Growing Health Innovation with Manoj Alwis

NIHI turns 30 this year. That’s 30 years of ground-breaking work that has help shape research, informed policy and driven innovation. As part of our celebration, we spoke to the team and found out more about the people behind the work. Next, we spoke to Manoj Alwis, one of our Developers.


What were you doing 30 years ago?

I was a very little kid living with my lovely family in a famous cricket city Galle, Sri Lanka.

What do you see as the biggest advance in public health/research/technology in the last 30 years?

Technology and health have gone hand and hand for many years. The consistent advances in the healthcare sector have saved millions of lives and improved many others. Due to the revolution of the mobile era, the healthcare industry has changed significantly. Patient and healthcare provider engagement has been boosted very effectively. You can see this in clinics, the way doctors engage with their patients, laboratories and so on. Now patients can manage things with as ease on their own, all thanks to smartphones and mHealth applications. Especially biometric wearables and smartphones that have provided patients with better control of their own health. As a mobile-tech enthusiast, I am so happy about the rapid evolution of mobile technology in the healthcare sector in the last 30 years.

What are you working on now that would have been unthinkable 30 years ago?

At the moment at NIHI I focus on mobile development and innovations to give better mHealth solutions for all New Zealanders.

Why did you choose to join NIHI?

NIHI has a very diversified team and culture with open doors for innovation and collaboration. It's a really good place for innovative people to shape their future work with professional and talented people.

What’s your fondest memory from your time at NIHI?

Each day is a new beginning and all memories at NIHI make me feel happy, positive and energized.

What is exciting to you about research/technology/public health today?

As a millennial, I am always excited about new technologies and opportunities. This generation will push through more innovation and challenges than we've ever seen.

What do you see as the biggest challenge you face in your work today?

It's always challenging to translate research ideas into real-world products and services. Especially with limited time and resources. But as a team, NIHI continuously adds value to all our stakeholders.

What predictions do you have for the next 30 years?

The future! It's going to be really, really amazing and bright, but technology will never replace our desire to experience authentic human contact and love.