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Roche displays its latest technologies at IDF 2019

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In India, Roche is mainly looking at launching India specific products and also engaging in partnerships that will earn them market leadership By Raelene Kambli

According to the International Federation of Diabetes, in the last few years African countries ( 156 per cent )and East Asia (84 per cent) countries have had the maximum jump in the number of people living with diabetes. India is one of the top countries with the maximum rise.

According to the IDF, India is home to approx 77 million people living with diabetes. Experts are of the opinion that curbing diabetes is getting wayward. The need of the hour is to build diagnostics and treatment strategies that can facilitate healthcare providers and patients to manage diabetes and avoid complications associated with the condition. Therefore, this year’s IDF conclave in Busan, South Korea focussed on designing effective strategies and technologies to diabetes management.

Leading diabetes medtech players diaplayed their latest technologies at IDF 2019
Some innovative diabetes management equipment on display

The IDF 2019 offered a global platform to discuss a broad range of diabetes issues, from latest scientific advances to cutting-edge information on education, diabetes care, advocacy and awareness. Participants include physicians, scientists, nurses, educators and other healthcare professionals, as well as government representatives from various countries, policy makers, people with diabetes and patient groups, IDF members and media.

Over 12,000 delegates from 180 countries were present at the IDF this year. Most people present at the conclave spoke about technologies that could help detect diabetes early and assist patients in daily managing the disease. Many diabetes management apps were reviewed and several research papers were presented.

Major equipment players showcased their latest technologies at the exhibition. Companies such as MSD, Roche Diabetes, Abbott, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly etc., exhibited their latest innovations in diabetes management. Roche displayed its ACCU-CHEK® SugarView, Accu Chek® Solo, RocheDiabetes Care platform and Eversense products.

On the sidelines, Roche Diabetes also conducted a panel discussion and a session that discussed future needs and technologies for diabetes management. Some of these technologies were also on display at the exhibition. The panellists for the discussion were Dr Rolf Hinzmann (Head of Global Medical and Scientific Affairs Glucose Monitoring and Science); Dr Julia Mader (Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Medical University of Graz, Austria) and Tommy Kim (Head of Roche Diabetes Care, Korea).


Fact File

  • Approximately 463 million adults (20-79 years) are living with diabetes; by 2045 this will rise to 700 million
  • The proportion of people with type 2 diabetes is increasing in most countries
  • 79 per cent of adults with diabetes were living in low – and middle-income countries
  • The greatest number of people with diabetes were between 40 and 59 years of age
  • One in two (232 million) people with diabetes were undiagnosed
  • Diabetes caused 4.2 million deaths
  • Diabetes caused at least $760 billion in health expenditure in 2019 – 10 per cent of total spending on adults
  • More than 1.1 million children and adolescents are living with type 1 diabetes
  • More than 20 million live births (one in six births) are affected by diabetes during pregnancy
  • 374 million people are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes

Dr Hinzmann spoke about the growing need to focus on effective strategies for diabetes management. He also spoke about the growing market for blood glucose monitoring systems, Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems and insulin delivery systems market. Further on, he highlighted certain pre-requisites for developing diabetes apps that can ensure effective medical outcomes. He also spoke about Roche’s holistic approach to diabetes management that involves providing an integrated personalised service for patients, caregivers and healthcare providers. He said that iPDM has some clear benefits. It is economical sound medical concept with short and long term benefits for both patients and providers. “Roche’s Diabetes Care’s open ecosystem is a powerful enabler of iPDM and we are committed to build and deliver the best value to our customers and our partners”, said Dr Hinzmann. Speaking about data security and patient privacy, he pointed out that the company has kept data security and privacy as a top priority and has developed its solutions maintaining international standards.


