Clinicians’ Challenge 2017

Four finalists have now been shortlisted for this year’s Clinicians’ Challenge, a joint initiative by the Ministry of Health and Health Informatics New Zealand (HiNZ).

We received 41 impressive entries to the challenge and judges had a hard task selecting just two finalists in each category (new idea and active project). The finalists will present their cases at the 2017 HiNZ conference in Rotorua, 1-3 November, with the winners announced at the awards lunch on the last day.


New idea: a disruptive innovation for a digital system or application to deliver health services in new ways to enhance patient outcomes, improve workflows, deliver efficiencies and/or support more integrated care.

Active project/development: an innovation for a system or application being developed, or already developed, that improves the way people work, supports better patient care, delivers efficiencies and results in more integrated health services.


Active project category

Skin disease image recognition tool

This tool has been proposed by Associate Professor Amanda Oakley and daughter Emily as an addition to the DermNet New Zealand website which Amanda founded. They aim to use Artificial Intelligence software to identify images of skin diseases through pattern recognition leading to quicker, easier and more accurate diagnosing.

The tool would be available to healthcare providers, free or low cost, in remote and urban locations globally and accessed by any mobile or desktop device with an internet connection. It’s estimated that one in six visits to a doctor are for skin complaints and many communities worldwide have very limited access to dermatologists.

Ask Ruru crisis communications app

Created by registered nurse Dion Howard from Capital & Coast DHB and development team Jaymesh Master, Michael Smith and Rosie Parry, the Ask Ruru app improves access to information by creating a log of all crisis-based communications between community health workers and young adults/teenagers (who generally communicate via phone or text messaging). This information is invaluable for analysis, earlier intervention, deciding on therapeutic models and managing ongoing crisis support, enabling mental health professionals to deliver safer, more effective crisis coaching to this demographic.

The app is accessed via mobile devices with plans to host it to cloud to enable desktop access.

New idea category

Online immunisation catch-up calculator

Southern DHB’s Jillian Boniface and Leanne Liggett propose an online immunisation catch-up calculator for immigrant or refugee children to bring them in line with the New Zealand schedule.  Planning immunisation catch ups is a complex, time consuming and manual process for busy practice nurses. An online immunisation calculator would simplify data collection, improve workflow efficiencies, support timely clinical delivery and ensure the National Immunisation Register is updated.


Proposed by Dunedin clinician Adrian Laurence, GreenHub is a secure web and mobile application for Green Prescription (GPX) providers. A GPX is written advice from a health professional to an individual about how they can make lifestyle changes (such as more exercise and better diet) to improve their overall health.

GreenHub would streamline consumer enrolment, management and communication saving time and improving health outcomes. It would combine multiple communication methods including smartphones, secure video chat, messaging and notifications, enabling patients to communicate in the way they choose.

Clinicians could monitor their patient’s progress as well as set triggers so they know when patients need extra support.


  • The winner in each category will receive a grant of $8000. 
  • The runner up in each category will receive a grant of $2000.
  • All four finalists will receive free registration to the 2017 HiNZ conference, valued at more than $1300 each. 

Finalists could use their grant to further develop their product, conduct more research, carry out a site visit or attend a relevant conference.

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