Press Release 28 Jun 2013

Fujitsu, the global ICT giant, today announced a collaboration with three Irish research groups to work on KIDUKU, a sensor based healthcare project to help prevent falls in the elderly and gain a better understanding of chronic lung disease.

The new wearable healthcare sensors will monitor biological, physical and social aspects of a patient’s environment, in a home or community setting, enabling health care professionals to detect the early onset of disease, prescribe appropriate treatment regimes and drive down costs.

The project will also seek to maximise the benefits of remote healthcare technology by improving communication among all parties involved in eldercare, including elderly patients, family members, primary care providers, and health care professionals.
 
“The overall aim of this research is to enhance the care and empowerment of those living with a range of health conditions through the effective use of technology”, said Regina Moran, CEO of Fujitsu Ireland at the launch of the research initiative. “Fujitsu Laboratories is very experienced in harnessing technology to deliver solutions to address human challenges and by working with medical experts and the three research organisations we will be creating a unique business opportunity in a market area that is estimated to have a world-wide value of $17bn by 2017.”

The Fujitsu KIDUKU project brings together three Irish based groups - CASALA based at DKIT which provides a unique highly sensed Great Northern Haven living laboratory in Dundalk; CLARITY, a DCU group which leads the field in the analysis of contextual audio and visual data; and TRIL (UCD) which researches the application of sensory technology within medical environments.

The multidisciplinary team will be complemented by leading Irish medical consultants including Dr Dermot Power, Gerontologist at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital who said, “With an aging population right across the world, there is a significant requirement to utilize ICT to enable patients to be cared for remotely. This research will assist clinicians in delivering effective medical care while maintaining patient independence. KIDUKU will provide the basis for a real world solution where technical and medical know-how meet to deliver better quality of life and empower patients to manage their healthcare needs”.

Tatsuo Tomita, President, Fujitsu Laboratories Limited said: “We are delighted to launch the KIDUKU Project. In seeking to address challenges resulting from an aging society, Fujitsu Laboratories is teaming up with three of Ireland’s research institutions, including a medical specialist team, to examine smart houses inhabited by senior citizens. This global collaboration is quite exceptional in its breadth and the range of specialty areas involved. By bringing together the respective technologies and knowledge of each research institution, including Fujitsu Laboratories, I anticipate that we can generate substantial synergies. My hope is that, through this project, we will be able to make progress in resolving the issues we currently face worldwide on account of our aging society.”

The project which commences in June 2013 will last for three years.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, said: “Key to the Government’s plan to get growth and jobs back into the economy again is a determination to ensure that we get a better commercial return from State-funded research. That is why the recent Research Prioritisation exercise focused on turning good ideas into good jobs by selecting a small number of areas where investment will be targeted. Typically, one third of IDA-supported jobs projects have a direct link to state-funded research.

 “Today’s announcement that world-leading company Fujitsu is investing in industry-led research activity in areas targeted by the Action Plan for Jobs shows what is possible for Ireland in this area. I am determined that, through continued implementation of our plan, industry-led research in the priority areas will see more commercialisation and ultimately more jobs for Ireland.”

Barry O’Leary, CEO, IDA Ireland commented, “Fujitsu’s collaboration with three Irish research groups will significantly add to Ireland’s strong track record as a location for R&D investment in both the ICT and Life Science sectors. The technologies developed as result of this investment will revolutionise the delivery of healthcare for the elderly population worldwide.”

More information on this Fujitsu led collaboration here

Media Queries please contact:

Karen White, Hume Brophy - 086 771 3326 or Edel Bach, Hume Brophy - 086 045 3821

Fidelma Geraghty, IDA Ireland – 016034127 / Fidelma.Geraghty@ida.ie
 

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