New Zealand’s achievement in the cost effective provision of healthcare is based on many factors, not least being a cultural resilience and self-reliance stemming from the country’s geographical isolation.
The country’s size and dispersed population have led to innovative uses of technology in healthcare informatics as well as medical devices, and a flexible and highly responsive approach to meeting healthcare requirements.
We have particular expertise in health information technology (IT), with solutions that work across the continuum of care from hospitals and community clinics to telemedicine and home care.
Health IT sector generated NZ$275mn in revenue in 2015. As estimated by Ernst & Young7 , at least 46 percent (NZ$126.5mn in 2015) of revenue in the Health IT sector is derived from exports.
We are a world leader in health informatics, having initiated our National Health Index more than 20 years ago, allowing clinical information to be transferred between agencies and linked for monitoring, research and reporting.
More recently, systems have been introduced to allow fast, secure sharing of medical information between hospitals, laboratories, radiology services and general practitioners.
The New Zealand health IT sector is unique in the amount of collaboration that exists between people working in research and development, vendors, clinicians and healthcare. Multiple organisations working together means the technologies developed are designed with users in mind for better patient outcomes.
New Zealand is known for its expertise in medical technologies, which are developed at the convergence of life sciences, technology and engineering disciplines. Here we have been able to leverage our strengths in biological and medical sciences, niche manufacturing, information technology and the development of specialised electronics, to get the most from this cross-over.
Medical innovations include the premature baby cooling cap, heated humidification devices, orthapaedic implants, patient monitoring technologies and patient management systems.
Medical equipment is the largest export industry in the health sector which in 2015 generated almost NZ$600m in export revenue followed by pharmaceuticals which generated NZ$500mn. The Medical devices sector derives 95% of its revenue from exports which were valued at NZ$596mn, for the year 2015, that is a 149 percent increase since 2005.
The USA is by far the largest market for New Zealand medical devices producers accounting for almost 40 percent of all export revenue (NZ$234mn in 2015). Medical devices’ exports to China, France, Korea, Brazil and Malaysia have demonstrated major growth in the last decade. In the same time the medical devices exports to Australia and Japan (still very significant export markets) have grown by only 38 percent and 34 percent respectively.