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How Irish tech is helping in the battle against Covid-19

Posted: 14 Apr 2021

How Irish tech is helping in the battle against Covid-19

Innovation and collaboration are enabling numerous Irish companies to make significant breakthroughs in the global battle against COVID-19.

From leveraging artificial intelligence and wifi to analysing digital trends and rolling out new applications, Irish tech innovators have been centre stage in the battle against Covid-19.

“It’s really inspiring to see the innovation and collaboration that is currently taking place,” says Eolas Recruitment Managing Director Vincent Flynn.

“The challenge when we emerge from the pandemic will be to keep up the pace.”

Contact Tracing

In one of the best-known examples of Irish innovation since the outbreak of the pandemic, Waterford company NearForm achieved international recognition and success for their Covid Tracker apps which assist public health authorities while helping individuals to protect themselves against the virus.

Artificial Intelligence

Another early initiative saw Ireland’s applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) centre CeADAR offer its expert scientists and researchers to help companies, government agencies, medical centres or charities in the fight against the virus. AI tools can be used to help detect Covid-19 and track the compliance of the general public.

“We want to help make a contribution to improve people’s lives and help reduce the spread of the virus,” CeADAR Director Edward McDonnell said at the time.

Social distancing

Elsewhere, Taoglas, a leading provider of next-generation IoT solutions, launched a people movement analytics platform to help manage crowd sizes and social distancing. CROWD Insights uses existing WiFi infrastructure to monitor the numbers, flows and dwell times of people in public areas and sets thresholds to alarm if an intervention is necessary. The solution, which is suitable for use in any healthcare facility, venue, retail store, restaurant, airport, city or town, can be deployed remotely in a single day via a cloud management platform.

Telemedicine

At community level, GPs have implemented digital solutions to enable online booking for prescription renewals and vaccination appointments while Zoom-style consultations are helping to minimise the spread of COVID-19 infection.

Tests used by RocDoc Health Check, a GP practice based in Ashbourne, Co. Meath who provide Covid-19 testing services via an online booking system, include a rapid molecular test developed by Irish company HiberGene Diagnostics.

Pharmacies

In March 2020, the Irish Independent reported how Shane O’Sullivan, a Dublin-based pharmacist, has developed bot technology to deal with increased demand for pharmacy and GP services due to Covid-19— a great example of the benefits of learning to code.

Shane’s Dundrum-based business Healthwave has made its CareBot Covid-19 Assessment tool available to GPs free of charge during the pandemic.

Digital trends

The HSE are tracking trends in the questions they receive through their social media channels and sharing this information with their wider digital team. The results are used to proactively prepare responses and develop online content. At a broader level, across healthcare as in other sectors the use of algorithms to make discoveries and generate insight from search trends and big data is accelerating.

Wearables

Meanwhile, interest in the potential of wearable devices to monitor patients with Covid-19 and chronic illness is also on the rise. Data collected by wearables is analysed by algorithms which can alert doctors when a potential problem is identified.

Demand for IT skills

With tech-enabled initiatives emerging almost every day, it is not surprising that demand for IT skills is on the rise.

Data and security-related skills in particular, are a focus, at the moment.

“During the pandemic, we have seen how data can be used to track the progress of Covid-19. That is just a glimpse of Big Data’s potential to accelerate the efforts of researchers and policy makers. It is also clear that there is a lot of work to be done in areas like integrating medical systems so that all of the professionals involved in the delivery of services have access to relevant data,” says Vincent.

“Of course anything that involves data also involves risk. There have been numerous instances of ransomware attacks on healthcare organisations and reports of hackers being able to manipulate devices like pacemakers. So, data protection and the security of systems is a huge challenge and a good example of an area where demand for skilled IT professionals is only going to become more intense.”

Platforms

Looking to how future health platform capabilities are likely to emerge, EY recently predicted this will happen at two levels: “In immediate proximity to consumers, companies developing different applications, products or tools will join forces to create platforms of care that address specific health needs. Above these individual platforms of care, global technology, artificial intelligence and data analytics companies will combine skills to become supra-platform aggregators, helping to scale insights gained at the platform of care level across multiple therapeutic areas.”

Opportunities for IT workers

While the convergence of technologies is creating exciting opportunities for IT workers, candidates need to keep up to date with emerging trends, says Eolas Recruitment Technical Manager Peter Kirby,

“The pace of change really accelerated during the pandemic and one of the trends that is particularly strong is collaboration. So, it’s not just technical skills that companies are looking for. They want people who can learn and adapt quickly and who have the soft skills and emotional intelligence to collaborate and work effectively with both in-house and external teams,”  says Peter.

