New Zealand’s health science sector is thriving. New Zealand’s size and dispersed population have made it a world leader in Health IT, with systems allowing fast, secure sharing of information across a well-regarded primary care network. Strong biological and medical science sectors combine with specialised technology to drive the development of innovative medical devices.

Research spans a range of specialties, from cancer to asthma and allergies, endocrinology and epigenetics to biomechanics. New Zealand is also home to the most in-depth study of humankind in the world, The Dunedin Study, tracking health, development and behaviour in 1,037 people since 1972.

Sector Highlights

Health IT

New Zealand’s vibrant health informatics sector is making innovative strides in digital health. It leads the world in EMR (electronic medical record) use in general practice; was the first country to use a decision support system in primary care to assess cardiovascular risk, and the first to build a national database larger than the Framingham Study.
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World-class examples include; Orion Health, providing healthcare software and solutions across 30 countries, for populations of more than 50 million people.

“Our academic community has a breadth of research projects underway, including mHealth, big data analytics, telehealth, information systems implementation, change management, evidence based strategy, innovation, standards and interoperability, CPOE and CDSS, elabs, epharmacy, person-centric health care, self-care of long term conditions, smart homes, and more.” - Dr Rebecca Grainger, Board Chair, Health Informatics New Zealand


Medtech and devices

New Zealand pharmacist Colin Murdoch invented the disposable hypodermic syringe, the tranquiliser gun and childproof medicine bottle caps. New Zealand’s tradition of medical innovation continues, with discoveries including the cost-effective LifePod incubator for use developing countries; and the MARS spectral molecular scanner, producing 3D colour images of objects inside the body.
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Established players include Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, a world leader in devices for respiratory care; and Enztec, creating orthopaedic instruments for global use.

The Medical Technologies Centre of Research Excellence (MedTech CoRE), hosted by the University of Auckland, meanwhile, serves as a world-leading research platform in medical technologies.

“What New Zealand is doing is adding that really innovative aspect, we’re not trying to reproduce what other countries are doing. New Zealand does have a reputation for innovation. In terms of academic research we are performing well above what would be expected for a small country.” - Professor Merryn Tawhai, Deputy Director of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI), and Director MedTech CoRE

Medical research

New Zealand’s health research is first-class and future facing. Specialist research institutions include:

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Leonie Ashford

Leonie Ashford

Business Events Bid Manager

New Zealand

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