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Âwhina app launched for health workers

Wednesday, 27 May 2020  
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Return to home page editor Rebecca McBeth


The Ministry of Health has developed a mobile app to help health workers access information about Covid-19.


The Âwhina app is designed to provide health workers with quick access to relevant information such as the latest case definitions, clinical care pathways or Personal Protective Equipment guidance.


The information is frequently updated based on latest research, advice, and changes to alert levels. The app will notify health workers when new or updated content is available to them.


Âwhina been welcomed by the medical director of the Royal NZ College of GPs Bryan Betty, who says “anything that makes it easier for front-line GPs to access up to date information on Covid-19 would be welcomed by the College.”


MoH deputy director-general Data and Digital Shayne Hunter says Covid-19 has changed the way many people live and work and this is especially true for those working in the health and disability sector.


“The emergence of COVID-19 and the response required by people working in the health and disability sector highlighted the need for a tool to provide easy access to the up-to-date information relevant to their area of work,” he says.


While Âwhina will initially support the Covid-19 response, it can be used to get information to health workers to support any public health response.


“Initially the app will be used for communicating information about Covid-19 to health workers, but as we return to our new normal, we can use the app to share other information to help us act in a more cohesive, collective, and collaborative style."


The Ministry says it developed the app with feedback from people working in the health sector and by learning from approaches taken in other countries to get information about Covid-19 to health workers.  


Co-chair of the Clinical Informatics Leadership Network Karen Blake says the app puts a wealth of information at the fingertips of clinicians, including data and case tracking, polices and guidelines, situation reports from the World Health Organisation, and links to trusted clinical resources such as Health Pathways.


“The Data and Digital team have developed this app by collaborating with health workers, demonstrating the great things that can happen when clinicians and IT professionals come together,” she says.


“I hope my colleagues embrace this app: we now have the power of trusted knowledge available 24/7 on our mobile devices to care for people with Covid-19.”


Âwhina is available from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. For more information visit


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

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