Kiwi companies honoured by Computerworld US

Vivid Solutions and Paymark named as Computerworld Honours laureates

New Zealand health IT company Vivid Solutions and payments company Paymark have been named laureates in this year’s Computerworld Honours Programme, which celebrate the use of IT for the benefit of society.

Auckland-based Vivid Solutions enables doctors, nurses and other medical professionals around the country to connect with each other live via videoconferencing. It was recognised for its contribution to developing a national tele-health network.

Vivid Solutions joins earlier Kiwi laureates such as Weta Digital and Air New Zealand.

"We set out to put people together, and in a sense, that has been our biggest reward, when families and medical professionals are able to share their experiences and collectively work on improving treatment and care," says Vivid's managing director Simon Hayden.

Vivid Solutions was formed in 1999 as TelePaeds, a partnership between the Starship Foundation, the Paediatric Society of New Zealand and 10 founding District Health Boards. As a non-profit incorporated society, its aim was to ensure equal access to specialist medical care for all children regardless of where they live.

TelePaeds become Vivid Solutions in late 2008, a business entity providing nationally-focused health-based videoconferencing and connectivity. Its network connects hospitals and small regional medical centres in 20 out of 21 district health boards.

The network provides a means of addressing professional isolation, says Hayden.

For instance, the service has linked the dispersed paediatric community in New Zealand, says Auckland paediatric palliative care nurse Karyn Bycroft. Terminally ill children and their families have a direct videoconference connection from their homes to a hospital-based specialist team, she says, allowing children in rural areas to continue living at home with their families.

The Computerworld Honours programme, in its 20th year, is the longest running global programme recognising individuals and organisations that use information technology to benefit society. Nominations are evaluated by an independent board of judges who select the laureates.

Honourees will be commemorated at the 20th Annual Laureates Medal Ceremony and Gala Awards evening on June 2 in Washington DC.

Paymark's project was the implementation of a business intelligence data warehouse to hold Paymark’s transactional data in a secure and PCI compliant way allowing non technical staff access to the data while reducing the time needed to have data available within the enterprise.

It means that Paymark can measure consumer behaviour without compromising the identities of New Zealanders. This "trending" is possible over very large datasets, not possible in the past, allowing Paymark to better understand the New Zealand electronic payments environment.

Paymark says the reward validates the approach Paymark has undertaken.

"Our number one priority is to ensure that all data we hold is secure and individuals can’t be compromised in any way," Jason Gill, paymark's manager for solutions and support, says.

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