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Waikato DHB awarded top Smart City Initiative for SmartHealth by IDC Government Insights

Waikato DHB’s online health service SmartHealth has picked up an award in IDC’s Smart City Asia/Pacific Awards (SCAPA), in the Connected Health Category.

The awards recognise the 18 most outstanding smart city initiatives in the region across 14 functional smart city award categories.

SmartHealth is a Waikato DHB free online health service. Patients download the HealthTap app to connect to healthcare professionals across the region by video, voice and text link.

It provides a knowledge base of doctor-approved health information, access to free online doctors on evenings and weekends and online appointments with hospital specialists without leaving your home. It’s particularly helpful for people living in rural areas who have poor access to doctors or have to travel long distances for short hospital appointments.

Darrin Hackett, Executive Director of Virtual Care and Innovation at Waikato DHB said: “We are really delighted to receive this award and that our efforts to ensure better access to healthcare for all our population, especially for our rural and Maori populations, have been recognised.

“We have seen increasing numbers of our population signing up for the service as well as primary care and our DHB clinical services led by out by our renal service. All the feedback we’ve had from the public who have used SmartHealth has been overwhelmingly positive and we can see that virtual services are becoming standard clinical practice. People really appreciate the convenience of not having to travel to appointments and the reassurance of being able to speak to a doctor for free by text or video link when their own doctor is unavailable.”

IDC launched the Smart City Development Index to help establish the fundamental causes of birth, evolution, and survival of key cities in the region. Part of this research includes identifying the top smart city initiatives in Asia Pacific and recognising deserving countries and organisations through the Smart City Asia Pacific Awards (SCAPA).

The SmartHealth project was among 46 high-quality smart city initiatives submitted for the award by local governments, vendors and the public across the region.

Gerald Wang, Head of IDC Asia/Pacific Government and Education Insights, said: “The SmartHealth project was a clear 2017 winner among many successful Connected Health smart city solutions in Asia Pacific that were nominated for benchmarking and public votes. Its mobile-driven solution packs a rich suite of healthcare services that can be accessed remotely and provide specialist services to a broad spectrum of healthcare patients. While developed locally for the Waikato district, we expect this to be easily deployed and replicated to new eHealth markets in the coming years.”

For more information on SCAPA, visit http://www.idc.asia/IDCSCAPA/

SmartHealth Facts
• SmartHealth has been up and running since September 2016.
• Consults are available by video, voice or online chat.
• Over 7000 Waikato patients are registered on the platform.
• Out of hours doctors are available for free Monday to Friday 6.00pm – 11.00pm, and 8.00am – 8.00pm Saturday, Sunday and Public holidays for residents of the Waikato region.
• On average 30-40 consults per week are already delivered by the team of online out of hours doctors.
• It provides a knowledge base of doctor-approved health information on topics, conditions, treatments and research.
• You can have online appointments with hospital specialists without leaving your home or office, if appropriate for your condition.
• The goal is to improve access to healthcare, reduce unnecessary visits to the hospital Emergency Department and improve consumer experience of Waikato health services.

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