A special event at Parliament next week will mark the 15th anniversary of the New Zealand Health IT (NZHIT) cluster as digital technology gains momentum in the health sector.
The NZHIT group was formed in February 2002 in a major push to start digitising all things health.
To mark the 15th anniversary, NZHIT chief executive Scott Arrol says they will be holding several events throughout the year to emphasise the significant part the organisation has played in the health sector in the last 15 years and to highlight the substantial contribution NZHIT will make well into the future.
"It is fitting that the first anniversary event is being held at Parliament on February 14 and I will outline the future of the health IT sector over the coming years. The Ministry of Health will also be presenting an update on their single electronic health record (EHR) project, which is a topic of considerable interest to the whole health sector in NZ.
"The EHR will enable patients, clinicians, DHBs and the wider health community to use health data to support better health outcomes. The first stages of the project are well underway.
"Also, our 15th anniversary coincides with 2017 being an election year so it is fitting that we’re holding the first event at Parliament. This will provide the opportunity for people keen to be involved in health IT to mix and mingle with politicians from across the political spectrum while demonstrating the strength and relevance that we bring to enabling a healthier New Zealand.
"Our NZHIT digi-health membership is growing rapidly as service providers, companies and organisations embrace health IT. We have a firm vision for interoperability and we have done a lot of work in this area since the first Cloud in Health symposium for New Zealand.
"This year we will deliver the future tech in health symposium in May and the cybersecurity in health symposium in July, in partnership with HiNZ, TUANZ and RHAANZ."
Arrol says the healthcare sector has the fastest growth in IT spending in New Zealand, bringing exciting opportunities for health IT companies, especially now that the technology industry is New Zealand’s third largest exporter.