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Covid-19 – Industry round up

Thursday, 26 March 2020  
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Return to home page editor Rebecca McBeth introduces a round-up of industry news in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.




The new Spritely Contain module was released this week. This module helps retirement villages keep their residents healthier, safer and connected, as new events and stronger directives require more seniors to self-isolate.


The new module has been made available at no extra cost to all villages that have Spritely, so that every resident can now access symptom tracking, vitals recording and telehealth.


Spritely says the Contain module has already proved essential for villages that want to ensure effective communication at every level, including; national health agency communications; retirement village communications; and specific household communications.


Whānau Tahi


Community and Whānau Ora providers using the Whānau Tahi Navigator interface have hot buttons which can set new whānau states; Covid-19 Self Isolation; Covid-19 Symptomatic or Diagnosed; and Covid-19 HAS Kit Supplied (Hygiene and Sanitation)


Dashboards and mapping tools provide visibility on the number and location of whānau in these categories and all workers engaging with them will receive alerts about whānau status when accessing or updating appointments, case notes, or other records.


Clinical staff using the Connected Care interface can see status information from community and whānau ora workers, and permit the release of clinical Covid-19 treatment or advice to be shared with community workers.


The primary to secondary interface delivers Covid19 Alerts to DHB services and provides secure communications between the health service workers.


Health Pathways


HealthPathways has developed a package of guidance for general practice teams in relation to Covid-19.


National or state level information, aligned with emergency response plans, is being maintained by Canterbury as the lead region in New Zealand.


The Ministry of Health is advising the Canterbury HealthPathways team directly of upcoming policy changes so that these can be rapidly incorporated into pathways.


All HealthPathways sites in New Zealand will be upgraded to a new mobile-friendly platform so that the information can be easily accessed from phones and tablets.




Clearhead has built a free-to-use AI Chatbot to assess whether people need to be tested for Covid-19, as well as provide mental health support.


Chief executive Angela Lim says the screening tool is based on information from the Ministry of Health website with clinical input from NZ doctors.


“We have done this due to the large volumes of users expressing concerns about the uncertainty of Covid-19. With long waiting times for Healthline and GP clinics, Kiwis who are anxious are unable to get the support they need in a timely manner,” Lim says.


“We believe if we can we can ease the anxiety and help our users early on, it will help improve outcomes for New Zealanders while providing some breathing room in our health system.”




Industry body NZ Health IT says the government must immediately assist the urgent uptake of virtual healthcare services by paying GPs for every video consultation they do during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Chief executive Scott Arrol says this would be on top of any co-payment made by the patient and recognises the investment the GP has had to make.


"We've got to remember there are doctors, nurses and practice staff who are working incredibly hard to suddenly change the way they work," he says.


"This will provide a significant pay-off in the fight against Coronavirus so the funding has to be in place to support one of the biggest changes to the way healthcare is provided that New Zealand has seen over the past 50 years."


General manager of Mark Smith says the outbreak of Covid-19 has seen an increase in the number of people enquiring about remote healthcare monitoring by at least 300%, with calls coming from around New Zealand.


“The customer call centre has been inundated with enquiries about how elderly family members and those with underlying health conditions can be supported remotely,” he says. is calling on the Government to increase funding to cover costs for remote medical alarm monitoring during the pandemic.


“What we’re asking for is a loosening of the requirements so people now living in isolation have access to higher functioning medical alarm and it’s not restricted to just those already on the disability allowance,” says Smith.


Healthcare Compliance Solutions Ltd


HCSL reports that in response to Covid-19 and the need to continue a service to residents in aged care but without face to face contact, the uptake of telehealth and remote access has increased.


“We’ve now linked other health professionals into the aged care facilities using HCSL software so Doctors, Nurse Practitioners,” says director Gillian Robinson.


“This is enabling them to make data based diagnosis and treatment plans directly into the software so that all involved can have instant access to the same information.  


“This means treatment plans can be developed remotely reducing risk of additional visits onsite which could potentially pose risk of spreading infection.”


Med Apps


Med Apps is offering a reduced price for those who would like support during the pandemic with no obligation to continue with the system once it is over. 


Director, Tom Collins, says the company is focusing on information access to ensure every frontline worker can see standard protocols and procedures in a consumable format.


Also, the ability to deliver clear and concise updates with high engagement rates and rapid support of competency development such as PPE, and ventilator management. 


The Clinician


Kiwi company The Clinician has developed a Covid-19 Staff Symptom Monitoring module of its ZEDOC platform at the request of the Singapore Ministry of Health.


This is being used across Singapore and also outside healthcare in a number of large organisations in Asia Pacific and Israel.


The Clinician says ZEDOC helps keep as many patients as possible away from clinics/ hospitals by monitoring their symptoms remotely (supporting telehealth services).


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


Read more news:

Covid-19 digital response – health providers
Telehealth resources support uptake of virtual care


For more information and resources about COVID-19 go to

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