Precision Driven Health selected as a finalist in the Visa Hi-Tech Solution for the Public Good Award

Media release

Wednesday 1st April 2020  

Precision Driven Health (PDH) has today announced it has been recognised as a finalist in the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards 2020, for the partnership’s freely accessible surgical risk calculator, nzRISK.  

The category, Visa Hi-Tech Solution for the Public Good, recognises those whose innovation is firmly focused on improving the lives of the people it serves, without the commercial drivers required for other categories.  

nzRISK is an electronic tool designed to provide accurate risk assessments for patients undergoing surgery in New Zealand.

Before development of nzRISK, tools used were based on historic, overseas data and were inaccurate, particularly for those at higher risk, such as Māori and Pacific patients.

Today, clinicians and patients have free access to this tool at www.nzrisk.com, providing better information when assessing the risks and benefits of undergoing surgery.

The PDH team who produced nzRISK is a cross industry collaboration of academics, medical professionals and data scientists working together to stay focused on providing information that is most useful for patients and clinicians at the point of care.  

Orion Health Data Scientist Luke Boyle, who is the data analysis and modelling lead for nzRISK, says he’s ‘over the moon’ to be part of the team nominated for the award. “nzRISK was an exceptional project to work on due to the awesome collaborative team and the obvious practical need for a tool like this. Hearing about clinicians using nzRISK in their day-to-day work makes all the effort worthwhile, too."

Auckland City Hospital Specialist Anaesthetist Dr Doug Campbell, clinical lead on the nzRISK team, says he’s delighted to have the team’s work acknowledged by the HiTech Awards. “As a specialist anaesthetist caring for surgical patients, our group's primary focus in developing nzRISK was to provide improved risk information to New Zealand patients and improve the care of surgical patients."  

Dr Kevin Ross, CEO of Precision Driven Health, is equally thrilled with the nomination.  

Dr Kevin Ross, CEO of Precision Driven Health

“The nzRISK project is exactly the sort of capability that Precision Driven Health was created to deliver – valuable, data-driven tools for our health professionals and citizens that will ultimately improve outcomes and decisions. We are delighted to be recognised as a finalist in this year’s awards.”

Erin Wansbrough, Chair of the Hi-Tech Trust, says the standard of entries continue to grow every year, with local and international judges impressed by the quality and diversity of the entrants.  

“This year’s finalists span the full spectrum of the hi-tech sector and the country, and the level of innovative tech products and solutions continues to astound us all,” says Wansbrough.

With so much uncertainty and COVID-19 continuing to impact everybody, the panel judging will take place remotely instead of the normal face-to-face judging. “We believe that it’s critical the Hi-Tech Awards programme continues but a move to remote judging is a logical one.

As with the announcement of the finalists we will lead by example as an industry and use the technology available to facilitate the final round of judging.” says Wansbrough.

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Anna Arrol

Administration Assistant

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