Excellence Award boosts online start-up Healthpoint

The company has now signed up all the Auckland-based district health boards, and a few outside the Auckland region

Online health referral website Healthpoint was just beyond the start-up phase when it won a Computerworld Excellence Award in mid-2005. Indeed, the site still proudly boasts the award on its front page, but otherwise a lot has changed.

“It was hard to get it out and be accepted by district health boards, providers, specialists and the public,” says Healthpoint director John Williams. “The award gave us huge credibility and subsequent to that we were also finalists in the TUANZ awards.”

Williams says the company has since progressed nicely, having signed up all the Auckland-based district health boards, as well as three or four others outside the Auckland region. It has also signed on a significant number of medical specialists and patient support groups.

“The site has gained in credibility and size,” Williams says. “It is now New Zealand’s foremost medical referral portal.”

The business side is progressing too, with near break-even expected this year and profitability next.

The site itself has also been continuously developed in the two years since winning the Computerworld award.

“We’ve listened closely to what visitors want and to feedback and have undertaken market research, and there have been a series of system upgrades as a result,” he says.

One such upgrade is a redevelopment of the website to enable touch-screen functionality, which allows the service to be delivered from kiosks in the Counties Manukau area.

As to the future, naturally Healthpoint intends to expand.

“There’s a huge potential to grow both within New Zealand and offshore,” Williams says.

Healthpoint uses a locally developed content management tool, Supermodel, from Auckland-based web developers Cactuslab.

Cactuslab’s director, Karl von Randow, says Healthpoint is due for a bit of a refresh under the hood, with changes planned which will bring the site into line with new web standards. While it is already substantially compliant with XHTML and CSS (cascading style sheets) it is not yet completely tableless. Von Randow says the changes will not result in a significantly different experience for users.

• Entries for the 2007 Computerworld Excellence Awards close March 16

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