Virtual medical clinic gets funding boost

8:58 pm on 29 November 2017

A virtual medical clinic model helping to provide health services to people in isolated areas is to set receive $1.4 million in funding.

Man in blue cap

2014 New Zealander of the Year Lance O'Sullivan Photo: ( RNZ / Alex Perrottet )

Over the next two years, Navilluso Medical will receive the funding from the Ministry of Health and ACC to develop its MaiHealth model.

Navilluso Medical is led by 2014 New Zealander of the year Lance O'Sullivan who also developed iMoko, a virtual medical service to help vulnerable children.

Dr O'Sullivan said he constantly heard about patients not having access to doctors in isolated locations.

"These people aren't coming in with trivial problems, it just goes to show we need to redesign how we allow people to get access to health."

Earlier this year MaiHealth opened its first virtual medical centres in Patea and Kaitaia.

The system involves "digital health deputies" using iPads loaded with software developed by Dr O'Sullivan to examine their patients.

This information goes into the digital cloud where doctors can prescribe medication if required - which is then sent to local pharmacies within 10 minutes.

He said the funding would allow for the development of virtual medical services and technology, and the possibility of opening more MaiHealth clinics in the future.

"It really allows us to consider what are the possibilities that could be explored with new models of care using digital tech."