February 26, 2024

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New Zealand Launches New Device to Support People with Special Needs

The COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy in New Zealand relies on expertise throughout the government. It lays out the measures that the government must do for the country to have the infrastructure, regulations, and connections necessary for COVID-19 vaccines to be available.

Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced the launch of a new device to assist disabled persons to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as the country approaches the 90% immunisation milestone. “Getting a vaccination is the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your community – and we want all New Zealanders to have the right support to get the job done.”

The ‘Manaakitanga Journey’ is a visually appealing online tool that summarises crucial information from the Unite Against COVID-19 website, such as how to schedule New Zealand Sign Language interpreters at clinics and how to get to and from your vaccine appointment. The government has collaborated with the disability sector and community, as well as the Office for Disability Issues, the Ministry of Health, and the District Health Board (DHB), to establish services and information to ensure disabled individuals are aware of their vaccine eligibility.

The vaccination initiative is aimed to be inclusive and accessible to all New Zealanders, ensuring that everyone can get vaccinated. DHBs and local providers are dedicated to ensuring that disabled persons get access to the vaccine in a way that fits their needs in their community.

Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni said she believes the ‘Manaakitanga Journey’ captures the essence and importance of removing barriers to vaccination for disabled people. “Deciding whether to be vaccinated, finding the most appropriate site and place to be vaccinated at, and who to contact if you need transport, are all key parts of the journey that can often affect disabled people’s experiences. This makes that process easier.”

The government is starting by launching a disability-specific section of the Unite Against COVID-19 website, which will be updated weekly with accessible locations and centres for disabled individuals to get vaccinated across the nation.

The Unite Against COVID-19 website will also include consolidated information for disabled individuals and those with underlying health issues, such as supported decision-making, a list of accessible vaccination centres near them, transportation arrangements, and information in alternative formats.

OpenGov Asia reported on a pilot experiment of a virtual token, a collaboration between researchers at the University of Auckland and universities in Australia, the Netherlands, and the United States. The virtual token app spreads harmless tokens among smartphone users using Android phones and Bluetooth to better understand the relationship between physical mobility and epidemic spread.

The virtual token was created to assist public health officials in controlling epidemics such as Covid-19 by providing real-time data on people’s general level of contact. Such real-time data could, for example, assist officials in understanding the efficacy of various regulatory measures. When participants run the virtual token app, it sends and receives Bluetooth signals, or tokens, that simulates virus spread. The app then sends a total number of virtual infections to a server. The app’s collected data is aggregated and anonymised.

Unlike contact-tracing apps, the virtual token does not record any information about the identity of people who encounter a participant; instead, it simply records whether their devices have received one or more virtual tokens (if they are also running the app). But, more importantly, it transmits this data in real-time to a central database. This gives it a significant advantage over contact tracing apps in terms of understanding how an epidemic spread in a population. Contact tracing apps report more detailed information on the identities of contacts but much later if the owner of a device tests positive.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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