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COVID-19 produces unprecedented interest in NZ digital health board

The COVID-19 pandemic and swift changes to greater digital health has produced a swarm of health experts putting their names forward to join the board of NZ Health IT.

The organisation has announced 14 nominations for the board elections all vying for only 3 vacancies.

NZHIT chief executive Scott Arrol says since the first case of the disease in New Zealand was reported on 28 February this year, NZHIT  has been "at the forefront of supporting the change to digital health." 

He says the high calibre of nominees is representative of the important part that NZHIT plays in the digital health sector and more so since COVID.

"The large number of nominations reflects the strong desire they each have towards making a contribution to the sector nationwide," says Arrol.

The three successful candidates will be named at the NZHIT annual meeting on 9 December 2020.

"As the peak body for the digital health industry sector, NZHIT provides guidance, advice and leadership across the health and disability system as well as supporting innovation and export," Arol explains.

"The number of people who have thrown their name in the hat for this years election, is a sign of NZHIT's strong position in the sector," he adds. 

"We can now attract this level and number of candidates who want to contribute to New Zealand's digital health sector."

The board nominees include heads from digital health companies, research organisations and care providers such as Orion Health, Auckland Bioengineering Institute and the Wise Group. All of the nominees represent a cross-section of NZHIT's members and play important roles across the health sector.

"NZHIT members are supporting the development of the NZ HealthTech Opportunities Report that will unify the sector around solving key pressure points and create full tech enablement to support a world class health, disability and social system for all New Zealanders," says Arrol.

"After the elections, it is essential for the government to give urgency to these issues as we've seen throughout the pandemic how important digital technologies have been and the need to invest in IT infrastructure, workforce and innovation to create a joined up, fully functioning system to future proof our nation," he explains.

"NZHIT's directors have an opportunity to contribute their leadership and expertise to the vision of being a world leading digital nation, so there is no surprise that so many have jumped at the chance of being involved in this exciting development."