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Kia ora readers,
Recent Statistics New Zealand research showed that nearly a quarter of all New Zealanders experience poor mental wellbeing and struggle to access help as health services are reportedly stretched beyond capacity.
Last week, Xero launched the 2019 Small Business Wellbeing in collaboration with the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. The research found that most small business owners fail to realise that their team, and their business results, would benefit from the improved mental wellbeing of their staff. As a result, Xero is doubling down on mental health support services. They are extending their employee assistance programme to all of their customers, their customer’s employees and their employees’ family members, about 850,000 Kiwis. Providing mental health and wellbeing support via technologies such as live chat, online counselling and app-based support, as well as face-to-face and telephone support.
What was interesting to read was that every dollar spent on mental health will repay $3.50 in productivity gains, and that organisations that prioritise employee wellbeing outperform the industry average by 10 percent.
Not only is it the right thing to do on an individual or personal level, helping people with their mental wellbeing, it is also critical for our nation’s productivity and our businesses success. This makes what Xero is doing, potentially one of the most important health interventions in modern history for New Zealand.
Meanwhile, the AI Forum released another detailed analysis of the use of AI in New Zealand, this time in the Health Sector. The AI in Health report identified that AI could annually contribute more than $700 million of value and savings to the New Zealand health system by 2026 and this would rise to between $1.6 to $3.6 billion by 2035.
It feels like a huge opportunity is knocking on the door for New Zealand. Better use of tech in health, a more productive health sector, healthier New Zealanders. Who wouldn’t want that?
Have a great week.
Join Canterbury Tech on 5 November for Scaling Tech Business and Digital Marketing.
Attend the IoT Waikato Tech Meetup on 18 November in Hamilton.
Attend the NZ Hi-Tech Awards alumni and launch event on 27 November in Auckland. Save the date for the gala dinner on 22 May, 2020 in Wellington.
New research shows that artificial intelligence’s (AI) contribution to the New Zealand health system could rise to between $1.6 and $3.6 billion by 2035. Read more.