Vensa partners with Precision Driven Health, Massey University, NZ Telehealth Leadership Group and a coalition of commercial partners to bring Telehealth solutions that focus on access and equity
The research will focus on how telehealth systems can be designed and implemented in rural older adult underserved populations to improve access to healthcare services for everyone.
AUCKLAND, NZ, 10 June 2021 – Vensa Health, a leading New Zealand digital health innovator, has joined forces with data-science research partnership Precision Driven Health (PDH), lead researchers at Massey University, an advisory group of experts at the New Zealand Telehealth Leadership Group (NZTLG), and a group of commercial solution providers including Medtech Global, and Intrahealth. The aim is to research and develop technology which focuses on creating virtual health care for older, underserved adults living in rural settings. The research will be community led as researchers interview adults and whānau (55years or greater) in Northland, South Waikato, Whanganui, and rural South Island to better understand barriers to health care.
Vensa is the lead commercial partner for this project as it aligns with Vensa’s mission “to make primary care more accessible, affordable and convenient” via the vensa.com platform along with its partners.
Precision Driven Health CEO, Dr Kevin Ross, says: “Precision Driven Health is delighted to be working with this coalition to enable all citizens to access the right care. Technology is often designed for the majority, with a hope that it will work for the rest. In this case, the team are starting with more challenging aspects and recognising that if we design for the underserved minority, wider benefits should flow.”
Vensa Health Founder and CEO, Ahmad Jubbawey, says we have seen rapid uptake of phone-based analog telehealth consults during the COVID-19 pandemic, this project aims to create a sustainable digital solutions which will become part of the day-to-day experience.
“I am excited the project is focusing on the underserved populations. Understanding and addressing their needs is what Vensa is all about. The people in the community will be our teachers and we will be the students. Once we learn the needs of the community, we can analyse the research data, apply Artificial Intelligence technologies, and design a solution to better optimise clinician time. Through this R&D initiative we can ensure health care is easily accessible to every New Zealander.” he says.
Primary healthcare professionals have recognised during the pandemic that consultations can be delivered safely without using a stethoscope every time. However, certain barriers still exist and this research aims to understand and remove those access barriers with improved technology.
Dr. Tane Taylor, co-investigator and Māori health advocate says, “This research, unlike previous research, aims to understand reasons for non-engagement by underserved communities including Maori communities. We are committed to view the issues through a pure community/Māori lens, rather than from a provider’s perspective - health, technology or otherwise.”
Dr. Inga Hunter, project lead investigator and expert researcher in digital health technology says, “As lead researcher for the academic partner, Massey University, I am delighted to be involved in this project which seeks to co-design telehealth services with healthcare providers, the community and industry partners. In particular, co-designing with rural older adults enables telehealth services to be driven by the needs and wishes of the community, enabling patient-centered and personalised health care.”
Dr. Ruth Large, Chair of the NZTLG and ED and rural hospital specialist says, “This is a welcome opportunity to explore enablers and barriers to healthcare delivery in order to avoid putting the cart before the horse. This study will give us the insights required in order to move forward in a deliberate, well-informed manner to ensure that care delivered by telehealth is evidence-based, effective and patient-centric.”
Precision Driven Health was established to support a thriving health IT capability in New Zealand, applying data science to develop tools that improve health.
Dr. Ross says, “Vensa Health is an ideal partner for us as they’re a successful health IT business with plans to export globally. Vensa Health has already demonstrated a clear pathway from research to development and implementation, firstly with TXT2Remind, which is used by close to 60% of GP practices in the country and, more recently, with their platform vensa.com, which targets a new delivery model for healthcare and which this research supports.”
The two-year research project commences this month. The findings from the first stage of the project are expected to be published publicly to inform the creation of a 'National Digital-enablement Telehealth Framework'. More partners are encouraged to join the initiative.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Dr Kevin Ross, CEO, Precision Driven Health
Dr Inga Hunter, Academic Research lead, Massey University
Ahmad Jubbawey, Founder & CEO, Vensa Health