Health app sucks up DHB funds


Waikato District Health Board al­legedly gave the go-ahead to a mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar vir­tual health ini­tia­tive based on in­com­plete pa­per­work. Since its launch in 2016, 8760 peo­ple reg­is­tered with the DHB’s vir­tual health app, dubbed SmartHealth, with al­le­ga­tions the bulk of signed-up users are DHB em­ploy­ees.

The board pur­chased the app in 2015 with the aim of giv­ing peo­ple ac­cess to doc­tors via smart­phones and tablets.

Waikato health ex­ec­u­tives have re­peat­edly re­fused to dis­close the cost of the app plat­form - es­ti­mated to be $8 mil­lion - or re­lease the strate­gic busi­ness case used to sup­port its pur­chase.

A Waikato Hos­pi­tal source who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity said board mem­bers agreed to pur­chase the app from US health com­pany HealthTap in July 2015, de­spite the ab­sence of a com­pleted busi­ness case.

In­stead, ini­tial sign-off was given based on a one-page doc­u­ment pre­sented by DHB chief ex­ec­u­tive Nigel Mur­ray, the source said. Mur­ray has been on leave since mid-July fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of unau­tho­rised spend­ing.

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