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'Cutting edge' health IT for RWC tourists

As the crowds converge upon Auckland today for the grand launch of the Rugby World Cup, visitors can rest easy knowing they're well covered in the event of a medical emergency.

As the crowds converge upon Auckland today for the grand launch of the Rugby World Cup, visitors can rest easy knowing they're well covered in the event of a medical emergency.

 Kiwi health technology company Medtech Global, MedicAlert Foundation International and MedicAlert New Zealand have collaborated to develop an information sharing system that allows emergency services to access the medical records of international MedicAlert members in real time.

The service was launched this week to cater and will initially connect visitors from the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and South Africa. More countries will be added to the network over time.

Health minister Tony Ryall said it made sense to link this information so clinicians worldwide could easily access patients' records.

“Medtech’s development of its health information sharing system, together with MedicAlert, shows New Zealand is at the cutting edge of health IT."

Described as a “world first” by MedicAlert NZ, the long-term goal is to open up access to the potentially life-saving information of travelling MedicAlert members from New Zealand and overseas, including medications, allergies, medical warnings, medical conditions, medical devices and implants, next of kin and emergency contact information.

MedicAlert has more than four million members in 50 different countries and provides e-health data through a unique patient identifier.

“The vision of MedicAlert Foundation International is to ensure that vital member information is available in an emergency to paramedics and hospital emergency departments anywhere around the globe where there is access online or by phone,” said Andrew B Wigglesworth, president of MedicAlert Foundation International.

The electronic solution uses Medtech’s ManageMyHealth technology, a record system that allows healthcare providers in multiple settings to securely access individuals' health records.

Medtech Global Limited is the largest provider of technology solutions in New Zealand primary healthcare, and the second largest in Australia. Medtech products are also widely used in several other countries including Ireland, India, Singapore, Brunei, United States and the Pacific Islands.

ManageMyHealth chief operating officer Sanjeewa Samaraweera said: “The development of the internationally connected patient health information solution for MedicAlert demonstrates the international interoperability of the ManageMyHealth solution.”