Centres And GroupsHealth Informatics Research Group

Health Informatics Research Group

In many Western countries, including Ireland, Healthcare is one of the largest sectors of the economy. Health spending plays a major role in economic policy in Ireland, and throughout Europe. One of the effects of this has been a growing pressure on the public health industry to streamline costs, gain efficiencies and become more innovative in the way that the community's health is improved and maintained. The health industry is therefore looking to researchers and private industry to develop new ways of providing health care, health promotion, etc. to the community.

The application of IT technologies to healthcare, generally known as Health Informatics, is seen as key to the realisation of this aim. Health Informatics is the intersection of information science, computer science and health science. The WIT departments of CMP and Nursing have an ideal research and teaching mix to take advantage of this growing sector in RTD. This new, interdisciplinary research cluster encompasses expertise in ICT, Data Security, Databases, eLearning, Multiple Intelligence approaches, Hospital-at-home care delivery, and Addiction management and education.

Our main area of interest is individuals representing organisations that are involved in delivering community care:

  • Providers of community care: HSE; and voluntary providers

  • Purchasers of community care:

The main objectives are to conduct a comprehensive Needs Analysis Survey of relevant regional and national stakeholders (HSE, GPs, Public Health personnel, etc.). This will inform the health informatics research group (HIRG) at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) of the areas of research and technological development (RTD) that are currently important to the Health industry and to the wider community. Establish and develop a centre of excellence in the area of Health Informatics at WIT. This is a growing area both nationally and in European terms. The European Union (EU) is supporting and advancing the growth and innovation and RTD in Health Informatics with initiatives such as the formation of the eHealth European Research Area group. To propose an information communication technology (ICT) framework for health care staff clients and patients that will increase higher patient/staff participation in health related initiatives. To identify information technology (ICT) utilisation and requirements in health care, as a resource and as a medium for example.

As a resource (content):

ICT enabling Community Healthcare (e.g. using face-to-face interaction with client(s) -
Outside face-to-face interaction with client(s) (e.g. referral)
Data Security
Creation (e.g. website development)
Clinical Delivery

As a medium (process):

Computer-mediated health information data
Chat with practitioner/client group
Web-based forum
Videoconference (e.g. case conferencing with other health practitioners)


Mr. T.J. McDonald
Department of Chemical & Life Sciences
Waterford Institute of Technology
Cork Road

Tel:  051 302683  or  Email: [email protected]

HIRG Fulltime Faculty Members