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Discovering the Long-Lasting Benefits of Digital Tools Beyond the Pandemic

September 28, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many of us and continues to force us to adapt to the ‘new normal’ in both our professional and personal lives. All over the world, we have seen examples of where the pandemic has accelerated our adaption and application of novel digital solutions and technologies to help us adapt to the ‘new normal’. At Takeda, we are looking beyond the science at how our colleagues have adapted whilst they continue to deliver on our commitment to serve patients.

Meet Mari Takahashi! Mari is the Osaka site digital lead and manages projects that incorporate the latest technologies, including virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence and big data processing. Her role is to help our manufacturing facility become a leader in quality and efficiency and to make sure we deliver our products to patients in an agile and reliable manner.

We asked Mari to answer a few questions and share how she has been adapting to the ‘new normal’ throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is your greatest challenge at the moment? How are you addressing it?

On one of the projects I was involved in, we had planned an onsite technical investigation in Canada - that's no longer possible. Instead of the onsite technical investigation, we introduced a virtual reality system to view facility design remotely. We also proposed an augmented reality-enabled teleconferencing system to improve remote communication and design accuracy.

What’s something positive you’ve experienced in this “new normal”?

We’ve found that a lot of our meetings and on-site technical investigations can be done remotely with the support of digital tools. I hope that even after the outbreak is over, I’ll continue to use these tools and work from home more as my new normal. If we adapt well to working from home, we have the advantage of increasing our private time. It would take me much less time to get to my daughter’s nursery school and I wouldn’t need to commute.

At the same time, this situation has taught me the importance of face-to-face communication. Some things can’t be completely replaced by remote technology – not only in manufacturing, but also in other operations. From now on, I hope to work effectively both remotely and face-to-face and to make the most of valuable opportunities to work with colleagues in person.