Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Now we’re getting somewhere

“In the words of Neil Finn, ‘now we’re getting somewhere,’” says ACT Leader David Seymour, after the Government considered using Datamine’s ëlarm technology in Managed Isolation and Quarantine.

“ACT first advocated that the Government consider this technology back in June.

“Eight months later, it appears that the Government is going to consider using it. This is great progress towards a COVID-19 response that is more open to working with the private sector and more willing to augment its response with better technology.

“This company based in the Epsom Electorate suburb of Parnell has so far had more luck with private companies offshore than the Ministry of Health, but it’s great that’s changing. 

“I have personally been using the app for the past week. It monitors my heart rate and reports any signs that I may have taken on a virus. I’m pleased to say I’m healthy, and it’s nice to have another data point. But what’s nice for an individual could be critical in building New Zealand’s collective defence against the epidemic.

“Epidemiologist Michael Baker has described such technologies as the ‘future of healthcare.’

“The real question is why it has taken eight months for the Government to realise it and take the idea seriously.

“As we move to a post-vaccine COVID 2.0 world, the Government will have to get much faster at augmenting its response with better technology.”