Whanau Tahi acquisition of Simpl Health

Vital wellness data and family health plans shared across health, education, whānau ora, and social service providers to ensure each support person understands the unique needs and history of the whānau each step of the way, all with an eye on quantifying the ‘social return on investment’.

This is the goal for west Auckland based social value technology company, Whānau Tahi, which is building on its successes and ambitions with the acquisition of Simpl Health Limited, an international software company which specialises in safe and immediate patient information sharing and payment management.

Whānau Tahi managing director Ray Noonan says Whānau Tahi has already achieved commercially sustainable growth in value markets, in a profitable way, and without government subsidies. Now it seeks to tackle the largest challenges in supporting whanau and communities to achieve their wellbeing aspirations – by breaking down the longstanding data-sharing barriers which impede integrating health plans with other wellbeing and social services, and track the real outcomes for families versus the dollars spent.

“Until now, Whānau Tahi has been focused on Whānau planning and harnessing technology to change people’s lives. With the acquisition of Simpl, we’ll gain experience and expertise to provisioning the entire social service chain, from planning, delivery, contract, payments and data validation.

“Importantly, this acquisition progresses our US market ambitions. Simpl’s payment system will allow us to track the entire supply chain loop – anything from connecting with before school checks, to booking vaccinations and scheduling prescription pickups and payment, to linking families with community support groups – this is already a powerful pitch at home, but is particularly useful in a US context, where their health system and social supports are far more ad hoc,” Ray says.

From a New Zealand perspective, Simpl’s experience in building data and payment links between Government and the private sector providers will be of significant benefit as the traditional funding models evolve away from central government control, a move Finance Minister Bill English indicated while both praising Whānau Tahi and calling on government departments to follow its lead.

“Having taken our lead from the signals of Minister English and the Government, we have assumed a market leadership position – leaving behind the failed models of the past,” Ray said.

Whānau Tahi was recently selected as runner-up in an international Worldwide Microsoft Partner Award, beating established multi-national businesses, and is seeking to utilise Simpl’s data management system along with its own systems to breakdown siloes which have impeded integrated delivery, and move towards fully connected patient pathways which are clear and meaningful.

Ray Noonan puts it simply, “one whānau, one plan, one place”.