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Local tech firm gains medical momentum

The Buzz

Keith Newman01 October 2020

Havelock North medical start-up Florence Health has partnered with a patient management systems company in Waikato to roll out its patient check-in kiosks for primary health providers across the region.

The deal was based on the success of an ongoing trial at the Napier Health Centre and outlets of the Canterbury, Auckland and Nelson/Marlborough health boards.

The locally-designed and developed kiosks made by Metalform in Dannevirke with software by Florence Health reduce patient waiting times by removing some of the mundane tasks of medical administrators.

Patients enter their National Health Index (NHI) number and birthdate and respond to various questions a receptionist might otherwise ask, including whether they’re looking to quit smoking or if they want to change their GP.

Florence business development manager Matt Gough says there have already been inquiries from Australia and the UKfor the kiosks, which are part of a suite of products to create a more efficient workflow for administrators and clinicians.

He says reporting functions in the trial units have enabled developers to determine the effectiveness of each unit and refine the customer interface.

“We are a kiosk business but want to be more involved in software development, data collection and analysis and efficiency of information flow.”

There’s strong interest from the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, although budget constraints mean no commitment until the new financial year in mid-2021. In the meantime, Florence developers are working with the board on internal software enhancements.

Florence, founded in 2018, is a sister company to Havelock North-based Fingermark, which produces AI-based analytic systems to streamline customer service for some of the world’s major fast food chains.

The next step is to enable barcode use on the kiosks to interface with DHB patient management systems. “The patient brings in the letter they received from the DHB, scans the barcode at the kiosk to let the clinician know they’re waiting to be seen,” says Gough

A smartphone inpatient pharmacy tracking system app is currently under development. “At the moment there’s not a lot of communication between the wards and pharmacies about why there might be delays with scripts and when they’re likely to arrive.”

The new contactless app will track that process to cut down confusion and increase patient safety, he says. There’s also work going on in developing a solution to help streamline aged care.

Watch for our feature on hi-tech in Hawke’s Bay in the next edition of BayBuzz magazine.

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Keith Newman01 October 2020

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