Sponsored by Roche ­Diagnostics A/S

Innovation & Out-novation

The debate around innovation has not lost its spark, and certainly not its buzzword edge. From co-creation, to open innovation all the way through ecosystems. Incidentally, three words in the previous sentence were voted in the top 10 most annoying business terms.

Behind the overused jargon though, there is a significant substance. There is compelling evidence that innovation success is as much a result of external factors, such as third-party support, as they are a result of internal ‘do right’. Healthcare is a distinctively interconnected and interdependent field where this proves to be particularly true. It is also notoriously siloed. Removing these silos is one of Health Tech Copenhagen’s reasons for being.

The edge of personalised health

We are entering an unprecedented era of evidence ­gathering that will allow us to receive and deliver a new generation of health services and products: adaptable, transparent, continuous and people-driven. In its infant stages, the result of this is personalised health. Building on the old African saying that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’, we believe that it takes an ecosystem to raise this infant. We want it to grow healthy, responsible and self-sufficient while adding value to society. This is the sentiment that drove the recent collaboration between Health Tech Hub Copenhagen, Roche Diagnostics and the Nordic Health Lab (affiliated with North Zealand Hospital).

Beyond the positive sentiment of collaboration, we selected two areas where the ecosystem-approach that we embraced adds value:

Innovation & Out-novation

No single organisation, regardless of its size or resources, can outpace the innovation capabilities of the ecosystem. The adoption of innovative health tech solutions has been historically hindered by the siloed nature of healthcare stakeholders. We believe that an active ecosystem collaboration is the only way forward to ensure timely adoption of responsible pioneering solutions.

Roche was one of the first companies to recognise the importance of external innovation with Roche Diagnostics and has been partnering with companies and research institutes worldwide for more than 20 years. Since then, Roche has maintained a model that values external innovation as highly as our own internal development and we have established collaborations as the cornerstone of our R&D strategy.

Fast response & diagnostic facilitation

As we write this article, the world is reacting to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This is a top priority at every level and industry.

This led to a number of interesting collaborations: Alibaba ensured swift medical and drug delivery in affected areas. This complemented Roche Diagnostic’s fast response to manufacturing and delivering test kits for Wuhan. Services made available free of charge allowed a real-time mapping of the virus’s spread, guiding the diagnostic efforts. Start-up’s, authorities, the overall industry, hospitals and research institutions have come together in record time and started collaborations. They have opened and shared their AI algorithms, disease data, cloud services and expertise. Hospitals have partnered with telemedicine companies. The National Health Service is rolling out an information and remote consultation program. The Hong Kong Department is working with a US-Singapore start-up to start a remote monitoring and disease surveillance program.

All this is leading to a degree of response that – though not uniform – has never before been possible.

Ecosystem work in Denmark

In Denmark, we have all the necessary ingredients to create a truly collaborative structure: highly functional health and tech infrastructure, the right size and historic culture of collaboration. Nevertheless, we are no strangers to health silos and the comfort attached to them. We chose, how­ever, not to remain impassive by the discomfort of change. Rather, we are impelled by the responsibility of progress.

The responsibility of prevention. The responsibility to ensure that the right health is delivered to the right people at the right time. We hope to share this with new partners and supporters.

To us, unifying and utilising the ecosystem is no longer a nice-to-do.

It’s a need-to-do.

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Valentin Bejan,
Chief Innovation Officer & Co-founder, Health Tech Hub Copenhagen

Pernille Schmidt, ­
Director Healthcare ­Development, Roche ­Diagnostics A/S

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