Digitalisation has been a huge catalyst to turn evolving technologies, data insights and medical expertise into new healthcare solutions at speed and scale. This will help patients to benefit from diagnostic innovations when and where they need them most. To deliver the full digital potential, collaboration across the healthcare industry is key - and with it the evolution of new partnership models that will transform the future of Diagnostics.
A new digital ecosystem for point-of-care settings was recently introduced by Roche Diagnostics, created by cobas® pulse. This device for glucose monitoring is powered by cobas® infinity edge smart software which safely and securely connects information gathered with the device across multiple settings. It also enables healthcare professionals to access external innovations from anywhere. The ecosystem launched with six applications from different Medtech start-ups; many additional applications are in the pipeline.
Smart4Diagnostics (S4DX) and CardioSignal are two of the pioneering Medtech collaborators participating in this ecosystem created by Roche Diagnostics. The companies initially met in Startup Creasphere, a leading digital health innovation programme initiated by Roche and Plug & Play that strives to transform healthcare together with start-ups. Being part of Roche’s digital ecosystem via the cobas infinity edge, these new apps can be used right at the point of care – along with many other apps that help diagnose and monitor patients.
Smart4Diagnostics offers the S4DX app-based digital solution to track the quality and efficiency of the sample workflow from its point of collection from a patient to the analyzer in the lab. It is during this process – between blood collection and lab analysis – where many errors can occur in the diagnostic process. The SD4X app helps lab leaders close the gap, improving overall medical quality and reducing errors before the samples even reach the labs.
CardioSignal works differently; its application helps healthcare professionals detect a patient’s atrial fibrillation – one of the most common manifestations of heart disease. By placing the cobas pulse device on the chest for just one minute, the application on the device can easily monitor the patient’s heart function in real-time.
Why are external tech companies working with Roche Diagnostics on these innovative patient solutions?
Roche Diagnostics uses cloud-based platforms to build digital ecosystems – integrating data via different applications, IT networks and diagnostics devices. Similar to apps on mobile phones, healthcare apps from a variety of tech collaborators can be hosted on existing diagnostic devices. With the right infrastructure and enablers in place, this means healthcare professionals and point of care coordinators have everything they require on a single device. This makes it easy and efficient to gain precise information right at the point of care where it’s needed most.
Another advantage is that hospitals and labs adopting these integrated innovative tools for novel insights can rely on Roche’s high quality, data privacy and safety standards. This in turn, enables tech companies to gain faster access to new customers and users around the globe.
The biggest benefit of all, of course, is for patients themselves. When healthcare data flows seamlessly and directly between patients and healthcare providers, it’s much easier to manage health, prescribe medicines or give care instructions even when patients are at home.
“Our vision is that cobas infinity edge smart software solutions is just the start,” says Corinne Dive-Reclus, Head of Lab Insights at Roche Information Solutions. Corinne is a strong ambassador for new, digital innovations that connect data in a seamless flow between labs, hospitals, pharmacies, primary care, and patients at home. “Besides creating a digital ecosystem, third-party technologies connected to new digital infrastructure such as cobas infinity edge show high potential for improving patient care using platform-based models of collaborative innovation.”
Creating new approaches to external collaboration and fostering innovative, high-value partnerships will be crucial to transform healthcare over the next few years. Platforms that can facilitate the creation of digital ecosystems will make it easier for tech innovators and start-ups to participate and bring their new capabilities to multiple stakeholders across healthcare.
Cristin Hubbard, Global Head of Partnering at Roche Diagnostics explains: “We see incredible potential in digital ecosystems, and we’re excited to explore new partnerships and collaboration models at the interface between diagnostics and health-tech industries.”
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