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Digital health awards presented at HiNZ 2018

Four prestigious digital health awards were presented to excited winners at the HiNZ 2018 Conference in Wellington on 21 November.

In the NZHIT Innovation Awards, Wellington company Volpara Solutions won the International Health IT Solution category for its application of Artificial Intelligence to detect early signs of breast cancer.

The company’s software analyses breast density using X-rays and has been proven to improve cancer detection as well as patient experience and safety.

Chief architect at Volpara Gareth Beaumont was overwhelmed and very pleased to have the company named as a finalist and then as the winner and says it is recognition of the hard work of the Volpara team in Wellington and around the world.

Sense Medical won the NZ Health IT Solution category for the development of the Cortex care coordination app at Canterbury DHB.

Cortex has contributed to a 20 percent reduction in the length of stays at Christchurch Hospital’s general surgical department and a 12.5 percent reduction in readmission.

Sense Medical clinical lead Chris Rumball says the award is validation for what the company has been doing in collaboration with CDHB and shows the power of close collaboration between a health provider that supports innovation, clinicians and a vendor with clinical expertise.

NZHIT chief executive Scott Arrol says 25 entries were submitted for the awards and the judges commented on the high levels of innovation shown across all the entries.

The Sysmex Award for Health Informatics went to Sabrina Tkatch.

The award is open to third year Bachelor of Health Science students at Auckland University and this year the students were asked “How can we use ‘big data’ generated by health services to create interventions that improve clinical care?”

Tkatch’s entry proposed an app focussed on youth mental health in NZ and the reduction of barriers young people can experience in accessing help. The app also aimed to be a reliable and authentic source of mental health data that could shape current and future mental health policies.

Tkatch says, “I’m overwhelmed and surprised that I won, I’m really glad that I did because it’s an important cause that’s close to my heart.”

The Robyn Carr cup for Excellence in Nursing Informatics was awarded to Angela de Zwart, a clinical consultant at Orion Health.

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