Having never watched any of the 6000+ episodes of Shortland Street, when I first saw the concept for this billboard I thought to myself - “what the …?”.

Then I was told this is an iconic line in New Zealand television history, and it was uttered in the very first episode of the show in 1992 (engineers aren’t that good on contemporary culture). I was then informed the show has been exported globally, and even has fans in Russia. So it would appear that Shortland Street is a rival to Orion Health as a global health exporter. Sort of. 

If we were really smart at Orion Health we would have Shortland Street using our tech. The only problem is that these shows thrive on drama and the last thing I want is a major software catastrophe on the show!

What I’d really like to see is Dr Ropata coming back again from Guatemala with lots of health issues necessitating his full genome being mapped (to see whether he fathered any kids while he was on the show), a microbiome stool sample, and a couple of devices measuring his fitness to make sure he’s spending more time on the exercise machine and less time in the bar.

I would watch that episode!

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To learn more about how genome mapping, the microbiome, and fitness data contribute to better health outcomes, read our special report on Precision Medicine here.

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