NZ start-up Celo signs deal with Roche NZ to support new Smart Oncology Network

Better outcomes for cancer patients, greater
data security and improved communication
for oncology teams across New Zealand are
expected from an Innovation Partnership
deal between New Zealand healthcare
technology start-up, Celo and Roche NZ.
The deal will facilitate the introduction of
the unique Celo healthcare secure messaging
platform (Celo App) to research and clinical
professionals, including GPs and nurses,
active in the oncology field. The app will
support the Smart Oncology Network
(SONet) Celo-powered digital platform.
The SONet project is a collaboration
between the New Zealand Society for
Oncology (NZNO), Roche NZ and Celo.
Under the Innovation Partnership, Roche
NZ will make the Celo App available free for
some NZSO members to pilot this year.
“NZSO is made up of NZ innovators trying
to improve cancer outcomes. So, it made
sense to partner with Celo, who are NZ
innovators trying to improve the way we
communicate,” says Dr Ben Lawrence,
medical oncologist and President of NZSO.
“Modern cancer research is conducted by
multidisciplinary teams of clinicians and
scientists spread across our country. We need
a tool that enables us to communicate to the
whole team in real-time, and still keep each
patient’s data 100 percent safe.”
Celo, a recent finalist in the 2017 New
Zealand Health IT Innovation Awards,
supplies healthcare-grade, encrypted,
14 14 industry-compliant secure and real-time
messaging for healthcare. The Celo App has
been developed by healthcare professionals
from the ground up and has been specially
designed for easy use in a clinical setting.
Users of the Celo App can communicate
with each other, send documents and
photographs, and safely share patient details
within a secure, encrypted, New Zealand
Ministry of Health-approved, digital network.
Early in 2017, the New Zealand Society for
Oncology asked industry stakeholders to
come up with new ways to leverage the
outputs of New Zealand cancer research
groups. In response, Roche NZ explored the
potential for digital communication.
Dr Stuart Ryan, Medical Manager Roche
NZ says, “Digital communication is the way
of the future and is ubiquitous in our private
lives. However, personal, internet-based
messaging and email services pose special
risks when patient health information is
being discussed or exchanged. And people
rightly expect high levels of data protection.
“It is acknowledged that the multidisciplinary
team is the best way to achieve
the best outcomes for patients. Therefore, a
digital tool that improves communication
between oncologists and members of their
translational research teams can deliver high
value. After extensive research, we felt Celo
was best suited to provide this service.”
“Celo can truly connect a multi-disciplinary
clinical team and allow collaboration safely
and securely without interrupting clinical
workflow or having to meet face-to-face,”
says Celo CEO StephenVlok.
Mr Vlok adds that District Health Boards in
New Zealand may also join Celo and provide
secure communication for their clinicians to
immediately reduce the current risk of
patient information, including images, being
exchanged on personal phones.
A keen supporter and innovation partner,
Canterbury District Health Board, was the
first public health provider to join the Celo
network in late 2015.