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  • 13 Sep 2019 2:00 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    New Kiwi business VideoTaxi has swung a major international deal in New York, the home of the yellow cab which inspired the company’s branding. It has also landed a deal in Philadelphia and is heading to Europe later this month to sign up businesses there too.

    Co-founder Ondrej Havas says his idea of a subscription video service for corporates and commerce has taken off in New Zealand, and it’s about to do the same overseas.

    “We already have more than 20 companies in New Zealand signed up, and we have now licensed the VideoTaxi concept to two production houses in the United States – Casual Films, a multi-national based in New York, and Kinetic Films in Philadelphia.

    “Casual Films has just sold a VideoTaxi subscription to Canon in the US while Kinetic has several construction companies lined up. We’re thrilled New York was the first international location to adopt VideoTaxi – not only is the Big Apple the commercial and advertising centre of America, its iconic yellow cabs inspired our branding. When we pitched to Casual Films, they said VideoTaxi was a great concept which would work really well in their market.”

    Not one to rest on his laurels, Havas is now taking VideoTaxi to Europe.


    VideoTaxi co-owner and MD Ondrej Havas (clockwise from front left), co-owner and CTO Eddie Burrow, senior producer Bruce Knoetze, and senior cabbie Jean-luc Darne

    Read more

  • 10 Sep 2019 11:50 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Airline update

    American Airlines seasonal service between Auckland and Los Angeles re-commences with their daily Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight on Tuesday 29 October. The flight departs AKL at 14.20hrs and lands same day at 06.35hrs into LAX. The early morning arrival avoids the Tom Bradley Terminal’s infamous Customs and Immigration lines so frequently experienced later in the day. The flights are code-shared with Qantas Airways.  

    The day prior United Airlines increases to a daily schedule between Auckland and San Francisco flying on board a Boeing 777-300. This service also has an afternoon departure from Auckland and an early arrival into San Francisco – making connections to every corner of the US achievable.

    Hawaiian Airlines has released a new set of short life sale fares to their 13 Mainland USA cities, which includes the two East Coast destinations Boston and New York (JFK). One of the stand-out fares is to LA/Long Beach for just NZ$1136 return – all up. Sale concludes 13 September 19.  Travel dates are 07 Oct – 27 Nov 19 plus dates in 2020.

    Travellers flying Virgin Australia and Qantas are reminded of a new policy around carrying MacBook Pro 15” laptops. These must be carried in your hand luggage and remain switched off at all times. This is following the recall notice issued by Apple.

    Our business travellers are creatures of habit – and the road warriors amongst them often work on remote control assuming their usual flight will be just that. However from 28 October we need an ‘awake moment’ when flying LAX to AKL on Air New Zealand as the airline has adjusted the departure times of the NZ001 and NZ005 services. The flights have been switched around with NZ005 to depart earlier from LAX at 20.05hrs (currently 2230hrs) and NZ001, the through flight from London, now departing LAX at 21.05hrs. NZ001 from London previously connected through to both NZ001 and NZ005 but now only to the same plane NZ001. This will disappoint those flying ex-London and looking for upgrades on your Frequent Flyer as having both flights in the mix allowed you to hedge your bets to take the flight with the best availability – regrettably that’s now not possible.  Seemingly you can’t run an airline just for the Frequent Flyers!

    Air New Zealand has introduced a charge of NZ$19 per flight to select a seat in advance on its lower Economy Class fare categories on its flights to the US. The airline’s Gold Frequent Flyers as well as Koru Club members are exempt. If you are fussy about your seating we recommend asking your usual ATPI Travel Consultant to add the charge onto your airfare in advance to get the seat you want. Waiting for the online check in to open 24 hours in advance is risky.

    We welcome a new entry for flights to the US, this time via Canada. Air Canada will operate between Auckland and Vancouver for the Summer months (14 December – 07 March). Air Canada offers excellent connections into the US, in particular New York to where it operates an international caliber Dreamliner. Those who have experienced Vancouver airport will also know it’s an easy, efficient, calm and peaceful facility to enter the US through! The bonus is that the pre-clearance for US Customs and Immigrations occurs in Vancouver.

