CARETech NZ, 21 February 2019

AR/VR/AI applications
in Healthcare

Technology is the driving force behind advancements in healthcare and the New Zealand landscape is fertile ground for innovation.


Tom Varghese (Healthtech Futurist) and Tech Futures Lab present the second event in the HealthTech Symposium Series - CARETech NZ. This event will focus on two areas attracting a lot of attention due to their potential applications in healthcare: Augmented Reality (AR) / Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

There’s a lot of excitement about how artificial intelligence (AI) is going to change healthcare - from automated image diagnosis and reducing dosage errors to virtual nursing assistants and robot-assisted surgery. The value this could add globally runs into the tens of billions of dollars. 
In the AR/VR space, it’s been predicted that healthcare organisations could be spending as much as $5bn globally by 2025, with potential applications including surgical simulation and diagnostic imaging to patient care and rehabilitation.

CARETech NZ takes a deep dive into these technologies to explore the current state of affairs and looks at the opportunities ahead.  

Who should attend
Event and ticket information

Thursday 21 February

@Tech Futures Lab
22 McColl Street, Newmarket, Auckland

Early bird tickets (until 15 Feb)
$79 (incl GST)

General admission ticket price (after 15 Feb)
$99 (incl GST)

CARETech NZ Agenda
  • 4:00pm Networking and afternoon tea 

  • 4:20pm Welcome address + Introduction 

  • 4:30pm Speaker sessions (AR/VR)

  • 5:50pm Light dinner and drinks

  • 6:15pm Speaker session (AI)

  • 7:15pm Q&A

  • 7:30pm Close

Anyone working in:
  • Healthcare technology

  • Health insurance

  • Pharmaceutics

  • Biotechnology

  • Medical devices

  • Hospital systems

  • Healthcare investment

  • Researchers

  • Regulation

  • Academia

Benefits of attending
  • Genuine learning + practical insight regarding artificial intelligence and AR/VR in healthcare

  • Understand the practical applications of AI and AR/VR in healthcare

  • Experience real world examples + demos of applications in healthcare

  • Separate truth from hype around AI and AR/VR

  • Gain insight into the value AI, AR/VR can bring to the heathcare industry in NZ and globally

Speaker Profiles
Aliesha Staples

Managing Director 
@Staples VR

Aliesha is a high profile New Zealand producer and creative technologist. She was the 2017 and 2018 winner of the NZ High Tech Awards and received the Excellence in Digital Health Award at the 2018 ITX Awards. Aliesha founded creative tech company StaplesVR in 2014, but her passion for healthcare began after founding VRemedies in 2017. VRemedies builds Virtual simulations for children needing non invasive medical procedures. She has recently partnered with the team at Hatch Australia as a creative technologist and was a key contributor to the development of an augmented reality MRI scanning tool as well as a virtual patient diagnosis tool called Charcots Room, designed to educate patients and students about multiple sclerosis. 

Krystal Thompson

@Staples VR

Krystal works at Staples VR in a multidisciplinary team working on a range of impactful projects. She wears multiple hats including Game Designer, 3D Artist and Programmer, and works on virtual and augmented reality projects for the forensics, health and safety, training, visual design and entertainment sectors.

Pleayo Tovaranonte 

Executive Director 
@Rev3 Technology

Dr Pleayo Tovaranonte is a General Practitioner and Managing Director of Rev3 Tech, a NZ-based technology company focusing on Augmented and Virtual Reality and Wearable Technology applications in the real estate, construction, medical and healthcare industries. He is also a consultant for Med-IT-Aid Ltd which provides business advice to medical IT companies incorporating technology into mainstream healthcare. He has published extensively in the areas of Internal Medicine, Disaster Medicine, and Medical Technology. He is an author for the eMagazine “Invented”, writing about 3D-printing applications in Clinical Medicine. He is a co-founder of “Beyond The Stethoscope (BTS)”, a not-for-profit organisation aiming to assist junior doctors towards their overseas voluntary work in developing countries. His extensive governance experience includes the clinical board for the Canterbury District Health Board, board of trustees for Canterbury Asthma Society, Community Energy Action and Creative Christchurch Charitable Trust. He also offers his bi-lingual skills to Translators Without Borders, helping NGO projects at the intersection of public health and human rights in various parts of the world.   

Gabe Rijpma

Senior Director Health & Social Services (Asia) 

Gabe Rijpma is a senior ICT and health industry leader based in Christchurch. 

Gabe started his working career as a software developer and systems architect. He was an early pioneer in technology and internet start-ups. After moving to Sydney, he joined Microsoft in 2000 which set the basis for his career across multiple continents. Gabe worked with some of the largest corporations and national governments in transforming their businesses through the application of ICT.

Gabe has extensive experience working across start-ups, ISVs, systems integrators and international customers with a special focus and passion in the area of healthcare. This has resulted in Gabe building a very broad network in the public and private sectors across Asia.

Ben Hanna 

Director of Business Development Aus/NZ
@Soul Machines

Ben is an expert in growing high tech companies.


Starting his career in high tech 18 years ago Ben has launched start ups & new innovative products in NZ, Australia and the USA. Recently Ben’s lead enterprise development teams at global companies such as Dell EMC and been responsible for delivering rapid enterprise growth for big data company Domo in the Australian and NZ markets.


Ben currently leads growth and business development for Soul Machines, a ground-breaking high tech company of AI researchers, neuroscientists, psychologists, artists and innovative thinkers who are re-imagining how we connect with machines.



Tech Futures Lab is a learning environment like no other. We’re all about people. People with ideas who experiment, fail fast, collaborate, and design innovative, tech-enabled solutions and businesses fit for the new world, for a new future.

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Tom is a health tech futurist whose mission is to enable easy, affordable and sustainable healthcare for all New Zealanders using exponential technology. He is passionate about solving the challenges in healthcare today and going forward.


+64 (0) 223527217

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Please contact us at Tech Futures Lab to let us know how we can make this event accessible to you. We currently do not have wheelchair access, however please let us know in advance of the event and we will do everything we can to accommodate you (this could include recording the event and making it available to you afterwards).


22 McColl Street


Auckland 1023

New Zealand


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Tech Futures Lab is an education facility of The Mind Lab, a NZQA registered Tertiary Education Organisation under the provisions of the Education Act 1989. Candidates who are studying on a programme delivered by Tech Futures Lab are enrolled with The Mind Lab.