Advanced technologies like robotic automation and artificial intelligence are also driving demand for IT workers who can manage teams made up of both humans and bots, says Eolas Recruitment Principal Consultant Stephen Daly.

“Getting experience is the key thing. Contracting can be a good way to acquire skills with emerging and cutting-edge technologies. It’s also a great way to build your professional network. While developers, engineers, data analysts, project managers and candidates with expertise in areas like security, ecommerce, quality and project management are highly sought after, it’s vital that your skills are up to date.”

Another tip for candidates is to show commitment to ongoing learning and development, for example by doing online and distance learning courses. Relevant qualifications add value to a tech CV, says Senior Recruiter Nollaig Leydon.

A good way to keep up with what companies are looking for in terms of skills and qualifications is to keep an eye on the Eolas Recruitment job listings.

Some companies have found it difficult to source suitable candidates during the pandemic but this is where Eolas Recruitment can help, says Nollaig.

“As a specialist in the IT sector, we understand what companies are looking for which is very important when it comes to innovation and technical skills. So, we are ideally placed to manage every stage of the hiring process, from identifying candidates to screening applicants, arranging interviews and contract negotiation — all of the services that companies need when hiring IT workers in the current market”

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I had an extremely positive experience with Caroline Gaughan of Eolas Recruitment. Throughout the process of securing my new position Caroline was highly responsive, personable and professional. She was always available and engaged in discussing any queries I had and offered great support throughout the entire process, especially before and between interview stages.I would highly recommend working with Caroline and Eolas.
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My experience with Eolas from the very start was fantastic. Nicola Byrne contacted me in relation to a couple of positions that were available. Guided me through the entire process and offered any help needed along the way. If I'm ever job hunting again I know who my first port of call will be along with anyone who asks me for a recommendation.
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I accepted a new role though Beth from Eolas...I was very happy with the process throughout. Beth found a role for me quite quickly, which suited my specific skills. Beth and Nollaig were always friendly and super professional and also able to answer any questions or concerns I had. Furthermore, Beth kept me in the loop regularly (not just through email but also through phonecalls) so I always knew exactly what the situation was and how my application was progressing and I am very appreciative of that. I will definately use again Eolas in the future...More recently Nicola took over as my Eolas Agent and came up to speed very quickly on potential roles for me and my previous experience. I found Nicola to be efficient and a good problem solver, All my queries were handled efficiently and successfully by Nicola and in a pleasant and professional manner. I would gladly contact Nicola again and deal with Eolas again as I was most satisfied with her calm, efficient and friendly manner...Thanks again Nicola and we'll stay in touch!
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I had a very positive experience working with Nicola from Eolas. Nicola supported me through the whole process in securing my new role, providing me with all the necessary interview advice and guidance. She was also regularly in touch to keep me updated and to answer any questions I had. I would HIGHLY recommend Eolas Recruitment to anyone seeking a new role.Thanks again to Nicola for all your help.
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I am glad that i reached out to the Eolas team for my new job search, Getting in touch with Stephen and Peter and team was one of best thing for me as getting a job in IT sector bit difficult but the way they all handled things for me and getting me a job which is of my passion and i would be loving to work for was just possible because of the team at Eolas recruitment,From start of the process untill getting the offer in hands everything was handled professionally by team thanks so much guys for your help and support much appreciate it.
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Initially, I was contacted by Caoimhe C. And she immediately put my resume for contract role through one of the largest companies in Ireland. Peter K. did a follow up for the interview and explained me in detail about the contractual role in Ireland. Overall, it was a smooth process and I was directed properly in every steps and given a proper guidance by Eolas Team. I definitely recommend Eolas Recruitment and team!
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Overall a very positive experience with Eolas, I had being applying for months direct with most companies with very little feedback. Eolas contacted me directly on linked In with a role which was a perfect match to my skillset and background.They also guided me though the process end to end and help to set expectations. I found them very professional to work with and very happy they approached me.Special thank you to Caoimhe and Peter for making the process a smooth and stress free transition. Delighted with my new role.
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Sean Prendergast's support and professionalism have been key in finding the best job opportunity. Agility and speed, I would recommend it.
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The support and encouragement that I got from Caroline Gaughan in my recruitment process is impeccable. It was very professional and was an excellent experience. Not only regarding job, she was concerned about my accommodation at job location and health issues during the process. She was assisting through out the process being patient and kind. I am glad and thankful that she helped me with the next step in my career.