    Hotels

    Travel better! At ATPI New Zealand we’re a member of the prestigious US-based Virtuoso, an invited group of the world’s leading travel agents and where we can achieve benefits over and above any other travel agent or booking site for our clients. For a similar level as any advertised rate included on the hotel site, Bookings.com or Expedia you’ll receive:

    ·       Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability

    ·       Daily Breakfast for two

    ·       Food & Beverage or Spa services credit usually around US$100

    ·       Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability

    ·       Complimentary Wi-Fi

    ·       Often some other kind of personalised in-room amenity

    ·       Take a look at www.virtuoso.com or call one of our BWT Travel Advisors

    For your next Team Building or Employee Incentive don’t go past New York. Take advantage of our seat sale fares and create WOW in your next Executive Team conference, incentive or team building. Our ‘on the ground partner’ can arrange a 5-day mind-broadening experience that your team will never forget. Options range from Improv Classes to get team bonding started – that’s right – in the heart of Broadway your team can learn acting skills as a team – be prepared to laugh so heard that your belly hurts. Next on the list is Escape Rooms on steroids – NYC has some of the best escape rooms where the team work to solve the puzzle (basically how to get out quickly in order to get to dinner!). Then we’re arranging a scavenger hunt which will create healthy competition and get involved with local New York and its people. Let’s round this out with a private food tasting tour around Chinatown and Little Italy. Ask our Meetings and Incentives team to help you take your employee incentives up a notch in New York.

    The pinnacle of southern charm, Charleston, South Carolina tops Travel + Leisure magazine’s list for best American Cities for the 7th year in a row. Located in the very heart of downtown Charlestown and in the historic district is our Virtuoso partner hotel, Belmond Charleston Place. The Belmond is the perfect base to explore from and blends gentility and old-world charm with a leading-edge spa and innovative cuisine. By booking through us, we’ll provide full breakfast for two and a US$100 food and beverage credit, in addition to the other usual Virtuoso amenities.

    From 01 October your international visitors to New Zealand may require an electronic travel authorisation to land in New Zealand NZeTA. There is essentially two parts to this – the basic electronic visa required for relevant nationals and the IVL – International Visitor Levey – which is the NZ$35 payable for us to build smarter facilities in National Parks (hopefully potentially more than that!). Have your visiting colleagues look at https://nzeta.immigration.govt.nz/.  As with the US ESTA site its likely that many copycat sites will show up and charge more than is necessary. The best source is our website noted below – refer to the Traveller Resources section for the correct websites.

    ATPI New Zealand
    Level 5, ANZ Bank Building  
    187 Broadway, Newmarket
    PO Box 99088, Auckland, New Zealand
    Auckland: Telephone: +64 9 529 3700

    Wellington: Telephone: +64 4 470 6044
    NZ wide: 0800 508 580

    www.atpi.co.nz

    The new name for ATPI Business World Travel is ATPI New Zealand


  • 06 Sep 2019 2:57 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    New Zealand-based Salus Aviation continues to expand its portfolio of companies with the acquisition of USA based Heli-Parts Nevada (HPN).

    HPN is an excellent complement to Salus’ existing Oceania Aviation business; and Oceania and HPN have a long history of successfully working together.

    The acquisition extends the service and parts offering to HPN customers in New Zealand and to Oceania Aviation customers in the USA, and provides Salus with access to the important USA market to meet its future growth aspirations.

    HPN is the single largest provider of overhauled and used Airbus components and Safran Turbomeca engines globally. HPN also offers hourly engine leases to customers as part of its Engine Power on Demand (EPOD) program.

    Airbus continues to hold the majority of the helicopter market making HPN an idea fit for Salus Aviation as the company builds a portfolio of companies that will grow our profitable and sustainable future.

    Salus Chief Executive Nick Mair said

    “David Lok and the HPN team’s passion for providing quality service to their customers is a trait that fits well with the values of Salus. I am looking forward to working with David to further extend the reach of HPN into the Asia Pacific region.”

    "With a quality acquisition such as HPN, Salus is well placed to benefit from the increase in service offerings that HPN brings to the Group. Salus also looks forward to extending our exceptional customer service to the important US market”.

    Read more

  • 30 Aug 2019 3:02 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand and its alliance partner United Airlines have today launched a major campaign to attract visitors from the USA and encourage them to explore more of regional New Zealand.

    The campaign is the first cab off the rank under a new three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand, designed to ensure New Zealand continues to stand out as a destination on the crowded world stage.

