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HSL’s Pulse Platform a ‘lifeline’ for NI heart families

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HSL solutions:

Fully customized Pulse solution powered by Pexip

Key benefits:

  • Improved patient care
  • Extended reach of access to health services to rural communities
  • Cost saving by reducing the need for travel, hospital visits and emergency admissions
  • Simple and easy to use platform


The cark Clinic at Belfast Children’s Hospital is a paediatric cardiology unit that provides care for babies and children with congenital heart defects. since 2007 the clinic has been using video conferencing technology to monitor and support its patients at home, reducing the need for hospital visits and improving their quality of life. The video conferencing service, powered by HSL’s pulse platform, is now available to all of the NHS trusts across Northern Ireland, thanks to the collaboration between HSL, the e-health and core ICT service in the HSC Board, and the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.


Several challenges such as long waiting lists, staff shortages, Covid-19 pandemic, and geographical barriers. These factors affected the quality and equity of care for the patients and their families, who often had to wait, travel long distances, or risk infection to access the services they needed. The trust needed a solution that could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the health and social care system, and address the needs and preferences of the patients and their families.


The solution was to use videoconferencing technology to connect the Clark Clinic at Belfast Children’s Hospital with its patients and their families at home. The videoconferencing service, called Pulse, was developed by HSL, in collaboration with the e-Health and core ICT service in the HSC Board. Pulse allowed the clinic to monitor the health of babies and children with congenital heart defects, provide remote consultations and support, and reduce the need for hospital visits and admissions. The solution was especially helpful during the Covid-19 pandemic, when travel and contact were restricted and the risk of infection was high. The solution improved the quality of life and well-being of the patients and their families, as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of the health care providers.


Dr Brian McCrossan, Paediatric Cardiologist at Clark Clinic said, “Since its introduction in 2007, there have been incremental improvements in the video conferencing technology. As the platform has advanced, it has significantly improved the timeliness and ease of connecting with patients and the paediatric cardiology team. It is extremely reliable and easy to access. We are also reassured by the security of the platform compared to social media type platforms. “Telehealth has played a vital role during the Coronavirus pandemic as it has enabled our team to conduct a number of urgent video-consultations for patients at home which have obviated the need for them to come to the emergency department. Parental anxiety has been more heightened than usual due to the pandemic, therefore we have found that supporting families at home with regular video-consultations has helped to reduce stress, reduce health service utilisation and is much appreciated by parents and clinicians alike.”

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