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Dvorah Richler, Head of Soaring with Roche, and Michael Duong, Head of Innovation at Roche Canada, sat down with me to dive into the 5 healthcare challenges that Soaring with Roche aims to solve through innovative partnerships and open-source collaboration, namely Health Literacy, Health Justice, Waiting for Healthcare, Aging Powerfully, and Data Sharing.

Here is a sneak peek of our conversation:

Q: Tell us a little bit about the rationale or what has changed in the global health ecosystem to inspire Roche to go down a road that really does not feel very traditional as a pharmaceutical company?

Michael: We’ve always been a company that values the outside perspective of an external innovation. When you look at 50% of our pipeline or 50% of our assets, they’re driven from external innovations coming from academic researchers and so on and so forth. That inflection point that’s really changed and shifted our identity away from our colleagues in the industry was really this turning towards personalized healthcare.

When we went towards personalized healthcare, we saw that health solutions we’re not just a drug. They weren’t just data, they weren’t just devices, they were everything. They were integrated health solutions that work with each other to ultimately synergize and deliver the most health outcomes that we can deliver to patients. What that meant was we needed to bring in external partners more holistically to co-create integrated health solutions with them. We’re not going to be the experts in every single discipline that’s required to maximize outcomes for patients. That’s where we started looking at external innovation more holistically as a business practice and leaning towards entirely open innovation which Dvorah is trying to build for promotions of business practice today.

Dvorah: I agree with everything he said. I think Roche has been making some moves in the past five or so years that signal that we maybe weren’t just going to be thinking about medicines and diagnostics anymore. We made a couple of acquisitions of some big data companies and a genomic sequencing company and so you can see the direction that we’re going in. We’re starting to move into digital health with big investments in those spaces and the creation of all these remote monitoring solutions and things like that. So the potential just keeps growing.

I think this is not the pharma of the past where pharma companies will launch a huge blockbuster drug and make millions or billions of dollars and those drugs would go out to a blanket population. We are moving towards personalized healthcare and things are changing, bundling up or packaging up things into a solution where there are multiple offerings that would help support the patient or the person. I think it’s a logical next place to go. The open innovation piece – that’s the disruptive piece I think we’re pushing the envelope a little bit on the HOW.

For more of our discussion, you can watch the whole Fireside Chat with Dvorah Richler and Michael Duong, or listen to the podcast version, below.

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About Impetus Digital

Impetus Digital is the spark behind sustained healthcare stakeholder communication, collaboration, education, and insight synthesis. Our best-in-class technology and professional services ensure that life science organizations around the world can easily and cost-effectively grow and prosper—from brand or idea discovery to development, commercialization, execution, and beyond—in collaboration with colleagues, customers, healthcare providers, payers, and patients.