Project showcase

by Webtools Health in partnership with Thought Train

Using health data, 'Heartbeat' enables a person to be travel ready and get the right insurance cover for their risks


Heartbeat was developed to enable travel insurance customers to easily access their Medical Health Summary from their Doctor in a secure manner from their phone or the Web. It will alert doctors that their patient is about to travel overseas and provides the opportunity for them to consult with the patient before they travel. The Health Summary is very useful when travelling overseas should a medical event (e.g. lost prescription drugs) or a medical emergency (e.g. hospital admission) occur.
It enables the customer to quickly obtain the medical services they require with the support of their travel insurer. More info about the key features are listed here.

There are on average 2,200 cases each week where Kiwi’s traveling overseas requires some form of medical assistance, a key limitation to getting fast and effective help is that health data is not easily accessible by the patient, overseas medical provider or the insurer emergency assistance. There are often cases where kiwis have emergency’s overseas and need to make a travel insurance claim so they can get the assistance they need, often these medical costs can be tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars so no assistance or treatment can be done until the travel insurer accepts the claim and pays out. Currently, the insurer has to try and track down the medical record and ensure that the claim is legitimate, this can often take 2-3 weeks which results in a huge amount of stress for all parties involved. With the health summary data captured and secured before the travel, if an emergency happens the insurer has all the data they need to quickly process the claim.

There are additional features to the tool which makes life easier for travellers and for claims including the ability to upload important documents like passports, insurance certificates, policy documents & receipts. An added benefit of the patient viewing this data before they leave is that if they had forgotten to declare any pre-existing conditions, then they can adjust their cover before departure to ensure they are actually covered.  


Why is Heartbeat "Innovative"?

This is a great innovation story as the solution integrates with the existing health IT infrastructure in NZ to deliver a completely new service that has the ability to have huge impact on the way New Zealanders can access health care overseas while travelling.

This solution offers huge benefits for all parties and facilities better patient engagement & empowers patients with their own data. GP's are made aware of their travel plans which allows them to have appropriate consultations while also ensuring the right prescriptions & vaccinations are sorted before travel.

Unlocking data; Heartbeat is also pushing the boundaries of what patient health data can be unlocked from a GP PMS and how it can be used to enable better outcomes. Heartbeat is doing this using AI - see more below about the technology and how it plays a role in the Heartbeat solution. 

The patient health summary is the equivalent of getting a warrant of fitness and enabling this data to be used as part of the insurance process will enable customers to have a range of pre-existing conditions covered when travelling. It will contribute to changing the face of insurance, particularly around the relationship of the patient and their insurer in improving risk management.


In 2016 there were over 1.8 million overseas trips made by New Zealand Passport holders

Approximately, 1.6 million of these had travel insurance

1 in 10 of these with Travel Insurance will contact the Travel Insurer overseas help line for assistance

70% of these people will need assistance because of a medical event (i.e. Lost Medications, Need to seek Medical Help/Treatment or a serious Medical Emergency)

In these cases a Heartbeat Health Summary makes a significant difference to getting the Customer outcome faster!

Insurers estimate that over 70% of the 1.6 million do NOT have up to date vaccinations for the countries they are travelling too


Webtools Health has developed the technology for the Heartbeat solution.

Traveller app
The front end is a user-friendly web app, using the latest UI framework React (Facebook) which responds to mobile devices - this is important to ensure that patients can easily access the data from wherever they are in the world on whatever device they have access to.

Heartbeat back-end
The back-end is underpinned by a Healthlink integration using HL7 messages, which sends the requests directly into the GP’s native PMS inbox.

Using a Healthlink form, the GP’s can easily extract the data they need with the click of the button, add any additional comments and submit it back to Heartbeat where it is then presented to the patient/traveler and the insurer.

Insurer Management Console
The insurer can have users in the management which allows them to easily manage and track their customers  and access the health summary in emergencies if required.

Artificial intelligence
Part of the issue with some of the data extracted from the GP systems (i.e. Pathology results) arrive in an attachment form (PDF, images, word docs) which means the data is not structured. Currently under development - the system will be able to scrape data off these attachments and put it against the patient record within the Heartbeat platform. We will train the system what data to look for and it will learn as it analyses and scrapes this data of the various types of attachments it will receive.