New app puts tailored COVID-19 information in the hands of health workers

Media release

27 May 2020

A new mobile app, Āwhina, released today by the Ministry of Health will help health workers access the information they need about COVID-19.

Today’s release of the Āwhina app for health workers follows last week’s launch of the NZ COVID Tracer app, which is designed for all New Zealanders.

‘For many of us, COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work. For those working in the health and disability sector, this is especially true,’ says Deputy Director-General Data and Digital Shayne Hunter.

‘There is a lot of information health workers need quick access to, like the latest case definitions, clinical care pathways or Personal Protective Equipment guidance. Āwhina gives them access to this information from their mobile device anywhere, anytime.

‘Information for health workers is frequently updated based on latest research, advice, and changes to alert levels. Āwhina will notify health workers when new or updated content is available to them.

‘The emergence of COVID-19 and the response required by people working in the health and disability sector highlighted the need for a tool to provide easy access to the up-to-date information relevant to their area of work.

‘Digital technology can help ensure a coordinated, national approach and help us achieve better outcomes for everyone. At the moment Āwhina will be used to support the COVID-19 response but it can be used to get information to health workers to support any public health response,’ says Mr Hunter.

Health workers can quickly filter content so they can find what is relevant to them and can also save content in the app to give them quick access to it again later.

The Ministry developed the app with feedback from people working in the health sector, and by learning from approaches taken in other countries to get information about COVID-19 to health workers. 

‘Initially the app will be used for communicating information about COVID-19 to health workers but as we return to our new normal, we can use the app to share other information to help us act in a more cohesive, collective, and collaborative style.’

‘We hope New Zealanders working in the health and disability sector will find this app useful,’ says Mr Hunter. 

Āwhina is free to download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. For more information visit Āwhina app.

The Ministry continues to encourage as many people as possible to download the NZ COVID Tracer app as it will help us identify, trace, test and isolate any cases of COVID-19.

NZ COVID Tracer is available from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Further information about the app can be found at NZ COVID Tracer app.