If there’s one thing that holds true at Johnson & Johnson, it’s a legacy of caring for the world, one person at a time.
The second thing that holds true?
In order to keep that century-old legacy going strong—especially in today’s technologically advanced world—you need to keep innovating as a company.
And Johnson & Johnson is doing that—in spades.
Thanks to savvy collaborations with such top-notch companies as IBM Watson Health, and the pioneering work that its own scientists and engineers do on a daily basis, the company is poised at the forefront of advances in human-centered health care—advances like these five initiatives that have the potential to boost the well-being of people around the world.
The Innovation: Janssen Human Microbiome Institute
The Janssen Human Microbiome Institute (JHMI) was unveiled last February with the goal of studying and harnessing the potential power of the microbiome, which is the collection of bacteria and other microorganisms that naturally reside within and on each and every human.
“We believe so much in the microbiome and its role in the future of health care,” says Dirk Gevers, Ph.D., Global Head of the Janssen Human Microbiome Institute. “As the first biopharmaceutical company with an institute dedicated to its study, the JHMI is gearing up to play an important role in advancing innovative science.”
How It Could Transform Your Health: Over the past decade, as scientific understanding of the microbiome has exploded, so has interest in leveraging it to create new therapeutics and diagnostics that might not only treat diseases—from diabetes to cancer—but also potentially intercept and prevent them.
The microbiome’s promise is so great, in fact, that the institute is using an “open innovation approach” to help speed up the process of achieving health breakthroughs. So in addition to staffing JHMI with a stellar team of in-house scientists, the institute is forming partnerships with researchers and entrepreneurs across the globe to help crack the microbiome code.
The Innovation: Ethicon-Verily Collaboration
Robotic-assisted surgery uses technology to give surgeons greater control, access and accuracy with their instruments.
It’s a promising and fast-growing area of innovation, and Verb Surgical Inc.—a new collaboration between Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Company, and research company Verily Life Sciences LLC—is helping to lead the charge.
The goal: Create a comprehensive surgical solutions platform that can help advance the field of robotic-assisted surgery by combining Ethicon’s expertise in minimally invasive tools and Verily’s vast knowledge of technology.
How It Could Transform Your Health: According to Michael del Prado, Ethicon’s Company Group Chairman, the partnership will help create new opportunities to improve access to minimally invasive surgery, achieve greater hospital efficiency, and enable better patient outcomes.
“By maximizing the distinct capabilities of these two market-leading companies,” he says, “we will help improve the standard of care around the world, allowing for better decision making and improving health care delivery in the operating room.”
The Innovation: Health and Wellness Technology Accelerator
Building on its success in sourcing external innovations in the biotech space, Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions, Inc. (JJHWS), recently announced a partnership with technology accelerator Plug and Play Tech Center to create a new Health and Wellness Technology Accelerator aimed at supporting early stage companies developing technology to boost human health and well-being.
With the powerful combination of wearable devices, smartphones and artificial intelligence, we can connect the fragmented pieces of health care—the physician, hospital, payer and patient—and help that ecosystem work seamlessly.
Through the accelerator, selected companies will participate in a rigorous three-month program that includes coaching and mentorship for their founders, and that could lead to funding for the most promising ideas. And given Johnson & Johnson’s long-standing mission to support diversity and women’s representation in science and technology, at least 30% of the selected companies will be led by women and minorities.
How It Could Transform Your Health: Trying to eat better, exercise and sleep more—and stress less? The accelerator wants to help companies who can help you reach those goals.
“The pace of change and the pressures of daily life are growing every day for individuals across the world. There is a massive need to help people move from surviving to thriving,” says Lowinn Kibbey, Global Head, Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute. “By identifying novel technologies and combining these with our expertise in design thinking and clinical work in behavioral science, we can help individuals maximize their human potential to achieve their ‘best self.’ ”
The Innovation: Digital Health Partner
No one likes to spend time in a hospital. But imagine how much easier it would be if you had an online mentor who could walk you through the process of preparing for a procedure and even cheer you on through your recovery—all from your iPad® or iPhone®.
Enter your new Digital Health Partner.
It’s a new collaboration between Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions, DePuy Synthes and IBM Watson Health, which is known for its powerful analytics. Together, these partners are focused on dreaming up novel ways to provide one-on-one virtual health coaching and other personalized digital interactions for consumers and patients.
How It Could Transform Your Health: One area that Johnson & Johnson and IBM Watson Health are already focusing on: providing mobile preoperative and postoperative care to improve outcomes for patients undergoing joint replacement and spine surgeries.
“Digital health technology allows us to put the person in the center of health care,” says Stuart McGuigan, Chief Information Officer at Johnson & Johnson. “With the powerful combination of wearable devices, smartphones and artificial intelligence, we can connect the fragmented pieces of health care—the physician, hospital, payer and patient—and help that ecosystem work seamlessly.”
The Innovation: The Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Wellness for Expecting and New Moms™ App
With more than 1.8 million downloads to date, it goes without saying that The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout® App—a fast and simple science-based program designed to help peope work out anytime and anywhere—has been a hit.
Now there’s a follow-up app debuting this March for expectant moms and new mothers designed to help them manage and boost their energy based on their week of pregnancy or postnatal phase and fitness level.
How It Could Transform Your Health: “This latest 7 Minute Wellness app reflects our ongoing commitment to develop innovative and personalized solutions that make it easier for people around the world to stay healthy and live vibrant lives,” says Len Greer, president of Johnson & Johnson Health and Wellness Solutions.
Developers consulted with behavioral, exercise and medical experts—and leveraged insights from a Johnson & Johnson study conducted with 1,400 pre- and postnatal women—to include such safe, guided exercises as partial lunges and modified push-ups. And some of the postnatal moves, like the wall sit, can even be done with a newborn.
There’s also a wellness feature: mind and body sessions, guided by Jenn Lea, Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute Director of Client Training, that can help women relax and de-stress during this wonderful but often hectic time in their lives.
“We want to help moms maximize their energy,” says Greer, “so they can feel and be their best—for themselves and for those who matter most to them.”
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This article contains "forward-looking statements" as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 related to business collaborations and development of new products and technologies. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Ethicon, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies and Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: challenges and uncertainties inherent in new product and technology development, including the uncertainty of development success and obtaining regulatory approvals; the potential that the expected benefits and opportunities related to a collaboration may not be realized or may take longer to realize than expected; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; uncertainty of commercial success for new products; challenges to patents; changes to applicable laws and regulations and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 3, 2016, including in Exhibit 99 thereto, and the company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ethicon, Janssen and Johnson & Johnson do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.