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Highly recommend Eolas. Very Professional.
chris plummer
chris plummer
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My experience with Eolas was simply amazing. The team reached out to me for a suitable role and supported across the process from pre-interview stages to interviews and final communication with the company. Special thanks to Caoimhe and Stephen, who were always available for guidance.A highly recommended team.
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Had a great experience with Eolas. Both Eilis Keogh and Stephen Daly did a great job in keeping me informed and up to date with the recruitment process. They provide support, encouragement and advice along the way helping me to secure a great role and a great deal.
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18:17 11 Apr 22
Worked with Stephen and Sean over the course of three rounds of interviews and an offer, can't recommend them enough. Very professional, experienced people, easy to get along with, loads of knowledge about the company I was going for a role with, as well as the industry in general. They kept me well up to date - as soon as they had an update, I had it too. Stephen and Sean really impressed me. The receptionist (or whoever's answering the phones) is also very helpful and friendly. Overall a great experience and I'd happily work with this company again.
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My experience working with Peter Kirby and Caoimhe Cronin was excellent. They managed to find me a new role very quickly and were very pleasant to work with. I would happily recommend Eolas Recruitment to other IT professionals.
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I would like to give my appreciation to Eolas for helping me with my recent job search. I had the pleasure of dealing with Caoimhe Cronin as she provided an excellent service. She was on the phone or email all the time, while updating me on the position. I would highly recommend Eolas and Caoimhe to anybody who is interested in finding new opportunities.
Ing. Bc. Dmitrij Teterja
Ing. Bc. Dmitrij Teterja
09:32 02 Apr 22
Sean from Eolas recruitment has been very helpful in matching my skill set to the correct job. He has been very supportive right through out the process.
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My experience of Stephen Daly, Peter Kirby, Eilis Keogh and all of the team at Eolas is second to none. They are proactive, positive and energetic at all times and worked hard to find a role that suited me . They communicated in a timely and accurate manner throughout the recruitment process and found a great match for my skills and experience. Thank you all.
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07:57 28 Mar 22
My hiring Journey with Nicola has been the best, I cannot thank her enough for the way she dealt during the entire process, she is a star and she understands everything about the person she is dealing with, I was overwhelmed by her Recruitment process, All I can say about Nicola is She is the Best ever recruiter.. I wish I could send her a bunches flowers and some donuts to appreciate her.. and for her time spent with me.. Kudos to Nicola
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This is to say a massive thank you to Nicola Byrne for making my interview and commencement process with my new employer easy and painless. she was very communicative and kept making sure, I had all the required information I needed. Thanks again.
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I worked with Peter from Eolas, Iam so impressed by his professional working style, giving quick response... More than that He also supported me finding a place during the relocation.
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The professionalism of the team members, especially of Stephen Daly exceeded my expectations. He has been very helpful in building the relationship with the Company, we had very transparent communication; The Team assisted me with all my queries but the most important is that Stephen matched exactly my interests and qualifications to the role that I am engaged in.
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Recently got placed in a 2nd role by Eolas. Find them very professional to deal with, always responding right away. Many thanks to Peter, Stephen and Caoimhe for helping with my most recent role.
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It was great to dealing with Caroline Gaughan in Eolas Recruitment. More than just resourcing and arranging interviews, Caroline did all the support even after offer.
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Had the pleasure of dealing with Eilis Keogh throughout the whole interviewing process with Riot Games. She was extremely friendly, helpful and always quick to provide tips to help me and to ease my nerves during a stressful time period. Couldn't have asked for anyone better to help me along in that journey.
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My experience with Eolas was excellent. For my recruitment process, Stephen Daly and Eilis Keogh contacted me, and it was a pleasure to deal with both of them. Besides their excellent professionalism, they were always available to assist me with understanding the process, provide additional information, and respond to my questions in a timely fashion. Throughout the interview process, their advice and guidance proved to be extremely helpful. I recommend them to anyone searching for a new job.
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I had the opportunity to deal with Caoimhe and Peter. Excellent team! Extremely professional. Caoimhe is very knowledgeable, knows her stuff inside out and the best interview prep and follow up. Peter is super clear and sharp with the communication, exactly what you need to close successfully!
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I was contacted by Peter from Eolas with opportunity best suiting my profile. Later he and Caoimhe helped me with the interview process. She was very responsive, checking up with me and company on my interview results during the entire process. It was very smooth and I am happy to recommend Eolas. Thank you for helping me.
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