Hauora, Mauri Ora: Enabling a healthier Aotearoa New Zealand
Organisation: New Zealand Health Information Technology (NZHiT)
Date of project: May 2021
In managing the risks and impacts of the pandemic, the role Aotearoa New Zealand’s digital health companies have played, alongside the New Zealand Ministry of Health (MoH) and the broader sector, has shown that opportunity exists to make New Zealand a world-class digital health technology exemplar.
Working alongside Government agencies, we envision:
• The creation of a digitally enabled health and disability system for New Zealanders that delivers improved health and wellbeing outcomes for all
• Digital technology enabling our people to take greater control over their health
• An ecosystem that jointly promotes our people and our innovations, invests in, and attracts investment into, local digital health research and development (R&D).
We have the opportunity to enable New Zealanders access to more effective and equitable healthcare services. This can be achieved while growing a thriving export industry, creating jobs, boosting the economy, and supporting our post-COVID-19 economic recovery. This report sets out a number of recommendations that offer the opportunity for real improvements to the health and wellbeing status of New Zealanders, showing how this can be enabled through investment in digital solutions, capitalising on the innovation potential of our digital health industry, and employment opportunities. Numerous case studies from across the sector further illustrate the successes and barriers in bringing digital solutions to the New Zealand Health and Disability Sector.
Our recommendations, detailed in this report, provide a pathway forward. The next steps include the creation of a governance framework, strategy, funding, and leadership to transform these concepts into a reality for all New Zealanders.
We recognise the need to unite the Health and Disability Sector, Government, the private health sector, NZHIT, and research institutions, to enable the development and implementation of an integrated strategy for digital health in New Zealand, while also recognising the value of the industry that enables it.
As the Health and Disability System Review recommended significant changes to the sector and included a focus on digital health, we are concerned not to pre-empt the implementation strategy that will follow. On this basis, we do not focus on the structure, remit or role of any putative organisation, rather the recommendations made in this report:
1. The establishment and operation of the national Digital Health Innovation Network (DHIN)
2. The development of a more effective supplier engagement framework
3. The establishment and operation of a national Digital Health Academy (DHA) to transform the level of digital literacy in the health workforce
4. Renewed focus on engaging and empowering consumers to address the issues of inequity of access and health outcomes
5. Promotion of our digital health industry offshore.
If you would like more information about this project, please email us.