Bridging The Gap To Improve Health Outcomes For Māori
“Kanohi ki te kanohi - Kanohi ki te ao hangarau | Face to face and Face to technology.”
Māori-owned technology company Kiwa Digital is making a major investment in its technology to help support improved health outcomes for Māori.
The company is developing its processes and software to enable it to produce accessible health resources for whānau that are framed from a te Ao Māori perspective.
Managing Director Steven Renata says the company is responding to calls to do its duty and help address growing health disparities between Māori and non-Māori:
“Our cultural intelligence apps are helping many thousands of workers connect, respect, and appreciate te Ao Māori within their daily mahi.
“We are now responding to calls from Māori health providers to use our experience and technology to produce culturally relevant resources that share mātauranga Māori at scale - while still modelling the kanohi ki te kanohi experience.
“We see a new future for Aotearoa’s health sector with the normalisation of mātauranga Māori in education, promotion and outcomes. In this way Māori-led solutions can be delivered effectively for the community, whānau, hapū and iwi. “
The planned investment includes developing and digitising mana-enhancing processes, adding interactivity tools that follow tikanga Māori and te reo Māori, and creating a safe and transparent dashboard tool. The goal is to improve access to health services, vaccinations, and medications - including in hard-to-reach areas.
The development will be done nā to kano - from the seed, with four major collaborations underway:
- Tuku Iho will share intergenerational knowledge in maternal and child wellbeing as a resource for whānau hapū, māma hāpu and māma hou. The project is funded by the Ministry of Health, led by Hāpai Te Hauora, and developed in partnership with Māorilands and most importantly whānau themselves.
- Ihi, a new app for Procare, Aotearoa’s largest and most diverse co-operative of healthcare professionals serving the largest Māori population enrolled in general practice in Tāmaki Makaurau. The resource will support strategies to reduce inequities and improve health outcomes for Māori.
- Mama Aroha, an app that provides health professionals, mothers and whānau with information and principles to better understand breastfeeding, is now being enhanced with new tools and its reach extended into Australia.
- A rangatahi-led project, funded by the Ministry of Education, will throw the challenge to rangatahi. This builds on previous projects to support mental health and help prevent rheumatic fever.
Partners share Kiwa Digital’s enthusiasm. CEO of Hāpai Te Hauora, Selah Hart, says in relation to Tuku Iho:
“We want to link mātauranga Māori - the sets of knowledge that were given to us from our ancestors - and reinvigorate the way it can be applied to everyday living now. This app will be culturally relevant, engaging, trustworthy, and reflective of the holistic nature of maternal health and related kaupapa such as safe sleep and the importance of being smokefree.
‘We have been talking about it a long time and never had the resources or mandate from the Ministry of Health to do it. Good things take time, they take stamina to get there, but this is now a great opportunity for us to test our ideas. It is a mark of the progress of Hāpai and the health care system overall in the use of technology to enable better health outcomes for Māori.”
The collaborations will enable Kiwa Digital to develop its technology to help Māori health providers reach scale while still modelling the kanohi ki te kanohi experience.
“This is where technology framed from a te Ao Māori perspective can bridge the access gap.” says Renata.
About Kiwa Digital
Kiwa Digital is the world’s best cultural creative agency using technology to enable the world’s voices to be heard authentically. For more, www.kiwadigital.com