Artificial Intelligence

PatchAi and Roche Italia launch virtual platform for oncology patients

Italian startup PatchAi has joined forces with pharma giant Roche to launch a digital solution for patients affected by oncological diseases.

PatchAi for Smart Health Companion (SHC) embeds a virtual assistant which engages patients through empathic conversations using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

Following a pilot of the platform in July last year, it is now available to all public and private players in the health sector.

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SHC delivers the Roche patient support programme for patients with haemato-oncological conditions in Italy.

The solution aims to improve self-management of health conditions with features such as tracking and sharing daily diaries, managing adherence and generating real world evidence via conversational reported outcomes (Co-PRO®). Insights are collected and analysed to improve patients’ experience, clinicians’ workflows and support care delivery. 


PatchAI and Roche hope to drive digital transformation of healthcare in Italy, paving the way in facilitating health system sustainability and optimising healthcare delivery by ensuring patient engagement. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Italian Association of Medical Oncology (AIOM) reported a 30% drop in first visits for diagnosis and a 36% drop in physical visits.

With the adoption of SHC, healthcare professionals can assist their patients in real time through video-consultations and collect health data.

Preliminary data on patients enrolled in Clinical Research using PatchAi platform shows a protocol adherence of up to 95%, which is up to nine times higher than paper-based solutions.


Earlier this year PatchAi closed a €1.7 million round, will allow the firm to expand its business to other therapeutic areas and scale internationally. According to a recent report by Dealroom, it is one of only five Italian startups in the health tech industry to raise €5.2 million in investment collectively.

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Meanwhile, Roche recently added remote monitoring to its diabetes care platform, which allows doctors to enrol patients and personalise the experience.


Elia Ganzi, integrated customer management director at Roche Italia, said: “Together with many public and private partners in the health ecosystem, we envisioned a solution enabling significant improvements in oncology and haematology care pathways. Our efforts led to SHC, the first digital health solution registered as a medical device and fully personalised for oncology and haematology patients in Italy.

“The evidence collected show the capacity to consolidate more experiential and clinical value for the patient with a positive contribution to the healthcare system sustainability.”

Alessandro Monterosso, PatchAi CEO and cofounder, said: “With this major achievement, we will work towards playing an active role in redefining and revolutionising patient engagement within digital healthcare. To enable the transformation of the current health systems, we will be helping medical teams in rapidly and efficiently supporting patients and translate ‘patient centricity’ into programmes that demonstrate their reliability and effectiveness from a health-economic perspective based on data driven results.” 


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