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Roche Diagnostics challenges IBM Watson with differentiated strategy in tailor-made treatment market

Jeong Sae-im  Published 2019.11.21  15:48  Updated 2019.11.26 14:24

공유
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Roche Diagnostics Korea rolled out NAVIFY Tumor Board, a data integration platform that helps doctors review cancer cases more efficiently and make more accurate treatment decisions for patients.

The company held a news conference at a hotel in Seoul, Wednesday, to promote the newest application.

A tumor board is a decision-making process by a group of doctors in each field including oncologists, surgeons, and radiologists that meet at the hospital to discuss cancer cases and share knowledge.

Marco Valencia Sanchez, executive director of Clinical Decision Support at Roche Diagnostics Asia Pacific, speaks during a news conference in Seoul, Wednesday.

A survey on the members of the American Society of Clinical Oncology showed that physicians usually relied on the tumor board to make the final diagnosis and frequently changed treatment plans based on the information discussed at the tumor board.

Among 430 respondents, 89 percent said they participated in the tumor board to get advice for treatment decisions. Twenty percent said the tumor board was always conducive to make treatment and diagnostic decisions.

However, it is a cumbersome work for physicians to find, organize, and regularly update the latest clinical results and relevant documents on biomarkers, radiographic images, and tumor information to provide a better treatment option for patients.

In this backdrop, Roche Diagnostics developed NAVIFY that helps physicians make efficient decisions for customized treatments.

Johnny Tse, general manager of Roche Diagnostics Korea, said Roche Group has taken “personalized healthcare” as a key strategy and put efforts to realize customized medical service.

“Based on the local launching of NAVIFY Tumor Board, we will expand our business into digital healthcare in earnest,” he said.

The newest product can reduce tumor board preparation time for oncologists by 53 percent, for radiologists by 12 percent, and for surgeons by 8 percent. With the program, physicians can spend more time on comprehensive monitoring on patients and management of the patient's condition.

The company also said the product can standardize a multi-disciplinary team’s collection of patient data and medical decisions. Roche Diagnostics released the product in 20 countries including the U.S. and Europe. In Korea, the company launched it this month.

Marco Valencia Sanchez, executive director of Clinical Decision Support at Roche Diagnostics Asia Pacific, said hospitals use all kinds of different ways to collect patient data, making their healthcare data dispersed.

Sanchez said NAVIFY would gather such data and help make the best medical decision.

Some large Korean hospitals are evaluating the product.

NAVIFY has a challenge, though. It is not synchronized with the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system at Korean hospitals, so physicians have to input all data one by one.

“Synching this with EMR is a must. Of course, hospitals have psychological resistance to moving their internal data to the cloud. But as data is growing explosively, there is no alternative but cloud. Soon, this resistance will subside,” said Yun Mu-hwan, head of CDS at Roche Diagnostics Korea.

Reporters asked how NAVIFY would be different from IBM Watson for Oncology, which local hospitals initially adopted but rarely used.

Sanchez said Watson and NAVIFY have different approaches.

“NAVIFY focuses on improving the workflow efficiency of doctors to create an environment where they can discuss more and thus make better decisions. So, we cannot compare NAVIFY with Watson directly,” he said.

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