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PERSPECTIVES


Roche’s Luca La Porta shares his views on new technologies, digital’s impact on providing better health outcomes and the future of IT as a business value creator.

Can you give us background information on your career?
Music was my passion and I started my career as a musician. I founded and ran a recording studio and music school – an unconventional start to a long career in IT! At the same time I studied a Science & Technology degree and in 1999 my wife introduced me to the ‘Internet revolution’ – she was working at Accenture at the time. This interested me and changed my career focus significantly. I developed a successful e-commerce solution for online orders and an innovative research solution aimed at the pharma industry with Roche as one of my clients. I joined Roche full-time in 2013 and have since managed large transformation programs in the EMEA region.

Digital technologies continue to have a significant impact on the life sciences industry, resulting in better patient outcomes. In your view, what are the major benefits that digital brings to Roche?

It primarily creates greater opportunities for customer interactions in terms of frequency and reach. A ‘one size fits all’ approach must be avoided at all costs. To be relevant, we must have tailored interactions with the customer, offering the right information at the right time. That includes health technologies and tools that support physician to patient dialogue and/or treatment. Sources with relevant content and services available 24/7 are the most popular. In my view, pharmaceutical companies have the ethical responsibility to offer the highest quality information for the diseases where they offer treatments.

What are the benefits that digital brings to your patients?
Digital provides patients with the opportunity to manage their health and wellness better. Wearable devices and mobile phones already provide a platform to collect important information useful for patients and physicians. It also provides the opportunity to monitor some diseases for example monitoring mobility in Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis patients.

“The use of molecular information and computing power also provides the opportunity to collect important information that will lead to new innovations in understanding, prevention and treatment of genetic diseases.”

The web and social platforms also offer a large amount of information to patients and their families around diagnostics, diseases and also treatment options. At Roche specifically, we have developed a data mining solution that provides content eight times faster, three times more cost effective and also translates the content to meet the requirements of different regions.

What do you believe are other important industry trends in 2017 – other than digital?
Big Data and the use of real-world data in pharma to improve clinical trials, provides one of the biggest opportunities for companies such as Roche to develop more relevant and targeted treatments. This will result in therapies that are most cost-effective and beneficial to patients. The use of molecular information and computing power also provides an opportunity to collect important information that will lead to new innovations in understanding, prevention and treatment of genetic diseases.

How do you spend your free time? Do you have any hobbies or interests?
Other than spending quality time with my wife and three daughters, I like playing chess, and music remains one of my favourite activities.