    “Tourism is New Zealand’s top export earner, delivering over $16 billion to our communities each year. Given the global slow down we need to work even harder to keep it that way,” says Stephen England-Hall, Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand.

    “We need people to choose us and this partnership gives us a stronger voice to cut through tough global competition.”

    Air New Zealand and its alliance partners brought 34 percent of international visitors to New Zealand in the year ended April 2019.

    “A thriving tourism industry is important for both New Zealand and Air New Zealand, and we’re committed to working in partnership with Tourism New Zealand to grow the value of tourism in a sustainable way,” says Christopher Luxon, Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer.

    “This includes promoting travel to New Zealand in spring, winter and autumn and encouraging visitors to experience more regions to help grow regional economies. We know we’ve got a unique tourism proposition, but we’ve got to work really hard to attract international visitors who at the end of the day can opt to visit locations closer to home. That’s why partnerships such as this one are critical for our industry and our economy.”

    The Tourism New Zealand/Air New Zealand MoU outlines an intent to invest up to $30 million each over three years for joint activity in Australia, China, North and South America, Japan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Europe, Korea, India and South East Asia.

    Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand have undertaken cooperative marketing activity under an annual memorandum of understanding since 2014. During this time, the value of international tourism to New Zealand has grown from $10.4 billion to $16.2 billion.

    The partnership has resulted in a stronger New Zealand share of voice in large and competitive global markets, as well as collaborative efforts to leverage major opportunities and open up new markets aligned with the expansion of Air New Zealand’s global network.

  • 23 Aug 2019 2:45 PM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Peter Beck takes out Supreme Award at the 2019 AmCham - DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards for companies doing business with the USA

    Auckland, 22nd August 2019 The 20th annual AmCham DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards were held at the Pullman Auckland Hotel last night, with Rocket Lab’s founder Peter Beck winning the Supreme Award for doing business with the United States.


    AmCham was delighted to welcome the Hon Damien O’Connor as keynote speaker and presenter of the three key exporter awards as well as the newly arrived U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, Kevin Covert presenting the Importer of the Year award.

    Mark Foy, Country Manager for DHL Express New Zealand, said: “Peter Beck is an outstanding leading innovator in the space industry, who has grown his company over the last decade to a $2 billion entity today. Peter’s focus on continuous improvement and wanting to improve life on earth is a testament to his achievements. Peter has established strong relationships with the US market, a key trade lane and DHL congratulates him on his success.”

    This year’s finalists came from across a variety of businesses covering gourmet pet food, eco-friendly beauty, butter, heavy equipment, aircraft engine reconditioning, technology, metals recycling, building products, tourism, education, meat, and organic feminine products.

    See all photos from the night.

    The Supreme Award is chosen from the winners of each of the categories presented on the night. The complete list of winners is as follows:

    This years award finalists were some of the strongest AmCham has seen and so the judges awarded Highly Commended certificates to :
    Hawaii Tourism Oceania
    Organic Initiative Ltd
    Pratt & Whitney Air New Zealand Services (trades as Christchurch Engine Centre”)
    The University of Auckland

    The AmCham DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards celebrate success and innovation in the export, import and investment sectors between New Zealand and its third-largest trading partner, the USA.  Winners of the importer, exporter, tourism and bilateral connections awards categories receive an Economy Plus® Round Trip Ticket to the USA from United Airlines. 

    In addition to AmCham, DHL-Express and United Airlines, the Awards are also supported by ANZ Bank, Auckland Airport, Ironside McDonald Intellectual Property, The Pullman Auckland Hotel, media partner The Business, wine sponsor Constellation Brands and event manager Lime & Soda.

  • 09 Aug 2019 1:40 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Ben & Jerry's is set to give New Zealand a scoop of the American retail experience.

    The American ice cream brand turned retailer will next week open its first cashless ice cream shop at Wellington Airport on August 17. It will trial Amazon Go-inspired payment with the intention of rolling it out to its other retail locations in New Zealand, and overseas.

    Stephanie Tannous, Ben & Jerry's Australia and New Zealand brand lead, said New Zealand had a long-history of payment advances with the early introduction of Eftpos, the roll out of cashless payment systems across toll roads, parking and public transport, which made the capital the right place to trial a cashless store.

    Tannous said the store would improve the customer experience, and free up staff and consumers. She said the store signalled Ben & Jerry's shift to meet consumer demands and advances in technology.

