Stay Left, Shift Left

Martin Curley,

CIO, OoCIO & CEO eHealth Ireland

Tuesday 29th of May was an important day for eHealth Innovation as we undertook a soft launch of our Stay Left, Shift Left strategy for Ireland to support the implementation of Slaintecare.

Stay Left, Shift Left is based on partnering with innovative companies, universities and individuals to utilise the power of digital applications, data and technology in order to improve quality of life and improve quality of care while reducing the cost of care. It is based on the concept of shifting care left from acute care to community settings to home settings while ensuring that the quality of care is enhanced, leveraging innovation and information to bring new approaches to address unmet needs.

The original Shift Left concept was introduced by Doug Busch and Andy Grove of Intel and addresses the traditional paradigm of using solutions to make people better.



       Stay left Shift left 1




                                                                                                              Doug Busch and Andy Grove, Intel


Our strategy in Ireland builds on the Slaintecare strategy to extend to Proactive, Predictive and Preventative Healthcare.

While many healthcare systems, including our own today, are designed around making sick people better – Stay Left advocates for technology based innovations and the centre of gravity for the health system to first focus on keeping well people well. This supports the provision to patients of the best quality of life, quality of care in the most cost-efficient format. If we could shift the focus to this most people would have likely have better quality and extended lives.

 stay left shift left 2 - no gridlines



Inevitably at some point people do get sick or have an accident and Shift Left advocates innovative technology solutions to support specialised, integrated care from acute settings to community to a home setting more quickly or to avoid trips to hospitals at all. Remote monitoring solutions or video doctor solutions are examples of this. In turn, this also allows patients who require to be seen in hospitals to have a quicker and more effective service.

We are aiming to galvanise the entire ecosystem to work together to accelerate better health outcomes for citizens, better resource efficiencies for the healthcare system and improved wealth creation through the sale of technology-based solutions. Utilising a term borrowed from the semi-conductor industry we are aiming to create a Moore’s Law for Health.

In Ireland, we will use the Open Innovation 2.0 methodology to help drive and orchestrate the ecosystem. We will use a quadruple helix innovation approach whereby citizens/patients, government, industry, and academia working together can drive a structural change in the healthcare industry, one that is far greater than any one organization could drive on their own. The key patterns of the this methodology such as Shared Purpose, Platform, Ecosystem Orchestration, Data Driven Innovation, Agile Methods and Industrialising Innovation are documented in a book recently published by Bror Salmelin and I. Key principles are also in this Nature article I published a couple of years ago. The net outcomes are that we have an ecosystem in Ireland collaborating with international partners which aligns, amplifies and accelerates to drive faster impact.


We are planning to bring multiple parties from the quadruple helix to build an eHealth Capability Maturity Framework for Ireland that can drive the execution of our Moore’s Law for healthcare. The real Moore’s law had a scaling factor which was based on shrinking of physical dimensions and ultimately as is now happening, progress has to slow. The scaling engine of our Moore’s law for healthcare is data and digital technologies with limitless potential. Vinod Khosla said in 2013 that in the next decade data science will do more for medicine than all of the physical sciences combined. We are very optimistic about the potential for data to drive significant insights and health improvements for the population of Ireland.


Martin Curley, CIO, HSE, CO eHealth Ireland


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