Canterbury leading health innovation

Friday March 23, 2012

​A New Zealand software development company credits Canterbury and the South Island as leaders in health innovation.

Orion Health formed a strategic partnership with the Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) last year and set up its Christchurch Office only weeks before February 22.

The CDHB has endorsed Orion Health's win last week at the New Zealand International Business Awards where it took out the Supreme Award and Best Business Operating Internationally (over $50 million revenue) category at the award ceremony in Auckland.

Dr Nigel Millar, CDHB chief medical officer, says the award reinforces why the CDHB saw the partnership as a great opportunity for the Canterbury Health System.

"Orion Health has come to Canterbury as a partner for the CDHB to help our drive to improve our health system and recover from the quake. One example is the Shared Care Record View (eSCRV), which allows a range of clinicians access to key patient information," Dr Millar says.

The association with CDHB, coupled with its new Christchurch development team, will provide significant benefits for both organisations in developing and fine-tuning additional health technology solutions across the continuum of care – from first point of contact in primary care to in-hospital settings.  

"The CDHB's relationship with Orion health is to help support our clinicians and other staff, working alongside software developers, to advance healthcare technology innovation. The establishment of this 'reference site' will support the development of technology solutions that change the way health care is delivered," Dr Millar says.

As part of the reference site Canterbury clinicians will get to 'see' more of the Orion Health solutions early and to learn how these are working in other parts of the country and the world. There will be opportunities for Canterbury clinicians to contribute to the developments/enhancements of these solutions even though we may not be using their products in a particular area.

"It's an exciting time for health innovation and the region as there will be plenty of opportunities emerging as a result of this partnership," Dr Millar says.

Ian McCrae, Orion Health chief executive, says the company was already looking to expand its Christchurch office from about 30 staff to up to 100 over the coming year.

"One of the key reasons for expanding is because of the innovation partnership we've entered with CDHB, which is working really well," Mr McCrae says.

Orion Health has significant global coverage with 14 offices around the world including Asia, America, Europe and Australia.

"Canterbury and the South Island have the potential to lead the country in health innovation and this is because it has excellent collaborative partnerships that have been well established across the health sector," Mr McCrae says.

"That is quite a unique thing. Historically development has been stifled but Canterbury has broken down those barriers to pave the way for some world leading developments."

Page last reviewed: 24 July 2013