"As we emerge from the COVID pandemic, we’re grateful research evidence was
there to guide us.
Years of immunology and molecular research facilitated the rapid development of
new vaccines. Modelling expertise helped predict and plan our pandemic
response. Research on medications and antiviral drugs enabled them to be
adapted to combat the new virus.
The government’s pandemic response resulted in far fewer deaths in this country
than in other parts of the world. This is in part because the latest research
evidence informed the response.
There are few similar structures to advise government about the ongoing burden
of non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
This leaves Aotearoa New Zealand with large gaps in the pathways for
translating research evidence into health policy and practice for our major
causes of death and disability.
World Health Organization data from 2019 show non-communicable diseases caused
90% of all deaths in New Zealand. Better use of research evidence could save
lives and healthcare dollars, as shown by a 2021 report on the cost of type 2
Four evidence-based interventions to prevent or treat type 2 diabetes were
modelled and, if implemented, were predicted to save hundreds of millions of
dollars. But only one has been implemented so far."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics