Key healthcare trends and opportunities in Australia and New Zealand

On November 18th, Enterprise Ireland hosted a virtual event bringing together healthcare leaders and stakeholders from APAC and ASEAN regions, and Irish digital health and MedTech solutions providers. ‘Transforming Healthcare in APAC’ showcased the current state of digital transformation in Asia-Pacific markets, informing Irish vendors of the opportunities and challenges of engaging with these healthcare systems.

Joining us to give an overview of the healthcare systems in Australia and New Zealand were Dr. Malcolm Thatcher, Chief Technology Officer of Australia’s Digital Health Agency and Ryl Jensen, Chief Executive Officer of NZHIT, respectively. 

The emerging trends were the rapid developments in healthcare delivery, an ageing population, and rising consumer expectations. These trends are opening up a raft of opportunities as countries in the APAC region aim to streamline existing technologies, implement new systems with an overall vision to improve people’s quality of life. 

In Australia, the key strategic priorities are supporting the nation’s covid response through the modernisation of digital records, interoperability, and the development of a secure and sustainable digital infrastructure with the ability to expand future capabilities nationally. 

In New Zealand, health reform is taking place in July 2022. Their healthcare system will move to one body called Health New Zealand. The Health New Zealand body will plan and commission health services for the whole population. Hira, the government’s planned new health information platform, is a modern FHIR-based digital health ecosystem. It presents a unique opportunity for international suppliers to work and connect into New Zealand.  

Our APAC speakers, were joined by Bruce Pedersen, Managing Director of Checkley Consulting, and Kerrill Thornhill, Founder and CEO, MEG, on our Digital Healthcare in Australia and New Zealand panel. Together they discussed the challenges in this region and offered their unique local knowledge and insights. 

The importance of having local representation to champion your products and services was a key indicator of success and gaining traction in the APAC market. Along with a deep understanding of the nuances in each local market in terms of state-based differences, indigenous populations, and private and public healthcare systems.  

In both Australia and New Zealand, digital and data teams are looking at an agile approach and interoperability is key. Showcasing your capability and working with credible hospitals or providers in other parts of the world is highly regarded in the APAC region. As is proving your software or service will improve health outcomes, make a difference to clinicians’ and providers’ lives, or make daily workflows easier.

As evidenced in our online event, 2022 is an exciting time for companies in digital health looking to build traction, grow and expand their footprint in the Asia-Pacific region. 

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