In early 2020, as coronavirus disease spread and people were dying, much of the world mobilized to see what could be done to stop this monster in its tracks.
It was soon evident there would be no quick fix for what would become a global pandemic. The virus has caused nearly 5 million deaths to date, equal to the population of New Zealand. Rapid access to testing, accelerated vaccination development, masks and social distancing, however, are helping parts of the world gain better control.
What the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us is that access to fast and accurate diagnostics in all diseases is critical to patients and healthcare systems - and not just during a pandemic. It has shown us that as a global community, we can move mountains.
For Roche, it meant getting a high-volume molecular test to market in 38 days, compared to the typical timeframe of 18 months. It showed that we could accelerate development of multiple new and innovative tests and digital solutions to help us understand the SARS-CoV-2 virus and how to better contain and prevent the disease. It showed us we could ramp up our infrastructure through significant investment, allowing us to manufacture and deliver our diagnostic solutions around the world quickly.