    "Although we know the shift towards an entirely cashless system will require an initial adjustment process for consumers, we are confident with the technological progression in this space," she said.

    "New Zealand is well on its way to being a cashless society already."

    Ben & Jerry's would trial the cashless store for six months, and use findings as a basis for future store decisions, she said.

    Read more

  • 30 Jul 2019 2:53 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    Plexure Group (NZX: PLX) has today signed a deal with United States’ fast-food burger chain White Castle, adding to the momentum reflected in its recently-announced FY19 annual result.

    Plexure offers mobile customer engagement through personalised messaging.

    Often hailed as America’s first fast-food chain, White Castle boasts almost 400 restaurants located across 13 states. Under the terms of agreement, Plexure will provide mobile engagement and loyalty capability through its intelligent marketing platform, helping White Castle strengthen its position in the US.

    Plexure also works with McDonalds Japan and 7 Eleven Australia.

    Chief Executive Craig Herbison says the new partnership is a clear validation of the Company’s hard work, refreshed focus and strengthened proposition.

    “Plexure is delighted to partner with White Castle as a significant US customer and looks forward to powering its marketing efforts. This collaboration is testament to our continued drive to deliver a suite of world-class products and enhanced levels of customer engagement,” 

    “We’re committed to helping White Castle activate mobile as a critical digital channel to its customers, to grow their value whilst enhancing the overall customer experience.”

    Read more


  • 29 Jul 2019 4:32 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    New name – same team! From this month you’ll notice an adjustment to our branding. We’re moving away from the co-branded ATPI Business World Travel to simply ATPI. The move aligns with our other 30 other locations worldwide. ATPI bought our company almost two years ago and so the ATPI dual brand will be familiar to most. Based in the UK, ATPI Advanced Travel Partners International has a significant foothold in the UK and US travel landscape with particular expertise in the business travel, sports, group and events travel as well as sturdy credentials in the executive leisure travel space.  Throughout the US we are branded at Direct/ATPI Travel reflecting our partnership with Direct Travel in the US, making us one of the largest players in the US travel market.  

    We welcome Ms Delwyn Namulo to our team here in Auckland in a Business Development role.  Delwyn has returned to NZ after 20 or so years in the US. Through our enhanced alignment with ATPI we now have the capability to expand our client base and accept new business. If you’d like to talk to us about our ATPI Advantages for your firm’s travel management programme then call Delwyn (delwyn.namulo@atpi.com) or Grant Bevin.  

    Airline update 

    American Airlines and Qantas have had their trans-Pacific joint venture approved paving the way for more AA/QF code-share flights between Australia/New Zealand and the USA. This will allow AA the opportunity to consider making their AKL/ LAX flight ‘year-round’ instead of the current New Zealand Summer operation in place now. If they can share the risk/reward with Qantas then the route becomes more viable. Alternatively Qantas could operate through the New Zealand winter to the US on behalf of the pair which optimises aircraft usage for both airlines.

    In non-Americas related business travel news, in a bid to improve on-time performance Air New Zealand requires domestic New Zealand travellers to be checked-in (including luggage checked in)latest 30 minutes prior to departure. This is the same protocol JetStar operates. Travellers who are accustomed to checking in at the gate with their phone are no longer being accepted for travel unless you have confirmed your check-in on your app more than 30 minutes prior to departure. It is imperative for this category of traveller that you have taken the 2nd step of pressing the check-in tab on your app.  We recommend that to give you peace of mind and reliability that you physically get an ‘old-school’ boarding card from the valet car drop off, the check in machines or the Koru desk. This removes any chance for doubt from the situation as well as well as the tech-errors many airlines seem to specialise in. Getting to the airport early and through security also makes for relaxed and hassle free travel – allowing you to get on and focus on your business! And to dispel the myth, most airlines don’t care that you running late stuck in a long security line – it helps them with an overbooked flight! 

    A number of clients combine their South American business trip with North America to save on airfares and the time involved with two separate business trips. We have some very good Circle Pacific airfares that allow this. But note that LATAM Airlines is changing its Auckland/Santiago (SCL) schedule from 27 October, reducing its daily service to only 4x weekly. The three missing services will now overfly Auckland and operate non-stop between Santiago and Sydney. LATAM is doing this to provide better connectivity into their One World Alliance partners at Sydney airport where they achieve one-stop routings between Santiago and many SE Asian destinations. This has been a very popular flight for our destination South America clients and our advice is to book very early to secure your seats.

