It’s a cautious optimism. 2022 sees Aotearoa New Zealand - and the rest of the world - entering the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a health system under strain from the ongoing response, new variants emerging, supply chain shortages that are expected to worsen, an increase in flexible and hybrid working that is likely to become embedded as a part of the new normal, and workforce shortages across all industries.
Concurrently, we have the largest sector reform ever seen here. This includes the establishment of Health NZ, the Māori Health Authority, a centralised Public Health Unit and the new Ministry for Disabled People.
From July 1 these new entities will be functioning, and the public health workforce and assets will transition to these new organisations. Amongst this, it’s easy to lose sight of the outcome we’re collectively working towards which centres around the health and wellbeing of people.
Digital health has a key role to play in this, and has already been fundamental to our COVID-19 response, with the adoption of the NZ COVID Tracer app, My Vaccine Pass, automated access to COVID test results, and the accelerated adoption of telehealth or virtual care. Digital is a core strategy to achieve an omnichannel system of healthcare delivery that balances virtual and in-person care, and empowers individuals to take control of their health.
PwC’s Digital Health Trends 2022 is set against the backdrop of these drivers, which we’ve combined with PwC’s commitment and responsibilities to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and equity in health care, and a growing focus on sustainability and ethical decision making.