Smart D8 Opens New Call for Pilots for Health and Wellbeing Demonstrator

  • New call for pilot projects in three areas: Population Health, Positive and Healthy Ageing, and Connected Patients in the Community
  • Latest call for pilots follows significant work undertaken in the community to date, with a €50,000 fund available
  • Smart D8 is led by The Digital Hub, St James’s Hospital, Dublin City Council and Smart Dublin

‘Smart D8’ is an urban demonstrator providing opportunities for indigenous and international innovators to investigate how smart technology and innovative approaches can be used to improve health and wellbeing in an urban population.

Today, Smart D8 announces the launch of a new call for pilots.

Smart D8 is looking to engage and collaborate with private companies, academics, healthcare providers and public organisations who want to demonstrate their innovative solutions with the local community.

The initial work of Smart D8 focused on significant community research to measure unmet population health and wellness needs.

Following on from this research, a number of pilot projects were actioned to directly respond to this community feedback. A range of innovations have already been rolled out with positive impacts on population health and wellbeing – reaching over 5,000 citizens in and around the Dublin 8 district, before scaling nationally. These initiatives include Heart of Our City which aimed at improving awareness around and management of cardiovascular disease in the community, Civic Dollars which enabled people to earn digital currency through spending time in local parks, and Ways To Wellbeing which boosted the wellbeing and mental health of elderly people by giving them the chance to connect with young people in their community in a meaningful way.

Smart D8 is now seeking applications for a new round of pilot projects focused on Population Health, Positive and Healthy Ageing, and Connected Patients in the Community to continue health and wellbeing innovation in Dublin 8 and beyond.

Stephen Brennan, Head of Strategy and Partnerships at The Digital Hub and Chair of Smart D8, said:

“Smart D8 opens our third round of pilot project calls and is responding to real health and wellbeing needs of citizens in Dublin 8 and beyond – and looking for the best solutions to challenges in Population Health, Positive and Healthy Ageing, and Connected Patients in the Community. We are especially interested in working with those who want to demonstrate their products, services and research in real-world conditions.”

Jack Lehane, Smart D8 Ecosystem Manager, said:

“Community outreach has been at the heart of Smart D8 since its inception. This new call provides a great opportunity to expand this forward-looking approach to healthcare innovation. By providing access to communities and local infrastructures, we will provide a platform for innovation to thrive and taking a health and wellness approach will help reduce the number of people who get sick in the first place.”

Orla Veale, Academic Health Science Campus Director at St. Jamess Hospital, said:

“Healthcare is changing rapidly and moving to a more preventative model that considers the wider determinants of health, outside of the traditional boundaries of the hospital environment. To address these challenges and realise opportunities for the Irish healthcare system, it needs to be a collaborative endeavour. St. James’s Hospital are delighted to continue our participation in Smart D8 and look forward to seeing the continued impact for the public.”

Jamie Cudden, Smart City Lead at Dublin City Council, said:

“The Smart D8 partnership is a unique collaboration that cuts across 12 public, private and academic partners who are backing these pilot calls with access to funding, expertise, know- how and wider organisational supports. Dublin City Council through our Smart Dublin initiative are excited to be supporting this pilot call which has such potential to bring innovative ideas and solutions to the Dublin 8 area.”

The lead partners are joined in the Smart D8 consortium by the Guinness Enterprise Centre, HSE Digital Transformation, Tyndall National Institute, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Trinity College Dublin Research & Innovation, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, National College of Art & Design, and Health Innovation Hub Ireland.

Applicants can apply here at


For more information:

Andrew Smith | Murray | | 083 076 5717

About Smart D8

Smart D8 is an initiative to improve the health and wellbeing of citizens in Dublin 8 through collaboration and innovation. It is one of five Smart Districts that form part of the Smart Dublin programme.

Since October 2020, Smart D8 has brought together innovators and an urban community with a diverse range of entrepreneurs, academics, local government, national healthcare providers and public bodies in a partnership model to work collaboratively to solve real population health and wellbeing challenges at scale.

Lead partners include: The Digital Hub, Smart Dublin, Dublin City Council and St. James’s Hospital. They are joined by Tyndall National Institute, St Patrick’s Mental Health Services, Trinity Research & Innovation, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, National College of Art & Design, Guinness Enterprise Centre, Health Innovation Hub Ireland and the HSE in this unique collaborative initiative.

Smart D8 is focused on finding innovative solutions to improve the health and wellbeing of nearly 45,000 people living in Ireland’s capital city. Through funded pilot calls and partnerships, Smart D8 is facilitating future products and services showcasing their potential to positively impact the lives of people nationally and internationally.

Pilot projects undertaken to date include:

Heart of our City

This collaboration between Smart D8, St James’s Hospital, Novartis Ireland and the Irish Heart Foundation was actioned following the identification of heart health as a key concern for Dublin 8 residents. 23% of respondents wanted more support and information on heart health, with a public health information campaign launched to encourage attendance at the Irish Heart Foundation’s Mobile Health Unit in four locations across Dublin 8 in early 2022. Over 800 Dublin 8 citizens were engaged with, and 35% identified as having high blood pressure. Heart of Our City was awarded Highly Commended in the Public Health Initiative of the Year category at the Irish Healthcare Awards 2022.

Civic Dollars

Ireland’s first social currency launched in 2021 through a collaboration between Smart D8, Smart Dublin, Dublin City Council, The Digital Hub and Moai Digital. Designed to incentivise the use of public parks and promote exercise and healthy living, Civic Dollars allowed users to earn currency through time spent in Dublin 8 parks with the community currency being redeemable at participating local businesses. Users were also able to donate their earned Civic Dollars to local community groups, who could put them towards much needed professional services. Over 1,100 users downloaded the Civic Dollars app throughout the trial phase in March 2022, with 44% of all earned Civic Dollars being donated to local community groups.

Ways to Wellbeing

A project by Walk in My Shoes; the flagship awareness-raising campaign of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services (SPMHS) supported by Smart D8, connected students with elderly members of the Dublin 8 community to foster local connections and learn about wellbeing and mental health. Students of both primary and secondary schools in the locality were invited to interview family members from the Dublin 8 area; write letters to day centres or nursing homes; and utilise a range of mediums for conversation  including podcasts, written stories, film or photography, to help showcase the connections between young and old. 306 students from 6 schools were connected to elderly members of the Dublin 8 community as a result of Ways to Wellbeing.

Smart D8 is now seeking applications for a new round of pilot projects focused on Population Health, Positive and Healthy Ageing, and Connected Patients in the Community to continue the development of Dublin 8 as a health and wellbeing demonstrator.

Find out more and participate: