A business case for a National Rheumatic Fever Registry wins this year’s Sysmex Award for Health Informatics

David Leong, a third year Bachelor of
Health Sciences degree student, has won the
2017 Sysmex Award for Health Informatics
for his business case recommending the
implementation of a National Rheumatic
Fever Registry. Mr Leong’s proposed national
registry expands the Ministry of Health’s
current Rheumatic Fever Prevention
Programme and has three objectives: to
increase the quality of statistical data
through standardisation; to improve
rheumatic fever patient management
between district health boards; and to assist
with compliance of long-term treatment
plans preventing recurrence of the disease.
Now in its seventh year, the Sysmex Award
for Health Informatics was established with
the objective of encouraging innovation and
excellence in health informatics education
and is open to third year Bachelor of Health
Sciences (BHSc) students at The University
of Auckland. This year the question
proposed to students was ‘how can we use
information technologies to provide smart
healthcare services’ which inspired a wide
range of innovative and interesting ideas.
Entries went before a judging panel
comprised of Sysmex and Auckland
University representatives, and were
shortlisted based on their innovation, use of
technology and feasibility. Rose Harding,
Marketing Communications Manager at
Sysmex New Zealand says, “Choosing a
winner was extremely difficult due to the
high standard of business cases this year. But,
David’s proposed national rheumatic fever
registry was selected because he
demonstrated a good understanding of
obstacles faced by current rheumatic fever
patients and because we believe it would be
highly feasible to implement the registry in
the existing NZ healthcare framework.”
A new feature to this year’s competition was
the creation of the Sysmex Award finalist
showcase videos where the three finalists, Mr
Leong, Salome Lennon and Kirstin Lloyd,
presented their business cases. Each of the
finalists were interviewed by Karen Day
(Senior Lecturer, Health Informatics,
Auckland University), providing them the
opportunity to further expand on their
business case and how they see their
innovation providing smarter healthcare services.
As the award winner, Mr Leong received a
cash prize and entry to the 2017 HINZ Conference.
“The health system is constantly changing
and technology is at the forefront of this
change. I applied for the Sysmex prize to
learn more about how we can exploit
technology to improve overall population
health, but it also encouraged me to think
about how health systems and technology
can make access to healthcare easier for
patients,” Mr Leong said following the award
presentation.