A comprehensive nationwide health technology study into the state and future opportunities for creating a world class health, disability and social system has been launched by NZ Health IT (NZHIT).
The study will be contained in a report and will identify opportunities for the future and related challenges to resolve, chief executive Scott Arrol says.
‘We want to define a clear direction for health tech for at least the next five years so there’s a unified approach to contributing towards achieving full tech enablement. New Zealand also has an opportunity to have a much stronger health tech export sector too.
‘The study will look at the health landscape, trends and the growing importance of health tech, especially since the arrival of the covid pandemic.
‘We need to assess the economic benefits of our health sector and global opportunities for export growth,’ Arrol says.
However, the report will place an emphasis on the social determinants of health and how full tech enablement will play its part in supporting a much more proactive approach to supporting those most in need.
Arrol says the study is not going to be yet another tech report created by techies that focuses on bits and bytes.
‘The health and wellbeing of New Zealanders is essential and we’ll be highlighting how important it is to understand their needs first and how tech has the opportunity to support the health and wellbeing of everyone today and inter-generationally into the future.
‘It will be underpinned by Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Wellbeing approach as contained in the living standards framework and the digital economy as it relates to people and the health tech workforce needs of the future, which has to include increasing digital health literacy across the board.
‘It will be presented to the Minister of Health, key health stakeholders and the public. The covid pandemic has shown all of us just how important digital tech is to our health, wellbeing and economy not only now but when it comes to future outbreaks.
‘It is a key enabler in the delivery of healthcare services and it’s now been shown to be an important part of our ability to save lives.
‘From birth to death and throughout our lives digital health now influences positive and negative health outcomes, let’s be passionate about making sure it’s the former as our fantastic little country deserves no less from us all.
‘NZ health IT companies have only been exporting for about 20 years and we are now seeing major growth potential as global investors are turning to developed countries that are committed to and can demonstrate continuous innovation.
‘Public and private working together can create a multi-billion dollar health tech export sector over the next 10 years that generates huge benefits when it comes to the tech solutions New Zealanders will have access to and the wellbeing gains that will provide.
‘We are looking forward to working with the newly elected government to do our part to build a world class health, disability and social system for the benefit of everyone living in Aotearoa.’