Barely 18 months ago, Roche was in a position familiar to many of its big-pharma brethren. While it acknowledged the importance of digital programs in revolutionizing patient care, it was, in truth, a long way from making the dream a reality. Indeed, it boasted only a handful of disparate, unconnected, sometimes- overlapping digital initiatives.
Then along came Darine Ghanem and everything changed. As head of scientific communications excellence, she first assembled a cross-disciplinary team to educate the company on the potential of digital health. Then, after developing a clear and unified digital health strategy, she built up Roche’s internal digital capabilities, including a digital health lexicon, a strategic framework, a steering committee, and a seminar series.
Ghanem now leads a variety of digital pilots across several therapeutic areas that address the unmet needs of patients and providers.
“Digital health enables more personalized care, better decisionmaking, stronger connectivity with customers, and more advanced data-driven innovations,” she says. “Pharma has the opportunity to partner with HCPs, patients, and payers to build integrated solutions beyond just medicine.”
Ghanem has been with Roche for eight years, and her group is based with medical affairs in Basel, Switzerland. She is a research pharmacist by training and fluent in French, Spanish, German, Italian, English, and Arabic. In November 2016, Roche presented Ghanem with its Medical Affairs Excellence Award in recognition of her work.
“With her quick-minded and innovative spirit, she has paved the path for our future,” says Ghanem’s supervisor, Rebecca Vermullen, head, customer strategy, global medical affairs, Roche, “creating a framework that clearly identified opportunities where we can make a difference.”