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AI, big data could be key to improving Māori health

18 Jan 2019

Artificial intelligence could be the key to lifting health outcomes for Māori. The Hack Aotearoa conference, held in Auckland, explores how predictive data, robotics, and new smart technologies can help to develop better health and wellbeing outcomes for New Zealanders – particularly Māori.

According to Dr Marise Stuart and Dr Mataroria Lyndon, Māori feature strongly in negative health statistics in New Zealand.

They say that big data could be harnessed to ‘hack’ the health system, emplower wellness, and lead to improved healthcomes across Aotearoa, with a priority on improving Māori health.

Leading researchers including Professor Eric Topl (Scripps Institute) and Dr. Leo Celi (MIT/Harvard) in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector, are coming to New Zealand to work alongside leading New Zealand data scientists and doctors.

They will also give presentations on the latest innovations and insights in health data science, as well as bring a key focus on how personalised medicine will be achieved, especially through the development of advanced digital tools.

Their aim is to explore the potential for Aotearoa to be a world indigenous leader in the fields of health and medicine by integrating Māori Tikanga with AI Technology. The ‘Quadruple Aim of Healthcare’: To improve the health of populations, improve patient and workforce experience, and reduce healthcare costs also shape how new technologies could be used.

According to ACC chief executive Scott Pickering, the opportunity to collaborate with AI and healthcare experts to use data for health service improvement is too good to pass up.

“ACC wants to achieve the best rehabilitation outcomes for injured New Zealanders, and we believe there is a lot to be gained from utilising data we have available.  Being able to get experts of this level together to start exploring how we use data to ultimately better the lives of New Zealanders is one that we were determined to be involved with,” says Pickering.

Other experts, including several high profile Māori leaders, will also share their insights.

Experts include Professor. Papaarangi Reid; Andrew Sporle; Kylie Reiri (Ngati Kahungunu/Ngai Tahu); Ernestynne Walshe (Ngati Porou); Professor Des Gorman (Ngapuhi/Ngati Kuri); Eru Lyndon (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Whatua, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Kahu and Ngati Toa); Dr. Rawiri Jansen; and Ross Ihaka (Ngati Kahungunu; Rangitane).

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