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March 2nd, 2008

Going to California

By Marc

I’m lighting out for the territory on Monday for the Health 2.0 meeting in San Diego — and will hopefully arrive in time to join the reception we are hosting that evening.

I’m excited about the event, which will provide yet another opportunity to discuss how new online tools and approaches can be applied to healthcare. It’s pretty timely as last week Google unveiled its own offering to help people manage their personal health data and information. With it, they join Microsoft, who last year launched its Healthvault platform.

Despite the promise of these approaches, according to the WSJ, they both seem to face an uphill battle:

So far, consumers have been slow to make use of services that allow them to set up personal
health records, partly because of concerns about online privacy. Limiting the usefulness of these services, only a small percentage — 14% — of U.S. medical practices keep records electronically, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The HHS is targeting 50% adoption by medical practitioners by 2014.

Once again, the question seems to be, if you build it, will they come? What’s intriguing about this week’s meeting is that Matthew and Indu hope to get users — patients and physicians — on stage to talk about what they are looking for from these tools.

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November 21st, 2007

So… what’s with the ear horn?

Since I started blogging in June, I’ve been learning a lot about the art of conversation. While I’ve been trying to find my voice to offer perspective on stories, I’m also hearing a lot from people who either agree with or disagree with me. I often feel like I’ve just crashed a cocktail party — as I barge into some fascinating conversations that have been going on for a while without me, I sometimes find that I not only have something to add but can also leave with some useful nugget from that conversation to use elsewhere.

I’m not alone — and talking to my historian colleague Margaret, I get the impression that this really isn’t all that new. When Johnson & Johnson started back in 1886, conversations occurred all the time between the company, its customers and the community. We’ve both found that blogs can be a way for us to go back to the future to reengage with people and hear what we’ve been missing. And I’m delighted to have been joined by some of my colleagues at Johnson & Johnson in more recent postings on JNJBTW.

Alas. Though we’re trying, we still have to get better at listening.

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September 25th, 2007

Sharing the Learning Curve

I have only been a part of Johnson & Johnson since the beginning of the year, and so I get questions from my friends and family all the time about what it is like now to be working at Johnson & Johnson, “the baby company.” This question is usually followed by a request for baby lotions, beauty products or Band-Aid Brand adhesive bandages.

It can be a steep learning curve coming into Johnson & Johnson and getting up to speed on its many businesses, but as I learn things I hope to share some of my observations with you. I want to provide a voice on JNJBTW that brings a bit of an “outsider’s” perspective.

Johnson & Johnson is no different than most companies in the fact it faces sizable business challenges every day. For example, as a health care company with a pharmaceuticals business, we have to deal with how to replace significant revenues from drugs that will be going off patent and how to handle unprecedented reimbursement challenges for drugs like erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (speaking of my learning curve…).

There is a healthy curiosity and a natural skepticism in the marketplace about how companies, including Johnson & Johnson, can overcome such challenges.

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February 5th, 2016

A Blizzard of Ideas at a Hackathon for Health

Hackathon for Health

Winter Storm Jonas paralyzed much of the East Coast of the U.S. on the weekend of January 22nd. But there was an even bigger blizzard taking place at the Penn campus that weekend: a blizzard of ideas.

The PennApps XIII Hackathon is the nation’s first student run college hackathon, and this year it included approximately 1200 participants from 133 colleges, 31 states, and 13 countries. These students came together for a marathon weekend to compete, ideate and exercise a vast array of technical skills. Our R&D Digital Solutions team at Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Care Companies (JJDCC) was proud to be the lead sponsor of the healthcare track. Now to be clear, a “hackathon” refers to the good kind of hacking, not the malicious kind. In this context, hacking means coming up with rapid, clever and even unexpected solutions to important challenges.

So, why is a diabetes company sponsoring a college hackathon? It’s part of our R&D effort to stimulate innovation by tapping into top academic institutions and their on-campus innovation efforts.  Hackathons provide an opportunity for our team members to gain exposure to new ideas, creative thinking from young minds, and lead us to think about our toughest challenges in new ways.  In the process, our team of engineers also gets to build critical mentoring skills as they help the students understand more about diabetes, and the technologies we use to build digital solutions for managing it.

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February 4th, 2016


A Partnership 75 Years in the Making: Why We’re So Proud to Be Saluting the USO

By Susan Can, Senior Director, Global Corporate Equity and Partnerships, Johnson & Johnson

This week, one of our partners celebrates a significant milestone: The United Service Organizations (USO) is turning 75.

It was on the eve of World War II that President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the USO as an organization that would support active military service members on the frontlines by doing things like assembling holiday care packages—while also comforting their family members back on the home front.

And for over 70 years, the USO has delivered on its mission. Through war and peace time. From the moment someone first dons a uniform to the day that person retires and transitions back to civilian life.

So I couldn’t be prouder for Johnson & Johnson to partner closely with the USO in advancing their mission of connecting service members to family, home and country.

In 2014, Johnson & Johnson became the official healthcare partner of the USO, whose guiding principles dovetail with our own long-standing commitment of caring for service members and their families.

Just like the USO, J&J has a long history of supporting and hiring veterans as far back as the Spanish American War. Veterans like employee Vincent Utz, who earned a Purple Heart for the bravery he displayed in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II.

