New Zealand is ready to become a global hub for health tech start-ups, an angel investor says.

Public hospitals reported more than 500 adverse events or failures in the past year.

Public hospitals reported more than 500 adverse events or failures in the past year.
Photo: 123RF

The newly formed Cereus Health Group is looking to invest up to $5 million to get fledgling health technology companies off the ground.

Its executive chair Vino Ramayah said the coronavirus pandemic had put pressure on the sector to develop new technologies that improved people’s access to technology.

“You have a lot of people who are accessing healthcare through audio-visual [links] as opposed to showing up at the doctor’s clinic.”

He said there was a future in digital tools, apps and portals that could allow doctors to monitor patients from a distance and streamline the analysis of medical data.

A recently published report by the Technology Investment Network identified 180 healthcare tech companies that signalled international export ambitions.

Ramayah said New Zealand was a great market to grow companies because it was regarded by overseas investors as an ideal test base for health care technology.

“[New Zealand’s] got a diverse cohort of patients, we’ve got a very advanced system of healthcare and we’ve also got the geographical complexity of delivery given the population spread.”

He said New Zealanders were very technologically literate compared with other countries and there was a high uptake of all sorts of online tools here.

Cereus Health Group, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cereus Holdings, has grown and sold off two companies so far.

One was management software firm Midtech Global, which was sold to an Australian company this month for an undisclosed sum.

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During the sale, Cereus spun out ManageMyHealth which is a personal health software which connects patients with clinicians.

Ramayah said ManageMyHealth already had 700,000 domestic users.

Cereus Health was also looking at investing in a precision medicine company that would allow doctors to better determine the best drug to prescribe to a patient depending on their DNA, he said.



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