In conjunction with implementing its Mid- to Long-term Growth Strategy starting in FY2017, Terumo established the Corporate R&D Center. The Corporate R&D function goes beyond current medical needs to look 20 to 30 years into the future and determine where to focus efforts. This is the "backcasting" approach that Terumo is using to create core technologies to support future healthcare, and to develop specific products and solutions.
With the coming of aging societies, more patients need care. Terumo has identified disease areas (healthcare fields) with high social impact—heart failure, stroke, and cancer—while anticipating the Terumo technologies and approaches (healthcare technologies) on which to focus: Minimally invasive treatment, cell therapy/regenerative medicine, and digital technology. In the areas where these healthcare fields and technologies overlap, Terumo is developing new technologies and innovative solutions.
Terumo products and services help patients only when they are used correctly by professionals in medical settings; that is when their value is truly recognized.
For this reason, Corporate R&D engineers frequently visit medical settings to communicate with healthcare professionals and carefully observe actual practices and procedures to identify critical unmet needs. Even in the product development process, proof of concept and prototype evaluation are performed in close collaboration with healthcare professionals.
After product launches, Terumo provides training to ensure proper product use. In that process, Terumo works with healthcare professionals to jointly develop training programs, incorporating lessons and findings from trainings into future research and development. This cycle of value creation, dissemination, and evolution enables faster innovation that contributes to daily practice all over the world.
When developing solutions to resolve the unmet needs found in medical settings, it is vital to take an open innovation approach using not only internal technologies, but also external technologies and resources. Terumo collaborates with universities, hospitals, and companies throughout the world and takes on challenges to create new value beyond single areas of expertise or capabilities.
Since the inception of the Corporate R&D Center in 2017, it has widely applied "Biodesign" approach —a method developed by Stanford University to collaborate across medical, engineering, and business fields—in training R&D personnel and in actual medical device development processes.
Due to the nature of medical devices, Terumo has historically been proactive to incorporate diverse technologies into medical device development and deliver them to medical settings. As innovation accelerates globally, Terumo seeks out essential needs that exist where medical care is given, and enhances its knowledge through open innovation, in pursuing the technologies that will contribute to medical settings and patients into the future.