    Fiji Airways has achieved the 4-Star SkyTrax rating putting them alongside neighbours Qantas and Air New Zealand. This rating is quite an achievement for this small regional airline to have achieved. Fiji Airways operates between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to Nadi and offers daily onward connections to Los Angeles (daily) and 3x weekly to San Francisco.  SkyTrax ratings are the benchmark for airlines and allows us to assess an airline as to its suitability for certain types of clients. Skytrax ratings measure the home based airport experience and in-flight offerings, amongst other criteria. 

    Executive Leisure 

    Foodies will love our new Virtuoso partnership and at the same time enjoy a home cooked meal when travelling for business or leisure. We offer in-home local eating experiences around the world – go dine in the home of a local family or go next level and take a cooking lesson whilst dining. Many of the options across many cities in the US are hosted by locally well known chefs or bakers. The options we liked included: 

    • San Francisco – artisanal San Francisco market tour and cooking class
    • Los Angeles – sourdough baking lesson and lunch or dinner
    • New York – vegan Mediterranean cooking lesson in a historic New York Brownstone 

    Ask your usual ATPI Travel Consultant to book your eating with the locals experience.  

    We have the ultimate USA incentive programme for your Marketing or HR Department to consider  for a client or employee promotion.The year everyone has been waiting for...... on February 2, 2020, Miami will host Super Bowl LIV. This must-see location is a favourite of the incentive markets, with beautiful beaches and parties galore, it won't be just the game to attend over this entertainment filled weekend. Our local US offices will be able to offer:

    • Unparalleled access to Super Bowl weekend experiences, including NBA & NHL tickets, cruise on a Luxury yacht for the day and drift by the homes of the ultra-rich, or golf some of the most famous South Florida courses like the Trump National Blue Monster.
    • Pre-game Hospitality Parties with NFL Alumni included in all ticket categories.
    • Access to VIP Super Bowl events, including A-list concerts, celebrity appearances, restaurants, parties, as well as exclusive nightclub experiences on offer.

    Call our Executive Leisure Consultant Tanya Warman in Newmarket for details.  

    Silver Origin, the first ship created entirely for a specific destination by deluxe operator Silversea Cruises, will embark on its first voyage in the Galápagos Islands in July 2020. Never before have the islands been so superbly presented: a team of Ecuadorian national expert guides, the highest crew-to-guest ratio in the Galápagos, 8 Zodiacs, seamless hybrid spaces that offer an extraordinary voyage - for extraordinary people. All-suite accommodation, Horizon Balconies, butler service, sophisticated interiors, interactive basecamp and Ecuadorian inspired cuisine ... no aspect of Silver Origin has been left to chance. Call our ATPI Cruise experts to secure your cabin. 

    Hotels

    With the US populace largely on Summer break right now and business hotels relatively lightly occupied we have a large number of our Virtuoso properties providing our clients additional nights-stay for free – plus you’ll still get the benefit of the Virtuoso amenities listed below. Focus on the value here – its amazing! 

    Travel better! At ATPI/Business World Travel we’re a member of the prestigious US-based Virtuoso, an invited group of the world’s leading travel agents and where we can achieve benefits over and above any other travel agent or booking site for our clients. For a similar level as any advertised rate included on the hotel site, Bookings.com or Expedia you’ll receive:

    • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
    • Daily Breakfast for two 
    • Food & Beverage or Spa services credit usually around US$100 
    • Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
    • Complimentary Wi-Fi
    • Often some other kind of personalised in-room amenity
    • Take a look at www.virtuoso.com or call one of our BWT Travel Advisors

    ATPI Travel  

    Level 5, ANZ Bank Building 187 Broadway, Newmarket, Auckland: 0800 508 580  

  • 24 Jul 2019 10:31 AM | Mike Hearn (Administrator)

    Hon Stuart Nash
    Minister of Revenue
    By Email s.nash@ministers.govt.nz
    and policy.webmaster@ird.govt.nz


    Dear Mr Nash

    Options for taxing the digital economy

    The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand (AmCham NZ) understands the public and political interest in ensuring that multinational groups pay taxes in the countries where they operate. We support the overarching principle of ensuring that tax should be levied where value is created.

