Making connections in digital health at HiNZ 2017

Rotorua saw an influx of health professionals in early November as the Energy Events Centre hosted New Zealand’s premier health IT event, the combined 16th Annual HiNZ conference and 3rd annual NZNI conference. Over the course of three days 900 delegates, 200 speakers and 75 exhibitors came together to share ideas, connect and discover the latest developments in health IT.

The first keynote speaker of the conference, Ann-Marie Cavanagh, Chief Technology and Digital Services Officer for the Ministry of Health, was put in an unenviable position due to the recent change of government. While no new policies or positions were announced, she did state that the Ministry will spend the next year focussing on four key areas to support their digital health strategy: interoperability; architecture and standards; security, trust and privacy; and investment strategies and value.

A highlight of the conference was the second keynote speaker, David Snowden, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Cognitive Edge, who challenged delegates to rethink their ideas around engagement and see the person (and community) behind the data. He urged the audience to use technology as a tool, to recognise we will be digitally augmented not replaced and to recognise that we live in communities, clans and families and are not individual cases to be managed.

“ePatient Dave” continued the theme of engagement as the next keynote speaker of the conference. A passionate advocate of participatory medicine and personal health data rights, he encouraged conference attendees to become more engaged in their own healthcare. Dave’s talk illustrated how the practical information offered by an online community of fellow cancer patients helped him prepare for the treatment to come, and had in fact possibly saved his life. After all, who better to discuss treatments and potential side effects than those who are experiencing or have experienced them?

Staff were kept busy on the Sysmex New Zealand exhibition stand during the conference, demonstrating Eclair, and eOrders in particular. There was also a great deal of interest in the Eclair Touch product portfolio – EclairTouch Results, EclairTouch Orders and EclairTouch Collects – apps designed to give access to relevant patient and clinical information anytime, anywhere. Overall, this year’s conference proved to be a fantastic opportunity to talk to a wider audience about Sysmex’s current and future plans for product innovation in the digital health space.

The HiNZ Awards Lunch on the final conference day included the announcement of the 2017 Sysmex Award for Health Informatics winner – David Leong. David was presented with his prize by Sysmex New Zealand Marketing Communications Manager, Rose Harding who said, “The Awards Lunch was a wonderful opportunity to showcase David and his winning entry proposing the implementation of a national rheumatic fever registry. If only all of our finalists could have received an award too, as there were some great entries this year deserving recognition for their innovative thinking.”

The HiNZ conference is moving to Wellington next year and will be held at the TSB Arena between 21st and 23rd November. We look forward to seeing you there as we continue our support for HiNZ at this leading health IT event.

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