University of Waikato looks to future of health workforce with Spark Health

A Memorandum of Understanding signed between the University of Waikato and Spark Health will see the two organisations explore opportunities in health innovation together.

01 Jul 2024

The University of Waikato has today announced it will partner with digital health services provider Spark Health to support the development of a future-focused health workforce.  

Spark CEO, Jolie Hodson and University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor, Professor Neil Quigley.

A Memorandum of Understanding signed at the University of Waikato will see the two organisations explore opportunities in health innovation together.

University of Waikato Pro Vice-Chancellor of Health, Professor Jo Lane, says technology is an increasingly important part of healthcare delivery, and the University is committed to ensuring its graduates are well prepared for work environment of today and tomorrow.  

We’re particularly interested in exploring the role technology could play in enhancing our students’ learning, enabling health education in regional and rural communities.  

“It is well understood that technology can reduce barriers to accessing healthcare for patients, particularly those in remote areas. In the same way, it can also reduce barriers for those studying health education programmes. 

“Equitable adoption of health technology is top of mind for us, both from a patient and workforce development perspective.” 

L-R Spark Health Chief Executive John Macaskill-Smith, CEO Jolie Hodson, Vice-Chancellor Professor Neil Quigley, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Health, Professor Jo Lane

Spark Health Chief Executive John Macaskill-Smith says Spark Health is excited by the potential that collaboration with the University represents.  

“Spark Health is passionate about enabling the digitisation of our health sector and communities, supporting our health workforce of tomorrow, and prioritising exceptional patient experiences,” he says. 

We’re pleased to support the University of Waikato in its ambition for driving innovation. Now more than ever, digital technology is a critical enabler to empower our future health professionals, and in healthcare delivery to help make patient care more efficient, personalised, and accessible. 

The shape of the collaboration between the two organisations will take will be decided in the coming years, but options to be explored include an immersive health technology and innovation hub at the University’s Hamilton campus.  

The University continues to develop its health offerings in direct response to current and future stakeholder needs in Waikato and around the country. It recently celebrated the graduation of its first nursing students and is set to launch innovative new graduate-entry programmes in pharmacy and midwifery next year.  



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