Ireland sets out roadmap in Digital Health Framework for 2024 – 2030

The Irish Department of Health has published Ireland’s digital health framework for 2024 – 2030, setting out a roadmap for digital transformation across the nation’s health services, covering the roll-out of a shared care record, the deployment of electronic health records (EHRs), a new patient app, and more.

A “key goal” of the new framework is around empowering patients, with improvements planned to help support citizens in accessing their health information, and a focus on promoting self-care, self-management, prevention and early diagnosis.

The framework also sets out ambitions to support a “digitally enabled workforce and workplace”, providing healthcare staff with a digital identity and single sign-on for systems, offering a “more modern fit-for-purpose workplace environment” with high-speed connectivity and specialist workstations, promoting easy access to health information and advanced diagnostics, and giving the workforce support on digital skills and learning opportunities.

With regards to digitally enabled and connected care, the framework signposts ambitions including access to a digital patient record, less reliance on paper records, and access to data for clinical audit and research.

For data, ambitions include providing “access to the right information through a range of systems and dashboards”, an improved understanding of patient flow, the use of data to “manage and improve performance of the delivery of health services when responding to short and long-term challenges”, and enhanced visibility of population health data.

In terms of tech, the framework highlights the department’s commitment to continuing investment in health infrastructure, emerging technologies, the integration of systems, and the development of standards to enable increased connectivity.

Highlights include the planned roll-out of a new patient app later in 2024, the scale-up of virtual care initiatives, the procurement of a tech platform to deliver the national shared care record, and the development of a Health Information Bill “for priority publication this legislative session”.

Outcomes anticipated include “more comprehensive” real-time information being available for healthcare providers, enhanced ease of movement between care settings for patients, and the provision of care closer to home.

Stephen Donnelly, Irish minister for health, said: “This Digital Health Framework for Ireland (2024 – 2030) sets out a clear ambition for the future. A future that harnesses the power of data, digital technology, and innovation, to widen access to health and social care services, provide improved affordable and equitable care, better patient safety and greater productivity.”

To read the new digital health framework in full, please click here.

Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to speak with Aislinn Gannon, general manager for digital health at Ireland’s Health Service Executive, on her experience with digital health programmes, and her perspectives on the future of tech in health.

Explore HTN Interviews