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NZHIT View: Progress being made with the NZ HealthTech Opportunities Report

Tuesday, 15 September 2020  
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Regular column by Scott Arrol, NZHIT CEO


Achieving full technology enablement is essential to support the achievement of a world class health and wellbeing system for all New Zealanders. Scott Arrol provides an update on the development of NZ HealthTech Opportunities Report to help realise that goal.


In my article titled Time for Us to Collaboract (July 13, 2020) I announced that work was commencing to develop the NZ HealthTech Opportunities Report (Opportunities Report). Since then, there has been fantastic support for the Opportunities Report with financial and resource commitments meaning that we have now commenced the engagement stages and creation of content for the key sections of the report.

The Opportunities Report describes the important part technology plays in helping to create opportunities that will set New Zealand on the path to providing world class health, disability, and social services to all New Zealanders. 

This includes moving from the current situation of 'tech as an enabler' to achieving 'full tech enablement', which is the next level we must be striving for as technology becomes ubiquitous to the point where we stop using the tech terminology altogether.

The engagement sessions have been well attended even though the current pandemic levels have restricted these to mostly online, virtual workshops. The interest is such that the virtual nature of these sessions has not been a limiting factor.  In fact, we have now been able to move sooner than expected to commence the process of creating content with key sections being established including – 

Te Tiriti o Waitangi
First and foremost, stating our responsibility to Tangata Whenua and the principles of partnership, protection and participation.

The Wellbeing Approach
The social determinants of enabling a healthier New Zealand, equity and access, the growing awareness and power of people including the importance of their emotional and spiritual wellbeing.

Knowledge Economy – People
The future workforce and the future of work including building more digital and health expertise, leadership, talent attraction to NZ and improving change management expertise and practices.

Innovation and Export
Creating an innovation platform where New Zealand is a great place for health tech innovation and building a strong digital health export sector that not only delivers monetary benefits back to New Zealand but also builds knowledge, expertise and profile used to enhance systems here to the benefit of all New Zealanders.

The COVID-19 Effect
Locking in those positive changes that have occurred during the pandemic and building on them to benefit the delivery of health, disability and social care services such as telehealth, electronic prescribing and eMental health.

Investment in the future
The investment required to achieve full tech enablement and the factors affected by this including procurement, outcomes-based models, supply chain and research.

Digital Enablers

Capturing what the framework of the future needs to look like to underpin the IT infrastructure that supports innovation and export, maintains data safely and securely, creates consistency, sustainability and enables equity, access and participation.

These workstreams have started the process of building content. Participation in any of these is open to anyone who wants to be involved and contribute their knowledge and experience.

Ultimately, the Opportunities Report will identify the key factors (calls to action) that need to be resolved through a collaboractive approach.  Hence, the report itself is just the beginning as it will form the basis for action groups to be formed that will bring the report to life. 

In other words, this isn’t going to be a document that goes onto a virtual shelf and gathers virtual dust.  The calls to action will be such that there is absolutely no reason why anyone would not want to solve them. By doing so, we will be taking positive action to achieving full tech enablement thereby supporting a world class health, disability and social system.  

Quite frankly, it is hard to imagine anyone not wanting this for everyone living in this country especially as it is achievable through taking joint responsibility and having a commitment to this shared vision based on collaboraction.

For more information on the report click here to access the overview and contact Scott Arrol for further information on or +64 21 414631.

Scott Arrol is the CEO of New Zealand Health IT (NZHIT).

If you want to contact regarding this View, please email the editor Rebecca McBeth.

Read more NZHIT Views:

NZHIT View: A great time to acknowledge clinical leadership in digital health
NZHIT View: The growing importance of eMental health solutions

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