HSE Innovator of the Year

Lorraine Smyth
Lorraine Smyth

HSE Communication and Innovations Lead, Lorraine Smyth, won the Women in IT Innovator Award of the Year and the Women in It Digital Transformation Leader Award, at the Women in IT Summit Ireland 2021.

The Awards were to mark “outstanding talent in the industry, as well as the employers that are implementing diversity initiative to spearhead real change in the sector and identify new role models to inspire more diverse talents into careers in tech.”

One of Lorraine’s projects, which allowed GPs and hospitals to monitor COVID patients in their own homes, saved the HSE an estimated €20 million last year.   Another Pilot Project enabled the country’s first complete digital delivery system, where prescriptions were dispensed digitally and delivered by drone.

Lorraine Smyth’s citation as Innovator of the year, said she had demonstrated real success to meet a real problem. “She is enabling and leading innovation in the public sector which can be very challenging. She is educating her  colleagues  and mixing innovative digital ideas into and  across the  organisation. Within a short timeframe, she has  delivered various innovative ideas  for  the COVID19 Monitoring App and avoided €20 million in costs.   With another Team project  –  the COVID killing cleaning robot called  Violet  – she  played a key role in rolling  out inferred thermometers and temperature scanning booths for nursing homes and the care homes’ national ambulance service.  She  helped develop  a unique solution delivering prescriptions to patients via drones in Moneygall.  This individual seeks out innovative ideas and finds the time and energy to bring them to fruition. She is a true innovator and deserved winner in this category.”

Lorraine’s citation as Digital Transformation Leader said. “This candidate’s submission is highly impressive. The organisation she works for is complex with various legacy systems and she is driving forward thinking approaches with digital technology. Through her studies and experience, she brings innovative solutions to complex problems. Her work during the COVID19 pandemic led to better patient care and more availability of hospital beds as some patients could be monitored remotely. Judges were in awe of the use of remote diagnostics via video and drone delivery for prescription drugs to remote areas. They agree that this was a real glimpse of the future that this individual is pioneering . Her work has already received critical acclaim and her resilience is clear. She is an incredible woman, professional, leader and role model for us all.”

Lorraine has been working as Communications and Innovations Lead in the Digital Transformation Team since 2019, under the leadership of Prof. Martin Curley, Director of Digital Transformation, HSE.

She obtained an MSc of Science in Digital Transformation in Healthcare with first class honours from UL in 2021. Her Masters was based on the digital health project which she led where a COVID Patient Monitoring App was developed for the HSE. This allowed GPs and hospitals to monitor patients in their own home. It was rolled out nationally to GPs and 20 hospitals and saved €20 million in bed nights for the HSE. It also won Lorraine the best student project in the Irish Healthcare Awards.

In the early stages of COVID, Prof. Curley and Lorraine worked on the Closed Loop Drone Delivery system. The pilot project took place over three weeks in the town of Moneygall. Approved by the IAA and partnering with Manna Drones, it aimed to establish a digital delivery system from the first consultation with a GP by Telehealth consultation. The prescription went through escrpt digitally, was dispensed, placed in a drone which delivered the prescription to the client.

In early 2020, she rolled out the first pilot project of Temperature Scanning Screens in Nursing Homes and Infrared noncontact thermometers across nursing homes and PHNs.  She also project managed and contributed to the HSeLanD learning programmes Digital Starter Pack and Introduction to the Digital Health Transformation. With Prof. Curley, she was a co-founder of the Digital Academy Forum.

Lorraine was recently promoted to work on Scheduled Care Transformation, with the National Director of Change and Innovation, Yvonne Goff.