain living independently in their community for as long as possible.

Currently, chronic disease management costs the EU approximately €700bn per annum. The EU funded programme brings together a consortium of academic and research institutions together with Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and multinational corporations including IBM and Philips. Altogether, there are 12 partners involved across 6 EU member states – Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Speaking at the event, Minister McEntee said “The Government recognises the importance of healthcare in a community setting. Positive chronic disease management matched with emerging and existing technologies can enable patients to manage their healthcare in a non-acute environment more effectively. Most importantly, it is allowing us to continue to put patients and their wellbeing at the centre of our health delivery system.”