Roche’s Caring Program

From pandemic-driven innovation to shaping the future innovation landscape. Collaboratively leading the way for customer-centric healthcare innovation.

Solving pain points
for telehealth

Roche is a global leader in healthcare innovation. With patients having limited access to treatments occasioned by the sudden onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Roche identified several unmet patient needs. Roche affiliates across the world were facing unknown pain points, related to accurately diagnosing and keeping their patients on treatment, as well as providing telehealth solutions for a changing world.

In collaboration with Board of Innovation, the Caring Program was established as a self-organized team to map out the pain points that various Roche affiliates around the world were experiencing and help them solve the challenges.

Progress through

As the world leader in biotech, Roche is also steering cutting-edge healthcare innovation. The company has always had a healthy appetite and passion for innovations that deliver better outcomes that fit customer needs and industry trends. Creating innovative ecosystems with affiliates and partners is one of the strategies Roche has employed; setting it apart in advancing patient-centric healthcare systems across the globe. With the Caring Program, Roche set out to explore and boost healthcare capacity amidst a global pandemic.

Launching the
Caring program

The Caring Program started with an offset in the COVID-19 pandemic. With patients having limited access to treatments occasioned by the sudden onset of the pandemic, Roche identified several emerging patient needs. The Caring Program was established as a self-organized team to map out the pain points that various Roche affiliates around the world were experiencing in accurately diagnosing and keeping their patients on treatment, as well as providing tele-health solutions for a changing world.

What started as a program to drive diagnosis and home care solutions for the general population during the COVID 19 crisis, has since emerged as a proven way of accelerating innovation across the entire industry. The Caring Program aims to not only develop remote care solutions, but to explore their role in the value creation across markets, through networked knowledge-sharing and a balanced experimentation framework.

Linking pain points to solutions

The team mapped out 12 transversal pain points, with the input of more than 65 different global affiliates. After that, the team scanned through their network and the healthcare ecosystem to identify solution providers that were already tackling some of these pressure points. By making these insights and intelligence available to all Roche global affiliates on a shared platform, the team created a call to action, to inspire and empower the affiliates to solve their pain points. Additionally, through fascinating inspiration tours, the affiliates had the chance to connect with solution providers and internal experts that could help them turn their operations around for the better.

Accelerating the process of innovation

Apart from turning around their operations, some affiliates were more intent on engaging in robust experimentation. So the team created an experimentation framework that would allow the affiliates to accelerate solution development by exploring the right partnerships, drawn from the external healthcare ecosystem. This way, they can deliver appropriate and targeted solutions to various markets in a more agile way that counts on real world validation before proceeding with development.

More than sparking stimulating conversations, the Caring Program identifies and supports feasible business models for innovation that creates value for multiple stakeholders. Moreover, Caring scales those solutions to positively impact the healthcare ecosystem, as a whole, in the areas where it’s most needed.

New possible care
paths for patients

This model of shared knowledge and the experimentation framework made it possible to address the main pain points that affiliates were confronted with, whether they were caused by the pandemic or the ever changing healthcare ecosystem. From poor access to treatment experienced by patients, remedied by the provision of necessary remote home-based care, to implementing telemedicine as an effort to extend healthcare capacity or quality.

Analysing unmet needs from different affiliates opened the door for developing new care paths for patients – beyond COVID-19 needs.

Tapping into the
collective intelligence

The dashboard of collective intelligence, made available by the Caring team, allows Roche to share knowledge across the organization, across levels, and across geographies. The program’s success is greatly founded on that intelligence tool itself, which offered full disclosure on which affiliates are confronted with which pain points, who’s experimenting with which potential solution, and which affiliate has overcome a specific challenge and in which way. 

Transparency through information and lesson sharing has given the project much momentum. The Caring Program is further working on ways to better analyse and decode key lessons to reap the resource’s full benefits and leverage the possibility of market scale up.

Notwithstanding, the act of bringing affiliates together through an organized team itself has an impact. Knowledge sharing across networks, understanding and comparing projects, identifying synergies and the fusing of all these together is a crucial element to meaningful innovation. Roche not only brings diligence and precision to the table, but also a concrete understanding of business models and their viability for innovation, in addition to its great appeal as identified by the partners around the table.

Promising results from across the world

The inspiration tours were a big hit that recorded tangible impact through showcasing to affiliates exactly how people around the world are already tackling challenges through innovative solutions. Finally, the experimentation framework which the Caring Program set up, is beginning to bear fruit.

Board of Innovation helped Roche design the Caring Program from the solution ideation stage, through to scaling, and is currently focused on driving and coaching various innovation initiatives in different affiliates, such as in Switzerland, Canada, Thailand, Israel, Finland and France. Board of Innovation is helping affiliates achieve tangible business results through real world validation; and solving challenges that are specific to each market.

Some early results are coming from Finland, which is now testing feasibility and sustainability of an Avatar to provide the much-needed psychological support for breast cancer patients. France, Switzerland and Canada, on the other hand, are focusing on creating a stronger healthcare community through pilot projects across multiple segments, and optimizing healthcare processes for caregiving stakeholders. All these partnerships showcase the promising execution of Caring in helping these initiatives be structured and scaled.

"The mission and vision for Caring is to deliver quadruple value: for the patient, for Roche, for the partners, and for the ecosystem"

Kristin Zaki, Caring team / Development Excellence leader at Roche

What's next
for Caring

Looking to the future, Caring will focus on commissioning and accelerating high-potential experiments that are in the pipeline and introducing experiments that explore the business viability of proposed solutions, to ensure that more impactful innovations hit the market faster than ever before.

Caring is an ambitious project that’s bent on playing a pivotal role in the future innovation landscape, with a strong acceleration mindset – and complete with expertise and the mindset to kill projects that might not deliver the intended impact through evidence-based decision making. Having a tangible, innovation-driven impact on patients, partners and the healthcare ecosystem is the way of the future. And that’s exactly what the Caring Program is all about.

Roche x Board of Innovation projects


A global mission and collaborative platform aimed at solving major health challenges, through local and global partnerships.


Harnessing the innovation appetite and transforming it to viable business cases through several 3-month capability programs.


Board of Innovation is working with Roche across their innovation journey, transforming healthcare ecosystems with an outside-in approach and solving the unmet needs of patients.

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