Precision Driven Health (PDH), a public-private research partnership founded by Orion Health, the University of Auckland and Waitemata DHB, is today announcing its partnership with Navilluso Medical Ltd, an innovative healthcare organisation that is focused on increasing quality, cost and equity of access to health services for all New Zealanders.

Founded by Dr Lance O’Sullivan, the company developed the iMOKO technology platform to support the delivery of the iMOKOTM Programme to over 10,000 children across New Zealand. The company aspires to lead a paradigm shift towards cost effective quality and equitable primary healthcare services to every New Zealander. It aims to do this by solving issues around equity of access, in particular, to areas of extreme deprivation, desperate need and by championing context specific assessment and treatment plans.

“PDH shares a strong purpose with iMOKO,” said Dr Kevin Ross, General Manager of Precision Driven Health. “Together we want to harness technology and data to improve health outcomes for all New Zealanders. After working closely together in Orion Health’s Auckland office, we look forward to collaborating on this project and discovering further potential in their digital health platform to make health services more accessible and precise for Kiwi kids.”

“The first problem to solve is the unacceptable rate of admissions into hospital for Māori and Pasifika children for simple, untreated health problems contributing to unnecessary costs to the health system, stress on whānau and communities, and the development of long-term health complications. Timely and accurate management of these issues provides the opportunity to reduce these burdens for children, whānau and the New Zealand health system.”

Dr O’Sullivan developed the iMOKO programme to address this issue. The programme trains and empowers an existing workforce in the form of teachers and administrators at Early Childhood Centres and schools to identify common child health problems and alert clinicians through software accessed via smartphones and tablets. Relevant data is collected with a description of the problem along with photos are entered into the iMOKO Platform hosted in the cloud to improve accessibility to communities. It is then interpreted by a telehealth team who review, investigate, diagnose and then provide a treatment plan to the guardian, often in the form of advice, medication prescriptions and treatment plans.

The partnership with Precision Driven Health will initially involve a project to examine existing data to identify opportunities to enhance speed, quality and equity of access in the process of scaling the iMOKO programme to service more children across New Zealand. This will be done by integrating data science and machine learning techniques to automate efficient triage and prompt diagnosis as well as treatment plans for common conditions such as headlice, skin infections and sore throats, freeing the highly trained and specialised workforce for more complex tasks.

The partnership will also evaluate the type of data being collected to explore the ethical implications and limitations of its use for New Zealand health research and development for the benefit of New Zealand.

“Today, the iMOKO team manually prioritise cases to ensure that this risk is reduced,” said Jodi Mitchell, CEO of iMOKO. “With the expected increase in patient cases in the coming years, iMOKO is working on an automated triage system to handle the higher patient volume and therefore support the triaging process to mitigate risks associated with delayed treatment.”

It is anticipated that this project will also demonstrate the value of using machine learning for automation, to solve current challenges in healthcare.


About Precision Driven Health:

Precision Driven Health is a public-private research partnership between Orion Health, healthcare providers and universities, creating the capability to optimise the health of each individual by combining and learning from all available data. Founded in 2016 by Orion Health, Waitemata DHB and the University of Auckland, the partnership plans to invest $38m in research over seven years that will produce better health outcomes and commercial opportunities for New Zealand.


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