“So many New Zealanders are benefiting from the comprehensive investment Te Whatu Ora has made in smart, digital technology,” says Stuart Bloomfield, Interim Chief Data and Digital.

“Whether it is providing free mobile data for people who have limited ways of accessing online information and health services, or leveraging technology that was put in place to manage Covid, smart solutions are at the centre of how we are improving the care our teams provide to our communities.

“We are seeing wonderful examples every day of the difference data and technology is making to people’s lives.  We heard that women in South Auckland were finding it hard to find the time to get their regular checks. By leveraging technology developed for our Covid response, our teams have been contacting Māori and Pasifika women who are overdue for, or never have been screened for breast cancer. This is a core focus for us - to make sure all New Zealanders have an equal opportunity to be cared for early. Sooner is always better.  A three-week trial has already resulted in over 100 bookings for women to have their mammograms, 19 for the first time. This is exciting. This is the change we need to see, and we will roll this out to other regions across Aotearoa.”

Te Whatu Ora’s commitment to improve health care for everyone while using everyday smart digital solutions and secure information continues.  Bringing care closer to people where they live, when it’s convenient for them and ensuring people are monitored and cared for in the community is a core part of Te Whatu Ora’s vision for Pae Ora - a healthy future for all.

A further initiative includes the Zero Data programme, a partnership between Te Whatu Ora and New Zealand’s largest mobile network operators. For many New Zealanders, a mobile device is their only way of accessing health information or services online, but the cost of mobile data can be a barrier to seeking care, and these people often are the ones who need online information and services the most. The Zero Data programme provides free access for consumers to essential online health information and health services.

“What really pleases me about these innovations is that we’re addressing fundamental equity and access issues by using smart digital solutions, preventing further, more complex health treatments.  These make it easy for people to get the care they need in their community and is a critical part of the work our teams do,” says Mr Bloomfield.