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  • Rights: Kiwi Innovation Network Limited
    Published 9 June 2014 Referencing Hub media

    TOXINZ is the National Poisons Centre’s database of toxic compounds. It has been developed over the past 50 years and is widely used by New Zealand clinicians. Now, with help from Otago Innovation, TOXINZ is reaching a broad international audience. In this video clip, Colin Dawson (CEO, Otago Innovation) describes the formidable track record of TOXINZ and spells out the changes that have been implemented to expand its audience. He points out that the information on TOXINZ is up to date and has saved lives and refers to positive feedback from clinicians worldwide.

    Teaching point
    Who might use the TOXINZ database and why? Listen out for examples given in the clip and think about other potential users.


    Colin Dawson
    I think what was attractive about this project is it had a substantial track record as a trusted database already, for certain users, and we saw that, by working on that database to put it on a more modern platform and some changes to the look and feel, it could have appeal internationally to doctors who need this information. The key contributing elements is really building up the strength and the accuracy of the database over decades. We don’t have to wait for monthly updates. This can be updated on a daily basis if necessary if something urgent came up, so it’s a very current resource. It’s a resource that we know has saved lives.

    Business applications would be more related to large plants, perhaps – refineries, supplementary information for hazardous chemicals databases. It could also apply to first responders – first aid, paramedics, Fire Service. The feedback we’ve had from doctors around the world, how they find it a really valuable resource.

    The National Poisons Centre has certainly had government support from the Ministry of Health over many, many years. Once we started the commercialisation journey, then Otago Innovation, which is the commercialisation arm of the University, we have directly invested in the product, because we saw it had great potential. It also sets a great example if we can develop an IT product such as this internationally. It’s a good flagship leading light for other people in New Zealand at universities and others to do the same.

    Video courtesy of Kiwi Innovation Network Limited
    © Kiwi Innovation Network Limited, 2013

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