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HiNZ Conference gets even bigger and better

Monday, 25 November 2019  
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Picture: The HiNZ Conference drew a record number of delegates this year.

 

Hayley McLarin

 

The largest ever HiNZ Conference has proven to also be the best to date, with a record-breaking number of delegates, a diverse range of speakers and the first experiential village.

 

More than 1,450 people attended HiNZ’s first Digital Health Week NZ in Hamilton this month, including representatives from DHBs, PHOs, government and NGOs, industry partners and providers.

 

Health Minister David Clark described what is thought to be New Zealand’s largest health conference as a “fantastic opportunity to gather and share innovation, ideas and solutions and to educate ourselves and others and to network as we strive to improve the health and wellbeing of New Zealand.

 

“Digital health plays an incredibly important and increasingly important role in helping us achieve our priorities in the wider health and disability system. In equity, mental health and addiction, access to services and also in workforce challenges digital has a key role to play,” he told attendees in his keynote address.

 

“This is such an important conference – it is one of the fastest growing areas of healthcare.”

 

HiNZ board member Rebecca Grainger says the conference has been able to grow because “HiNZ is focusing more on what the sector needs in terms of making connections that grow capacity to get great outcomes for New Zealanders.

 

“It makes me feel really optimistic that we are developing the wave of people and companies to transform health in New Zealand,” Grainger said.

 

The conference began with a powerful reminder of the importance of giving patients not only better outcomes for their health, but also better quality of life through advances in digital tools.

 

Australian bushfire survivor Terry Lee spoke to the 1000+ people packed into the main arena about the digital tools that allow him independence.

 

Having survived full-thickness burns to 75 per cent of his body – that robbed him of his right arm, left hand, both ears and one eye and left him with permanent lung damage – Terry lives with his wife Moira in a digitally equipped home.

 

Exhibitors talked of the value of being able to have worthwhile conversations with delegates, many highlighting the strong leads that came out of time with decision makers and future-focused health industry officials.

 

Harkness Fellowship recipient and Ministry of Health chief allied health professions officer Martin Chadwick aptly proved that location should not be a barrier in the industry. He is based at Rutgers University in Boston during his fellowship, but streamed his presentation live from Toronto.

 

Also streaming live were almost back-to-back interviews on the newly launched eHealthTV platform. All eHTV Studio interviews are now available free to view online.

 

The Twitter feed ran hot, Eva the robot cruised the exhibition hall photographing attendees and the AWS Experiential Village that showcased a GP’s clinic – and your lounge – of the future was as busy as the main street of Hamilton during breaks.

 

With more than 350 presentations in more than 10 tracks, a little RnR was prescribed – with Hobbiton hosting its biggest private booking yet, before everyone headed back to the future.

 

HiNZ has announced that next year’s Digital Health Week NZ will return to Claudelands in Hamilton from 23–27 November 2020.

 

If you would like to provide feedback on this news story please contact the editor Rebecca McBeth.

 

Read more news:

National board to guide investments in digital health

Canterbury clinician wins new leadership award


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