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Girls Takeover 2021 – Judge Alessandra Sinibaldi talks empathy, innovation and collaboration

Girls Takeover 2021 – Judge Alessandra Sinibaldi talks empathy, innovation and collaboration

To celebrate International Day of the Girl, Janssen EMEA was proud to partner with Deloitte, supporting their Girls Take Over, a Virtual Design Thinking Workshop attracting over 100 young women aged 18-23. The team from Janssen constructed one of the four challenges that were posed to the girls: how to improve patients and families support once they receive a cancer diagnosis. Designed to provoke fresh thinking and perspectives, the winning team devised a multifaceted app for patients that assesses and tracks their emotional needs, connects them to other patients and provides them with medical support and advice.

Reflections from the judges

Today in the pharma industry there are many patient engagement projects, apps and platforms dedicated to patients living with a disease. The most important aspect in this type of initiative - and in support programs - is the ability to ‘go beyond the disease’, which means taking care of the patient from a 360-degree point of view; from psychological to social and clinical support, up to covering the most practical things in daily management, and paying particular attention to the delicate role that their caregivers also provide.

What impressed me most in the projects conceived during the hackathon was precisely that the young participants had, with very limited time, intuited this very important element, without forgetting that a person who faces disease is experiencing a complex, dramatic and often extremely difficult situation.

The ability to ask, ‘What does this person need?’ demonstrates a very high degree of empathy, a quality that I see increasingly strong in the new generations: as a mother of two teenage daughters I can only feel proud of this strong sensitivity shown by their peers, combined with extraordinary creativity.

I also feel confident about the future: empathy is an increasingly precious skill for everyone, for society and also for a health industry that can be increasingly collaborative and inclusive, able to listen to everyone's voice, starting with patients’.

These girls really moved me also with their enthusiasm, confidence, competence and the passion with which they were able to give voice to their ideas.

I would like to add one last point: the strong focus on values did not allow for the backbone of their ideas to be overshadowed. The winning team also stood out for the level of detail of the mock-ups it produced, in a very short design time. Seeing the app the girls worked on presented, already sketched out in all its functions and sections, allowed us to imagine it already being used by target patients. It seemed ready for use: well done!

So congratulations, and indeed a warm thank you, to all the organisers of the event who made this extraordinary meeting of minds and hearts possible!