Dr Lance O’Sullivan – Ngati Maru, Te Rarawa, Nga Puhi

Imagine if our ancestors had accelerated the adoption of the new technologies of the Europeans when they first arrived.  It is true that they did so in some areas with examples of early adoption of trading and shipping practices and of course the use of weapons.

It is well known that Maori were early adopters of shipping and trade and that they even posed a threat to the new settler traders at the beginning.  Imagine if this scenario had played out and Maori had become the strongest traders, developers of settlements including ownership, controlled the processes around new agricultural developments, developed new forms of communications and coupled western medicine with new technologies that exported health to the world.

Fast forward 200 years to modern day New Zealand and the question that needs to be asked is “Could Maori be early adopters of advances in technology that will accelerate outcomes for our people and also promote Maori forward as world class leaders in innovation?”  The answer in my opinion is definitely yes.  Maori should plan to lead innovative action that moves us ahead of the bunch in New Zealand and positions us on the world stage as reliable producers of quality technology services and products.  How can Maori society become the Israel of the South Pacific?  Israel has moved in the space of being a leading producer of quality innovation using digital technologies.  They are achieving this in spite of the huge turmoil their region is in.

Our business Navilluso Medical (NM) has grown from the grassroots of rural New Zealand Maori communities who are seeking better health services.  Services that are more convenient to use, smarter at delivering the care and most importantly allow earlier access to care.

Our mission is to – Democratise healthcare by putting everyday technology in everyday peoples’ hands where they live, work and play, achieving improved outcomes by the people for the people

iMOKOTM is an innovative approach developed by Navilluso Medical Limited, utilising technology to deliver high quality basic health services with a focus on communities with high needs – particularly vulnerable children.  The centerpiece of iMOKOTM is smart software that has been developed specifically for community based virtual health services managed by the communities themselves.

The iMOKOTM programme places technology (smart tablets with iMOKOTM software) into schools and trains approved people to conduct health assessments of common child health problems.

iMOKOTM offers free health checks for children, which take place at their Kōhanga Reo, daycare or school, to help prevent the complications caused by untreated health problems such as:

  • Skin Infections
  • Dental Infections
  • Strep Throat Infections
  • Head Lice

As at November 2016, four thousand children in over thirty-five early childhood centres, Kōhanga Reo, primary, intermediate and secondary schools, receive this innovative form of healthcare using digital technologies.  Information gathered at point of care using this technology is interpreted by a telehealth team in the cloud using smart software and supported by machine learning to make an accurate and prompt diagnosis and treatment.  A telehealth Clinician approves cases, treatment for the child can then be on its way to the whanau chemist within 15 minutes of a child being assessed.  Not bad from an initiative that started in Kaitaia!!