We spoke to Eva Poggio, one of the four co-founders of RoX Health GmbH, the new company builder of Roche in Berlin. There she and her colleagues are looking for founders and start-ups working on digital health solutions.
What exactly does RoX do?
Our goal is to work with start-ups to provide patients with better and faster healthcare through digital solutions.
This means that digital solutions must actually reach the patient, and we want to make our contribution to the health system to ensure that this happens. This requires not only technical know-how, but also experience in how to transfer a product to German standard care and commercialise it. The start-ups we work with often have very good IT skills and know what is user-friendly for the user. They are therefore intensively engaged in the so-called "user experience". But they do not always have the knowledge of how the German healthcare system works. That is where we take them by the hand with our relevant knowledge and experience and support them on their way through the regulatory process. By the way, this distinguishes us from other company builder or accelerator programmes.
So we evaluate together with the start-ups whether their business model has a chance on the market and help them through the somewhat complicated jungle of regulation. We help start-ups to apply for a licence as a so-called Digital Health Application (DiGA), so that their solution is reimbursable by health insurance companies.
A further step is then commercialisation: founders have often developed a promising solution but do not know how to scale it up quickly in the market. This is where we can help with our expertise.
Cooperation with start-ups
We have developed our own due diligence, which we use together with the start-up company to examine to what extent their solution is marketable. This means that not only the business model must be right, but the product or solution must also fulfil the requirements to be recognised as a digital health solution by the responsible Federal Office for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM). So that the app can also be prescribed by a doctor on prescription.
We work together with founders and start-ups in different phases. On one hand, we accompany them at an early stage in the development of their business model. But start-ups also come to us when their product or solution is already more mature.
What Eva Poggio appreciates most about her work
We at RoX are all pioneers, driven by the desire to provide people with faster and better healthcare, ideally to keep people healthy or identify diseases earlier than before - for example Alzheimer's or cancer.
I really enjoy working with start-ups. We work together at eye level in creative design thinking methods and our interaction is characterised by openness and trust. Our good team spirit is very important to me. And there is not a day when I do not learn or experience something new. A very dynamic process! And somehow we are a start-up ourselves - we too had to set up our own structures first. An experience for which I am very grateful and which I wouldn't want to miss.