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 NZ 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 launched this month.
The SONet project is a collaboration between the New Zealand Society for Oncology (NZSO), 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
Celo, a recent finalist in the 2017 New Zealand Health IT Innovation Awards, supplies healthcare-grade, encrypted,
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, NZ Ministry of Health-approved, digital network.
Early in 2017, NZSO asked industry stakeholders to come up with new ways to leverage the outputs of NZ cancer research
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.”
Dr Ryan adds, “It is acknowledged that the multi-disciplinary 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 Steve Vlok.
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
A keen supporter and innovation partner, Canterbury District Health Board, was the first public health provider to join
the Celo network in late 2015.
To learn more visit www.celohealth.com
Photo caption: From left to right: Dr Stuart Ryan, Dr Ben Lawrence, Mr Stephen Vlok, Mr Robert King (Senior Software Developer -
Celo). High res photo available from Brenda Saunders.
The New Zealand Society for Oncology (NZSO) is the national professional body for career scientists and clinicians
working in the field of cancer.
F. Hoffmann-La Roche & Co. was founded in 1896 in Basel, Switzerland and is the parent company of Roche Products (New Zealand) Ltd (Roche NZ)
which started operating in NZ in 1973. The current Roche NZ team of 30 dedicated employees has the primary goal of
facilitating New Zealanders’ access to innovative medicines. As a leading developer of cancer medicines, Roche NZ is
proud of its collaboration with NZSO.