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February 3rd, 2016


The Importance of Investing in Better Health

By Ashoke Bhattacharjya, PhD, Executive Director of Global Health Policy at Johnson & Johnson

Around the world, strategic investments in health not only deliver better health and improve well-being for more people, but also bolster economies, create jobs, and enhance personal productivity. In other words, investing in health is a vital economic and societal catalyst.

In December, I had the privilege of participating in a panel discussion on this very topic, focused on the role of health care investments in social and economic development – hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and featuring a mix of high-level policymakers, industry stakeholders, academics and business leaders.

The symbiotic relationship among health, development, and stability was a central topic of discussion during the panel – and one that I examined closely in a white paper I recently co-authored with Precision Health Economics, An Examination of the Literature on the Impact of Health on Development: Assessing the Economic and Societal Yield of Investments in Health Care. The research we conducted found a strong relationship between improvements in health and potential economic and social gains. However, converting this potential into realized gains is dependent on the presence of what we refer to as “translational institutions” – social or economic institutions essential for turning health gains into productivity and welfare gains, such as educational opportunities, access to open markets, vital infrastructure and transportation.

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February 1st, 2016

J&J Hosts Eating Disorder Leadership Summit

On January 15, 2016, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Neuroscience hosted the first-ever leadership summit on eating disorders, a meeting of diverse leaders from the U.S. eating disorder community with the goal of finding ways to unite forces in order to better serve patients and their families.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality of any mental illness, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, due to the strain on the body, the frequent comorbidity with mood disorders, and a high suicide rate. The prevalence of eating disorders has grown in recent years across all social classes and countries, says the NIH. They are more common than Alzheimers’ and autism, more deadly than drunk driving, and more costly than depression and anxiety. Like other mental illnesses, they have an impact beyond the patient to the whole family and to the communities in which they live and the organizations in which they work.

However, stigma and low public awareness around this group of diseases remains a problem, research is poorly funded, and insurance coverage and treatment options are inadequate.

A key factor behind the lack of progress is that the eating disorder community is fragmented and does not speak with a single, commanding voice, nor does it have an agreed-upon common strategy.

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January 25th, 2016

Credo-Based Project Leads to Innovative Ideas to Help the People of Ghana

In the first of our two-part series, we followed our Consumer employees Aimee Sealfon and Michael Moscherosch in Rwanda as they assisted in designing sustainable solutions for sanitary protection products. Now, we travel with them to Ghana as they partner with a team looking to turn waste into something useful and beneficial to the community.

SHE-blog-1People who live in developed countries take many things for granted. For example, it would be hard for us in the United States to envision a community where waste management is non-existent and garbage is piled up around you all day, every day. Yet this is the reality in many places in the world, like in the area of Ghana that we visited under the auspices of the Practical Impact Alliance (PIA).

The PIA was created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s D-Lab to foster shared learning and collaborative action among a network of corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social enterprises with a commitment to scaling solutions to global poverty. Johnson & Johnson is a founding member of the PIA, which is how we came to participate in the group’s co-design summit in Kumasi, Ghana.

The summit had a goal of identifying appropriate solutions for developing countries to address needs of rural communities such as education, micro-financing, farming and waste management.

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January 25th, 2016

Putting the Credo First: Helping African Communities Build a Sustainable Future

Aimee Sealfon, Director of Consumer Solutions – Baby/FemCare, at our Global Strategic Design Office, and Michael Moscherosch, Director of R&D for External Innovation, recently completed a two-week trip to Rwanda and Ghana. Their goal was to bring the Credo to life by leveraging their expertise to make a lasting difference. Today, we bring you the first of a two-part series, following them through Rwanda as they address a common challenge for women and girls.

Imagine being a woman or a girl for whom sanitary napkins are a luxury, not a commodity. That makes staying in school or holding down a job during your period challenging.

Now, imagine that the material for creating those sanitary napkins is literally all around you. That material is banana fiber — a material readily available in Rwanda where bananas are grown in abundance.

Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) is a women-led social venture in Rwanda that manufactures affordable sanitary napkins out of banana fiber, with the goal to help girls and women live more confident and comfortable lives. The New York-based non-profit social venture is hoping to create a sustainable system for this vital service, which is where Johnson & Johnson comes into play. Josh Ghaim, Chief Scientific Officer for Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc., decided to help SHE achieve their goal by offering technical support.

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January 22nd, 2016

Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance is Critical to Economic Future and Global Health

By Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson

World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland

As a physician-scientist, I am greatly concerned by the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.  The emergence of “Superbugs” and drug-resistant bacteria threatens the health of individuals, communities and economies all over the world.

Antibiotics are the backbone of modern medicine and have increased life expectancy over the decades.  While many of the “simple” microbial targets have already been identified, few new therapies have been developed and brought to market in recent years.  Safeguarding our antibiotics from inappropriate use and expanding our current arsenal is critical to preserving efficacy of treatment and combating resistance. We have not delivered on this objective.

The facts are staggering. An independent UK Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, which estimates that effective global action, the rise of drug-resistant infections could claim 10 million lives globally each year by 2050 and result in a cumulative loss from global output of 100 trillion USD.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) still remains a major public health threat globally, often occurring during hospital stays.  In the US alone, the management of hospital and healthcare-acquired infections cost the health system an estimated $10MM USD per year and drug-resistant healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) are on the rise.

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