Roche’s technology platform at IDF 2019

1. Their ACCU-CHEK® SugarView which is developed for people with type 2 diabetes and not on insulin or sulfonylureas is currently undergoing a pre-launch preview in India. This application is also available in Nigeria, Mexico, Philippines and Pakistan.
2. Roche’s Accu Chek® Solo micropump system was also on display at the exhibition. The insulin pump therapy system focusses on a targeted diabetes management. The product was officially launched in 2018 and is currently available in many countries but yet to be launched in the most affected countries of the world- India and China.
3. RocheDiabetes Care platform launched in March 2019 is currently, the platform is available in Philippines, Spain, Portugal, France and Brazil.
4. Eversense Continuous Glucose Monitoring System offers a long-term continuous glucose monitor for long-term management of diabetes. The product is the brainchild of the US based medical technology company Senseonics that has extended the distribution agreement of Eversense with Roche Diabetes Care till 2021. Under terms of the extended agreement, Roche is playing its role as Senseonics exclusive distributor in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, excluding Scandinavia and Israel. In addition, the agreement has been expanded to provide Roche with exclusive distribution rights in 17 additional countries, including Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as select markets in Asia Pacific and Latin American regions.


Dr Julia Mader (Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetology, Medical University of Graz, Austria) gave an overview of the significance of iPDM from a patient perspective. Tommy Kim (Head of Roche Diabetes Care, Korea) spoke about Roche’s strategy for the Korean market and how the company is looking at partnerships for further expansions of their services.

Roche Diabetes is currently focussing on the Asian market by introducing some of their latest technologies and has some country specific plans to expand their market share. In India, it is mainly looking at launching India specific products and also engaging in partnerships that will earn them a market leadership. (Read below: Roche Diabetes’s India market strategy).


Roche Diabetes market strategy

How important is the Indian healthcare market for Roche?
India is home to approx. 77 million people grappling with diabetes, so we have the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to provide true relief to people with diabetes, which is our purpose at Roche. Globally for Roche Diabetes Care, India is among the top 10 markets.

What is Roche diabetes’s India market share?
We are large players in the niche BGM category. However our communication policies do not allow disclosure of market share.

Tell us about Roche’s Indian specific plans for 2020 and beyond? Any new products to be launched?
2020 is a very exciting year for us at Roche Diabetes Care, India. Working on our strategy of Integrated Personalised Diabetes Management (IPDM) we will introduce several solutions of a combined physical and digital nature which will allow HCPs and people with diabetes gain better control of the condition.

Roche is also doing a pilot project in India. Can you share more details on the same.
We have conducted a pre-launch preview for one of our digital offerings in Q1’19 for HCPs captured HCP feedback and user experience. The next step is to gather real world evidence. Once that is done, we will be ready to communicate our findings.

What kind of partnership does Roche have in the diabetes management system space?
Under the brand Accu-Chek® and in collaboration with partners, Roche Diabetes Care creates value by providing integrated solutions to monitor glucose levels, deliver insulin and track as well as contextualise relevant data points for a successful therapy. By establishing a leading open ecosystem, connected devices, digital solutions, we will enable optimal personalised diabetes management and thus improve therapy outcomes. Since 2017, mySugr with its world-leading mobile diabetes management app and services is part of Roche Diabetes Care.

On October 30, 2018, RDC India announced its cooperation with the digital health company Wellthy Therapeutics to offer users of the Accu-Chek Active system an innovative artificial intelligence-based digital diabetes coaching solution. Being a leader in diabetes management solutions worldwide, Roche expanded its integrated diabetes management offering through the collaboration with Wellthy Therapeutics. The joint offering of the two companies will encompass the trusted Accu-Chek Active blood glucose meter and the Wellthy Care app to new users. The bundle was launched in the South and West Zones of India.

We believe with the new technological interventions like connected devices and applications like mySugr, and Wellthy, healthcare professionals will not only be able to monitor progress but also take informed decisions to further improve control in diabetes.

How does Roche Diabetes work with start-ups?
Our philosophy revolves around the patient. The patient is at the centre of our strategy. There are too many things to address around the patient today for any one company to do alone and hence partnerships with like minded industry partners, start-ups or otherwise, will be crucial as well to bring about the change.

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