PETALING JAYA, November 30 2020 – Recently, Roche (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd, the pharmaceutical division, organized their first-ever Hackathon, entitled ‘Reimagine Healthcare Hackathon’ together with MaGIC (The Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre). This 3-day virtual event was participated by employees from the pharmaceutical, diagnostic and shared service centre, while being guided by a trainer, mentors and validators, with the aim of co-creating realistic, innovative healthcare solutions for Malaysian cancer patients.
A hackathon is an event (usually hosted by a technology company or organization) where programmers gather for a short period of time to collaborate on a project. The participants normally work rapidly and often work without sleep to achieve their task, as the events generally last between 24 hours to a few days.
“Hackathons have rapidly evolved and have become more flexible in recent years, and are now widely used in different industries,” said Lance Duan, the General Manager of Roche Malaysia. “Thus I am pleased now, today, to see Hackathon evolving into the healthcare industry, as these proposed solutions may change the paradigm for the patients and the healthcare environment.”
This 3-day event was co-organised with MaGIC, who helped bring in the mentors for the Hackathon. “Through this Hackathon journey, I believe the participants benefited from the insights and guidance from the diverse stakeholders, as not only were they from the healthcare community, but also from the digital and technology arena,” said Dzuleira Abu Bakar, CEO of MaGIC.
Prior to the 3-day Hackathon event in November, there were 2 ‘ignition’ sessions for all Roche colleagues to join, whereby external speakers from various industries shared and discussed their innovation journey and how it had transformed their organization to deliver a bigger and better impact within their industries.
When the Healthcare Hackathon kick-started on the first day, Roche colleagues were divided into 6 teams and were introduced to the problem statement - How best to enable cancer patients to receive the best treatment for their specific condition. Through-out the first and the second day, the teams used design thinking to collaborate and ideate, while investigating different methodologies for their concept.
At the end of the third day, the 6 teams pitched against each other, when they presented their concept to the judges, who were Lance and several healthcare professionals. The judges looked for ideas that demonstrated a true commitment to innovation and digital utilization that delivered real, measurable impact and a realistic adoption of their concept.
Dr. Benjamin Cheah, a Consultant Rheumatologist, who was one of the validators and judges, said, “I was privileged enough to witness an innovative event organised by Roche Malaysia. I am always inspired by the passion and enthusiasm of individuals. It was an honour to see the embrace of new ideas and the commitment to sustainable and positive innovation in healthcare.”
Lance also added, “As one of the judges, I was impressed with the 6 team presentations, given the limited period to share innovative solutions for cancer patients. To me, all the ideas generated expressed a genuine desire to deliver meaningful change for Malaysian patients.
This OneRoche experience also helped the teams stay motivated as we deliver better outcomes to more patients faster. On this note, not only do I thank the trainer, the mentors and the validators for their time and effort through-out, but I would also like to thank my fellow judges for their hard work in reviewing the presentations with me.”
Two winners were announced - one in early childhood cancer education and the second an application on breast cancer. In the next few months, the winning teams will be provided with sponsors, mentors and sounding boards to make their ideas come to life.
“I still remember a few months ago, when the organising Hackathon team, which were Roche employees, first came up with this idea, I was impressed, and excited. I see the potential of Hackathons, in promoting out-of-the-box approaches, and I look forward to more creative, disruptive ways, like our Healthcare Hackathon as this promotes innovation and radical collaboration in our bid to do more for Malaysian patients”, Lance added.
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche among the leaders in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.
Roche is one of the world’s largest biotech companies, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also one of the world leaders in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.
Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. Twenty-nine medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Roche has been recognised as the Group Leader in sustainability within the Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences Industry eight years in a row by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).
The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2016 employed more than 94,000 people worldwide. In 2016, Roche invested CHF 9.9 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 50.6 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.
Roche has been present in Malaysia since the 1950s, when the sales and distribution of products was managed by a third party distributor. Since then, Roche has established its operations to include Roche (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., the pharmaceutical business, Roche Diagnostics (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. And Roche Shared Service centre. With a total staff strength of over 1,000, Roche has grown into one of the leading healthcare companies in Malaysia that provides holistic healthcare solutions to healthcare practitioners and patients. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.my
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