Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Three DHBS lined up for NZ's largest ICT research project

Wednesday 05 October 2016 01:18 PM

Three DHBS lined up for New Zealand's largest ICT research project

By Fiona Rotherham

Oct. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Precision Driven Health, New Zealand’s largest ICT research project, officially kicked off in Auckland today with the country’s largest district health board involved, while two other DHBs are poised to get involved in the public/private partnership.

The $37.8 million programme involves listed healthcare system software developer Orion Health, the University of Auckland, and the Waitemata DHB, with Counties and Canterbury DHBs about to join.

The goal of the seven-year research programme is to position New Zealand at the vanguard of precision health, which enables all information pertinent to a patient’s health and well-being – clinical, genetic, environmental and social factors – be to captured, analysed and delivered to healthcare professionals in real-time.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment made a $14 million research grant with the rest met by industry participants, mainly Orion Health which is putting in more than $23 million while Waitemata DHB is contributing $200,000.

Orion Health chief executive Ian McCrae said the benefit to its shareholders should be world-leading intellectual property the company can incorporate in its software products and sell internationally, while the DHBs will be able to use that IP to deliver more individualised health outcomes to patients in a more cost-effective way, and the university to do further research.

He said while a lot of money was being poured globally into precision medicine research, particularly in the US, New Zealand has a unique advantage because it already leads the world in automation of primary health records.

“New Zealand started automating healthcare 25 years ago while other countries like Singapore are still making notes on paper. New Zealand is a decade or more ahead of some other countries," he said. "This project is at the vanguard of that potential change."

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce said a lot of people think the cost of superannuation is one of the biggest fiscal risks facing the country due to the ageing population when, in fact, it is the cost of health provision.

That challenge can be turned into an opportunity if research programmes like this one turns up “innovation that squares that circle”, he said.

One of the things he’s learnt about science and innovation in recent years has been the importance of collaboration and one of New Zealand’s real strengths is that it’s small enough to allow more cross-discipline collaboration that others struggle to do, Joyce said.

McCrae said research projects will be chosen based on real life problems the DHB clinicians say need solving, and that he’d be “very disappointed” if the research didn’t produce a usable outcome within the next six-to-12 months.

One of the first two projects is being conducted by Peter Sandiford at the Waitemata DHB to develop a prototype health outcome prediction engine that can make precise health outcome predictions tailored to the specific circumstances of individual patients.

The other two-year project by Doug Campbell at the Auckland DHB will look at epidemiology and estimation of long-term surgical mortality, using mathematical models to present a method of describing post-operative risk more accurately for each patient than the current long-term surgical risk calculators can do.

All data used in the research programme will be anonymised or follow the standard research ethical guidelines and required patient approvals.

Waitemata DHB chief executive Dale Bramley said there was more information than ever available that could help patients but clinicians need analysis of that big data so it can be applied to help treat patients individually based on a broad range of circumstances, rather than based on the average outcomes of medical studies.

Those DHBs not involved in the precision health programme will still be able to access the outcomes which will be shared across the public health sector, Bramley said.

Orion Health also released a report today on the application of machine learning in healthcare given estimates that the size of the average cloud-based electronic health record could include as much as six terabytes of data (a quarter of the whole of Wikipedia).

Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence that enables computers to find hidden insights without being programmed.

Precision Driven Health research director Kevin Ross said in the report that preliminary research on a publicly available dataset of 100,000 anonymised diabetic patient records from 130 US hospitals showed that machine learning processes were 20 percent better at assessing the readmission risk of patients than the standard risk scoring approach based on length of stay, acute admission, other illnesses, and other emergency visits in recent months.

The machine learning models achieved a greater accuracy because they were able to explore patient and disease specific factors as well, Ross said.

(BusinessDesk)

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 




Digitl: Bumper year ahead for NZ IT sector

Gartner says New Zealand spending on technology products and services will grow 7.4 percent this year. The company’s latest forecast says the market will total NZ$15.3 billion in 2022... More>>



Fonterra: Lifts Forecast Farmgate Milk Price Range

Fonterra Co-operative Group today lifted its 2021/22 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range to NZD $8.90 - $9.50 per kgMS, up from NZD $8.40 - $9.00 per kgMS. This increases the midpoint of the range, which farmers are paid off... More>>

Federated Farmers: NAIT Levy Increases Must Achieve Accurate, User-friendly System
Nobody welcomes extra costs but if OSPRI is to catch-up on under investment in the NAIT platform and deliver on its workability and farmer support, levy increases are probably necessary, Federated Farmers says... More>>



Skoltech: Study Probes Earth’s Turbulent Past To Explain Where Oceans Came From

The origin of water on our planet is a hot question: Water has immense implications for plate tectonics, climate, the origin of life on Earth, and potential habitability of other Earth-like planets. In a recent study in Physical Review Letters, a Skoltech professor and his Chinese colleagues suggest... More>>


Statistics: Household Net Worth Grows In The September 2021 Quarter But At A Slower Pace Compared To March 2021

Household net worth grew by $60.7 billion in the September 2021 quarter compared with the June 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today. This represents an increase of 2.5 percent, a similar result to the June 2021 quarter, which was up $60.6 billion or 2.6 percent... More>>

TradeMe: Job Market Ends 2021 On A High With Record Number Of Vacancies
The New Zealand job market finished 2021 on a high note, with the ball still firmly in the job hunters’ court, according to the analysis of 69,600 vacancies listed on Trade Me Jobs for the quarter ending 31 December (Q4)... More>>