A Pacific lens at the 2021 Medtech Conference

Innovations Lead Amio Matenga Ikihele was a presenter at the recent MedTech Core conference, which was part of a three-day HealthTech Week 2021 (22-24 June 2021).

Hosted by the Medical Technology Association of NZ, MedTech CoRE, and Callaghan Innovation, the three days offered experts, researchers, students, and innovators the opportunity to “collaborate across the Medtech ecosystem to ensure future innovative healthcare technology is available to all New Zealanders.”

Medical technology plays a crucial role in the wellbeing of every New Zealander and events like HealthTech Week 2021 provides insight into New Zealand’s own innovations in medical technology.

Amio provided attendees an insight into the work Moana Research undertakes, including programmes that focus on community collaborations such as the recent Measles Catch Up Campaign alongside Counties Manukau Health and DIGIFALE specifically focusing on Pacific digital inclusion and digital health equity.

A breakout session in the afternoon dedicated to “Pacific collaborations” offered an opportunity for Amio alongside Professor Simon Fraser and Lionel Taito-Matamua from Victoria University (who unfortunately joined via zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions in Wellington) to offer insight about collaboration opportunities with Pacific communities.

“As a medical technology conference, it was essential attendees understood if new technologies or research was being developed, a cultural and digital health equity lens needed to be applied to ensure it did not unintentionally exacerbate health inequities among Pacific communities.” Amio says.

“Importantly, Pacific communities should be involved right from the design inception and not just considered as ‘participants’ or ‘subjects’ when products were ready to be tested.”

The MedTech Core conference is in its sixth year and continues to grow in both local and international interest. Key speakers included Dr Ashley Bloomfield (Ministry of Health), Marcus King (Callaghan Innovation) and Catherine Mohr (Intuitive Surgical, USA).