Precision Driven Health (PDH) has won its category at the 2020 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards 2020, held on Friday night, for the partnership’s freely accessible surgical risk calculator, nzRISK.

The Visa Hi-Tech Solution for the Public Good Award recognises innovation focused on improving the lives of the people it serves.

The judges commented that PDH is a great example of a public-private partnership created to develop freely available, innovative solutions to improve public health outcomes in New Zealand.  

Their winning entry, nzRISK, is one of the first applications of machine learning in health in New Zealand and delivers multi-level impacts, including improved surgical outcomes through more accurate risk assessment and immediate cost savings for hospitals. Importantly, the tool delivers greatest benefits for those most at risk, including Māori and Pasifika patients, and those in the over-70 age bracket.

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

“This comes at a time when the world is seeing the value of data in health, and in good data science. It’s great to see New Zealand leading the world in this space and we’re proud to be part of that story.

Dr Kevin Ross, CEO Precision Driven Health

“This recognition is the result of years of work from a lot of different organisations and individuals. We are a partnership, established with the vision of people like Ian McCrae at Orion Health, who has provided the majority of PDH funding. The nzRISK project is one of our favourites because it demonstrates true collaboration across healthcare, industry and academia, with major contributions from Auckland District Health Board and Orion Health. We’re honoured to receive this award.”

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, providing better information when assessing the risks and benefits of undergoing surgery.

Auckland City Hospital Specialist Anaesthetist Dr Doug Campbell, clinical lead of the nzRISK team, says he’s delighted to have the team’s work acknowledged by the Hi-Tech 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.”

Orion Health Data Scientist Luke Boyle, who is the data analysis and modelling lead for nzRISK, is pleased to be part of such an ‘awesome’ team and says he’s “delighted with the acknowledgement of the work we have done through winning this award.”

Media contact
Nicole Gray
Communications Specialist
+64 21 229 0811

About the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards
The New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards celebrate the success of our producers of goods and services from the software, electronics, telecommunications, mobile, agritech, creative and other high-tech industries. The Awards are run by the NZ Hi-Tech Trust, a not-for-profit organisation aimed at promoting and supporting the wider industry. The board is comprised of trustees: Erin Wansbrough (Chair), Vaughan Fergusson (Deputy Chair), Audrey Cheng, David Downs, Neil Hamilton, Michelle Sharp, Ian Taylor, Andy West and Kjesten Wiig. For more information go to