flexibility and precision. For the patient, this means less time to recover with less pain, reduced blood loss and minimised complica- tions — all of which are ultimately better out- comes. It is worth mentioning that robotic surgery

is still a burgeoning technology. We anticipate many morebreakthroughs that will potentially transformsurgery and treatment as we knowit in the future. For example, to battle lung can- cer, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has launched Monarch, a robotic technology used in diagnos- tic and therapeutic bronchoscopic procedures. By allowing doctors to reach the lungs through airways, rather than going through the chest wall, the robotic endoscope ensures the proce- dure is done in a minimally invasive way. This significantly improves the reach for sampling small peripheral lung lesions to diagnose whether they are cancerous. Building on this, researchers are taking the

technology even further so that, one day, we could use it to not just diagnose lung cancer, but also treat the cancerous lesion locally dur- ing the same procedure. Robotic surgery is just one of the many

healthcare innovations coming to the fore. Thanks to the rapid development of cutting- edge digital technologies, such as 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things and big data, more and more innovative ideas are becoming viable solutions that help put health within the reach of everyone, everywhere. AI is already used to analyse hundreds of

millions of protein structures and predict how molecules react, transforming the traditional trial-and-error process of drug discovery and bringing new life-saving drugs to patients faster. And while reading medical images dur- ing diagnosis previously took a long time and relied heavily on experience of the radiologist, big data now helps boost efficiency of medical imaging analysis while also improving consist- ency and accuracy — especially in places where high-qualitymedical resources fall short. As science and technology continue to

advance, we believe more innovative health- care solutions will emerge to benefit people all around the world.

Innovation ecosystem Writing the future of healthcare is not some- thing that can be done by a single company. To address the pressing needs of patients and doc- tors, we must form an open ecosystem to con- nect government authorities, industry players and research institutions. By working closely together, we can quickly identify promising technologies and solutions at all stages of devel- opment, and bring themto patients quicker. In China, suchanecosystemis already in the

making, thanks to increasing policy support, continuous influx of talent and funds, and exciting technology development happening at a fast pace. Contributing our resources to drive effective collaboration, J&J has established a sin-

August/September 2021 CHINA’S POPULATION IN 2020 Males Females Males CHINA’S POPULATION IN 2030 Females


CHINA’S POPULATION IN 2050 Males Females Males


Source: United Nations World Population Prospects 2019

gle point of entry open-innovation platform in Shanghai, including innovation funding and investing, incubation, R&D collaboration and acceleration, and a flexible deal structure. Take ‘JLabs@Shanghai’—the very first such

incubator in Asia-Pacific and our largest inno- vation incubator globally — as an example. We are providing more than just the combination of shared and private lab and office spaces, equipment, value-added solutions, operational support, education and business services. Since its launch in June 2019, JLabs has attracted more than 50 resident companies, which col- lectively raised more than $2bn in financing and strategic partnerships, and around one- third of the resident start-ups have successfully graduated. We are very encouraged to see the resident companies making breakthroughs in their respective areas, be it AI-powered drug dis- covery, new approaches to tackle metabolic dis- eases, or AI-based lung cancer solutions. An innovation ecosystemis especially rele-

vant in face of Covid-19. In the post-pandemic new normal, it is critical to look back at the les- sons learnt from the past year and a half. Everyone — governments, the private sector, industry associations, academia circles, indi- viduals and many others around the world — must join hands and work effectively together to find new approaches to advance today’s pub- lic health systemso that we are better prepared for global health crises of tomorrow. Weare in the earlydays of a rapidly accelerat-

ing healthcare innovation journey. But there is absolutely no doubt that by embracing transfor- mational innovation and collaboration, there is a great future ahead — a future where everyone is healthier, happier and taken care of.■

Will Song is the chairman of Johnson & Johnson China 53

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