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Artificial Intelligence (AI) Use in Waitematā

Artificial Intelligence (also known as ‘AI’) is being used in health services around the world. It involves large amounts of anonymised patient data being used to ‘train’ computers to predict what might happen to other people with similar conditions in the future. This information can then help clinicians make decisions around the care of individual patients in a way that is, potentially, more efficient and accurate than before.

The digitisation of systems at Te Whatu Ora - Waitematā has increased over the past few years and we now have guardianship of large datasets that could potentially be used for developing AI tools.

However, this is still a very new area in medicine and, as such, requires strong governance to ensure that it is done well and safely.

At Te Whatu Ora - Waitematā, we have established an AI Governance Group (AIGG) of internal and external members who extensively review any proposals to develop or put into practice any new models of AI in our health services.

This group includes consumer representatives as well as experts in AI, ethics, clinical, research, Māori health, data, digital, privacy, legal, and innovation.

Every proposal is reviewed so that feedback can be  provided with the following in mind:

  • consumer and population perspectives - and the promotion of wellbeing and safety
  • Māori engagement and perspectives
  • inclusiveness and equity, reducing bias
  • clinical leadership, interpretability and autonomy in decision-making
  • guardianship of data as taonga
  • technical methods and sustainability of quality
  • accountability and responsibilities (legal and contractual requirements)
  • ethical principles, including transparency in design and implementation
  • standard approval compliance – e.g. privacy impact, security review, research ethics approvals, where appropriate.


View Waitematā AI development checklist


AI Projects Reviewed

The table below includes details of projects that have been reviewed by the AIGG and will be periodically updated as new proposals come to light.

More information can be obtained by emailing Dr Robyn Whittaker, Institute for Innovation and Improvement (i3) at


What it does


Retinal screening AI tools

Screens images of the eye (retina) to detect the early signs of damage due to diabetes (diabetic retinopathy) so that this can be identified and treated.

AIGG has reviewed a proposal and provided feedback to project leads.

COVID risk calculator

Identifies people with COVID who are at high risk of becoming unwell to help prioritise contacting people.

AIGG provided input to the developers.

Echocardiogram AI tools

Makes measurements on echocardiograms (ultrasound of the heart) to assist cardiologists to identify issues with the heart.

AIGG has reviewed a proposal and provided feedback to the research team  

Cardiovascular risk asssessment

Adding retinal scan (images of the eye) data to the existing risk assessment for cardiovascular disease (PREDICT) that is used in primary care.

AIGG has reviewed a proposal and provided feedback to the research team

Colonoscopy polyp identification

Identifies potential polyps in the colon during colonoscopy (camera study through the large intestine) which can then be removed to reduce the risk of developing colon cancer

AIGG has reviewed a proposal and provided feedback to the research team