Innovation is a critical engine of our long-term business success and a driver of our positive contribution to sustainable development.
Across Johnson & Johnson, we deliver innovation in multiple ways. In our Pharmaceutical, MedTech and Consumer Health business segments, we combine innovative technologies with leading science to generate transformational solutions across the spectrum of healthcare (see section: Healthcare Innovation). Throughout our global operations and supply chain, we deploy the most advanced technologies, including digital, to support our diverse healthcare portfolio, focusing on quality, reliability and efficiency in bringing our products and treatments to patients to enable better health outcomes. Equally, we advance sustainability through our many technology-driven innovations that support environmental efficiencies in our global supply chain. Examples from 2022 include:
Embracing advanced technologies
We are early adopters of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) across our organization. 4IR means deploying digital technologies to make bigger and faster leaps forward in productivity, efficiency, sustainability and enhanced customer service. This approach is recognized by the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Lighthouse Network that identifies leadership in 4IR technology deployment to transform factories, value chains and business models. Of the 145 Global Lighthouse designations granted by the WEF, Johnson & Johnson is privileged to have 11 Lighthouse designations—more than any other company in the world.
Vice President, Partnership & External Supply,
Janssen Supply Chain
Johnson & Johnson Lighthouse Designations
(as of March 2023)
Cork, Ireland (2 designations)*
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
Bridgewater, New Jersey, U.S.**
* Janssen’s Cork site in Ireland was designated twice: first, in 2020, for incorporating 4IR technologies into daily manufacturing and supply chain operations, and again in 2022, for using 4IR to advance its sustainability efforts.
** Advance Case Management end-to-end business model recognized. Johnson & Johnson partners with customers to manage inventory at the point of consumption in an effort to ensure the right orthopaedic implants for the right patient at the right time.
The four most recent Johnson & Johnson sites to receive WEF Lighthouse designations for adopting 4IR technologies are as follows:
- Janssen, Cork, Ireland: Received a Sustainability designation for the use of adaptive process controls to automatically adjust the chiller system for faultless operation and built a digital twin chiller loop that connects the plant with its energy provider, allowing it to share and monitor a single source of data to dramatically reduce the site’s carbon footprint.
- Janssen, Latina, Italy: Deployed a streamlined continuous manufacturing line, which is fully automated and digitally connected to a similar “mirror line” located in the Janssen R&D plant in Beerse, Belgium. The twin lines—connected by sensors, big data and digital analytics—enable the quick and seamless transfer of products from R&D to manufacturing, greatly accelerating time to market, as well as improving product process time and efficiency.
- Consumer Health, Bangkok, Thailand: Adopted AI in quality inspections on LISTERINE filling lines, replacing a manual inspection process. New AI modules on all filling lines learn the visual differences in bottle quality, enabling automatic identification of defective bottles to speed up the production process and reduce waste. Our site can now ship LISTERINE directly from the packing line, more than halving lead times for customers.
- Consumer Health, Mulund, India: Deployed 4IR solutions such as demand sensing, smart logistics, robotics and 3D printing to improve reliability, accelerate new product introductions by 33% and enhance cost-effectiveness for customers.
Improving customer service with machine learning
We established the Janssen Track & Trace Platform to drive proactive risk management and enhance the customer experience. By using Internet of Things sensors with machine learning, we developed an industry-leading Estimated Arrival Time capability that provides customers with a 10-minute delivery window, an unprecedented level of accuracy in predicting and informing customers when shipments will arrive. This new capability is now live on the Johnson & Johnson Customer Connect website and will be a game changer for personalized medicine and time-sensitive products such as CAR-T technology-based cell therapies (see section: Pharmaceutical R&D), hospital trauma kits and gene therapies.
Revolutionizing our transportation network using real-time tools
Our implementation of a new Johnson & Johnson Global Transportation Control Tower, covering contracted inter-regional air and ocean transport and selected road transportation in our three business segments, has revolutionized transport planning efficiency, shipment visibility in transit and customer confidence in shipment status through real-time communications. The Control Tower, supported by our logistics partner, integrated hundreds of shipping sites, thousands of transportation lanes and dozens of ERP systems to form a single transport planning hub that offers several benefits, including end-to-end visibility of supply chain movements; standardized procedures for shipment booking and management; near-real time performance reporting; spend visibility and freight audit capabilities; and continuous improvements through freight optimization, improved lead times and improved response times.
Worldwide Vice President, Planning, Customer Management and Deliver,
Janssen Supply Chain
Optimizing surgical inventories using real-time data
Advance Case Management (ACM), our digitally enabled system to increase perioperative efficiency—a priority for surgery centers and hospitals—was further scaled in 2022 after two years of operation. ACM digitally integrates electronic medical records, surgical schedules and patient health information to inform a proprietary AI-driven algorithm that can accurately predict patient-specific implant and surgical instrument needs based on patient joint sizing, biometrics and surgeon preference. Using ACM, patient- and procedure-specific equipment is supplied to surgery centers and hospitals, enabling them to reduce overall J&J MedTech inventory, minimize operating room setup time and achieve other efficiencies leading to higher equipment availability alongside cost savings. ACM doubled its volume in 2022, supporting surgeons in more than 150 health systems around the U.S. and improving overall patient care.
Creating a smart Hot Room in China
At our J&J MedTech Ethicon Suzhou Plant in China, the new smart Hot Room improves production efficiency, optimizes the production environment and reduces safety risks. Ethicon employees operate the Hot Room using intelligent automation (IA) to complete hot degassing, an important process for suture production. Employees have no need to enter the room at any stage, and by using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging, they can track products end to end in real time, enabling a touchless and accurate supply chain to meet China’s growing demand for surgical sutures.
Automating new product development and launches
At J&J MedTech, IA is used to create a tailored, robotic document-drafting solution that accelerates new product launch timelines. Previously, J&J MedTech teams submitted thousands of pages of documents to regulators detailing device data and clinical study results when applying for new product authorization and, in many cases, different regulatory bodies require different data. This meant that J&J MedTech technical writers spent weeks reviewing extensive documentation to identify and collate the relevant content for regulatory submissions. With the new tool, machine learning and natural language processing are used to deconstruct documents into structured data sets that automatically populate new documents for submission, requiring only minor manual additions. This process increased efficiency, and has resulted in more concise documents—an additional advantage that reduces turnaround time for the multiple language translations required for each document.
Director, Clinical Evaluations,