    Digitalisation poses challenges to the international tax system and it is important to examine whether new value creation factors exist in certain circumstances. All businesses are digitalising and any solutions will therefore impact all business and consumers.

    With this in mind, we support reform of international tax law through the OECD. However, we do not support the unilateral digital services tax proposed in the Discussion Document - Options for Taxing the Digital Economy. It is important that New Zealand works with the other 131 countries who have committed to examine solutions together. A unilateral approach, even on an interim basis, diverts resources and undermines this multilateral approach.

    The United States is New Zealand’s third largest trading partner (after China and Australia) and so its views are important. Economic relations span a wide range of commercial activities, including trade in goods and services, and direct foreign investment across all major sectors from heavy manufacturing to agriculture. The potential weakening of New Zealand’s relationship with the United States and any related trade consequences which could follow due to our implementation of a digital services tax, will likely exceed the expected revenue gains from the tax.

    On this issue, the US Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin has said:

    “I highlight again our strong concern with countries’ consideration of a unilateral and unfair gross sales tax that targets our technology and internet companies. A tax should be based on income, not sales, and should not single out a specific industry for taxation under a different standard. We urge our partners to finish the OECD process with us rather than taking unilateral action in this area.” 1 

    New Zealand is not alone in considering a unilateral digital services tax, with legislation recently passed in France and introduced in the United Kingdom. In both cases the United States has immediately responded. 

    In respect of the French digital services tax, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has initiated an investigation under Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974. Announcing the review, the USTR noted that “The United States is very concerned that the digital services tax …. unfairly targets American companies” before going on to say that “The President has directed that we investigate the effects of this legislation and determine whether it is discriminatory or unreasonable and burdens or restricts United States commerce”.

    Regarding the United Kingdom, Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, has commented: “I met with the U.K. officials earlier, and said, ‘You expect a trade agreement with the United States and the U.K. It will not happen with your digital services tax. Period. Full stop.” 2 

    The Section 301 investigation shows that the risk of retaliation by the United States against New Zealand for imposing a DST is more than theoretical or remote. 

    We are deeply concerned that a departure from internationally agreed principles would make investment in New Zealand and the provision of services to people and businesses more costly.

    We encourage the New Zealand Government to maintain its long standing support for a multilateral rules based approach to trade, rather than create new non-tariff barriers. We therefore endorse the continuation of discussions involving NZ, the US and other important stakeholders at the OECD, rather than unilateral measures.

    Yours sincerely

    Mike Hearn
    Executive Director
    Mike@amcham.co.nz

  • 19 Jul 2019 2:12 PM | Rebecca Caroe (Administrator)

    SimPHARM — software developed at the University of Otago that uses mathematical models of the physiology of body systems to simulate real life reactions to diseases and drugs — has broken into international markets.

    It has been licensed by a US company, Education Management Solutions (EMS), which is responsible for marketing and sales of SimPHARM worldwide. The software has its US launch this week at an American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) event in Chicago.

    The university says this a significant milestone for Professor Stephen Duffull of Otago’s School of Pharmacy who has been developing SimPHARM since 2007. It has been brought to market by the university’s development and commercialisation company Otago Innovation.

    SimPHARM is a web-based program that can be accessed on tablets, laptops or personal computers. Cases (virtual patients) are chosen to suit each student’s stage of learning, and range from very simple medical ailments through to more intricate and complex cases that reflect the complexity of pharmacy practice.

    The university says it is as an ideal training solution for both undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacy education programs.

    “Virtual patients are chosen to suit each student’s stage of learning, and range from very simple medical ailments through to more intricate and complex cases that reflect the complexity of pharmacy practice,” it says.

    “Because SimPHARM operates on a dynamic learning algorithm, every student who runs a [virtual patient] will experience it differently.

    “Early results from the School of Pharmacy students at the University of Otago have shown excellent engagement when using SimPHARM in a flipped class where students are assigned a virtual patient to treat before attending class – similar to (but more exciting than) pre-reading requirements.”

    Duffull said more than 95 percent of students were engaging with virtual patients from SimPHARM prior to training in class.

    “That is a great result and means the vast majority of our students are coming well-prepared with knowledge and skills that reflect their developing decision-making skills.,” he said.

    “These are skills that they have learnt from SimPHARM that closely emulate what they will eventually experience in the real world.”

    Read more