TOKYO, Sep 12, 2023 – (JCN Newswire) – Aflac Life Insurance Japan Ltd. (“Aflac”), Hitachi, Ltd. (“Hitachi”), and GlobalLogic Japan, Ltd. (“GlobalLogic”)(1) start full-scale collaboration to establish a Cancer Ecosystem(2) (“Workplace Cancer Ecosystem”) to provide comprehensive support for employees and their families facing societal issues surrounding cancer.
The three companies have been working together since December 2022 on a project at Hitachi’s workplace for preliminary study. Responding to Aflac’s concept of a ” Workplace Cancer Ecosystem”, the three parties used GlobalLogic’s design-led digital engineering*3 to conduct interviews and workshops with employees affected by cancer to identify areas of insufficient support in the existing system from the perspective of the employees themselves. Based on that, the team consolidated the desired direction and goals, and proposed initiative ideas to realize them.
Moving forward, Aflac, Hitachi and GlobalLogic will accelerate this co-creation and conduct full-scale verification for the feasibility of each idea toward the establishment of the ” Workplace Cancer Ecosystem” that accompanies employees who have experienced cancer, providing support throughout the survivor journey before and after having cancer.
Background of Co-creation
The probability of a Japanese person being diagnosed with cancer in his or her lifetime is approximately one in two(4). It is an important initiative for companies to support their employees in their fight against cancer because the company is where people spend most of their adult life. It not only contributes to realizing one’s own way of life while fighting cancer, but also helps to secure the workforce by reducing employee turnover and temporary leave due to the disease.
On the other hand, according to a survey conducted by the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, approximately 57.4% of the respondents(5) stated that “it is difficult to balance work and cancer treatment” due to insufficient company support in health care initiatives and systems, as well as low recognition and utilization of the initiatives by employees themselves. Support for patients in the workplace is becoming a significant challenge.
Aflac has formulated a mid-term management strategy (2022-2024)(6) under the slogan “Aflac VISION2024” toward 2024, the 50th anniversary of operations in Japan, with the aim of leaping forward to become the leading company in creating “Living in your own way.” In order to implement one of the strategies (“Creating living in your own way ecosystem strategy”), Aflac is building a “Cancer Ecosystem,” a large system to comprehensively resolve societal issues related to cancer, through collaboration and cooperation among various stakeholders, including workplaces, schools, patient groups, NPOs, corporations, and government organizations.
Hitachi is promoting social innovation businesses to resolve societal issues together with customers, leveraging digital technologies empowered by Lumada(7) globally. Also, Hitachi has built an ecosystem based on Lumada that enables collaboration with a wide range of partners, and is innovating through co-creation by multiple companies and organizations to address a variety of societal issues.
As a co-creation project integrating Aflac’s “Cancer Ecosystem” and Hitachi’s Lumada ecosystem, the three companies aim to establish a “Workplace Cancer Ecosystem” in which companies take the initiative in providing comprehensive, mid- to long-term support for employees with cancer at Hitachi’s workplace.
Overview of Previous Initiatives
The three companies have promoted a project to conduct a preliminary study using Hitachi’s workplace as a field to understand the current issues in the workplace. Combining the insights of Aflac, a pioneer in cancer insurance and the longest-standing insurance company dealing with cancer in Japan, and the knowledge of Hitachi and GlobalLogic in advanced case studies and methods for creating new services based on design thinking, the team examined the functions required for the “Workplace Cancer Ecosystem” and the stakeholders that should be engaged for the realization.
Specifically, interviews were conducted with Hitachi employees, including those who have experienced cancer, to identify gaps between expectation and reality, in terms of cancer experience, health awareness, and utilization of internal systems. Based on the results, Aflac, Hitachi, and GlobalLogic gathered at Lumada Innovation Hub Tokyo*8, Hitachi’s co-creation base, and held several workshops to discuss “ideal state” ideas. Using GlobalLogic’s design thinking, which has revolutionized the user experience of services and products of many major global companies, the team created a survivor journey of personas derived from various employee surveys, while referring to the current support details of internal systems. In addition, they thoroughly identified issues that had not been considered sufficiently from the perspective of the end user (employees), and examined the direction of the desired state and discussed 20 ideas to resolve the issues.
(1) GlobalLogic Japan: The Japanese subsidiary of GlobalLogic, a digital engineering services company headquartered in Silicon Valley, which was acquired by Hitachi, Ltd. in July 2021.
(2) A mechanism for various stakeholders to cooperate and collaborate to comprehensively resolve societal issues related to cancer.
(3) GlobalLogic’s design-led digital engineering: GlobalLogic’s unique way to explore innovation ideas that satisfy users’ desirability, business viability, and technical feasibility through design thinking, and to realize the ideas with digital technologies in an agile way.
(4) Source: Center Information Service, National Cancer Center, Japan
(5) Source: Cabinet Office (https://survey.gov-online.go.jp/r01/r01-gantaisaku/index.html)
(6) Aflac’s web site: Medium-term management strategy for leaping forward to become the leading company in creating “Living in your own way.” (2022-2024) www.aflac.co.jp/corp/value/strategy/
(7) Lumada is Hitachi’s advanced digital solutions, services, and technologies for turning data into insights to drive digital innovation.
(8) Hitachi’s co-creation base which activates value creation by connecting cross-industry stakeholders and deploying their knowledge and ideas to stimulate value creation.
In the future, based on the 20 ideas derived from the preliminary project, the three parties will strive for the implementation and deployment within Hitachi’s workplace, while also progressing with the refinement and validation of ideas with an eye towards extending them to other companies, areas, and to the entire society. With a target of achieving the “Workplace Cancer Ecosystem” by the year 2024, the three parties aim to design and implement a platform, contributing to the enhancement of employee well-being as part of their corporate efforts.
Aflac’s website on “Creating living in your own way ecosystem strategy”
Hitachi’s website for finance solutions
About Aflac Life Insurance Japan Ltd.
Aflac started operations in Japan in 1974 as the first company to provide cancer insurance in Japan, based on the founding principle of the “need to lift the financial burden of cancer patients and their families.” Since then, Aflac has been practicing CSV management to create value that can be shared with society (“Shared Value”) based on the founding principle, and the core values, or purpose, expressed in “The Aflac Way,” “Corporate Philosophy,” and “Brand Promise.”
In a business environment that has changed dramatically over time, we continue to strive to meet the expectations of our stakeholders such as customers, employees, business partners, shareholders, and society by creating new value to resolve societal issues.
We will continue to pursue purpose and create economic value by ensuring that we inherit the tangible and intangible assets that we have built up with all stakeholders. By continuing to create new value that can be shared with society, we will leap forward to become the leading company creating “Living in your own way.” For more information, please visit the Aflac website at www.aflac.co.jp/.
About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi drives Social Innovation Business, creating a sustainable society through the use of data and technology. We solve customers’ and society’s challenges with Lumada solutions leveraging IT, OT (Operational Technology) and products. Hitachi operates under the business structure of “Digital Systems & Services” – supporting our customers’ digital transformation; “Green Energy & Mobility” – contributing to a decarbonized society through energy and railway systems, and “Connective Industries” – connecting products through digital technology to provide solutions in various industries. Driven by Digital, Green, and Innovation, we aim for growth through co-creation with our customers. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal year 2022 (ended March 31, 2023) totaled 10,881.1 billion yen, with 696 consolidated subsidiaries and approximately 320,000 employees worldwide. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at www.hitachi.com.
About GlobalLogic Inc.
GlobalLogic (www.globallogic.com) is a leader in digital engineering. We help brands across the globe design and build innovative products, platforms, and digital experiences for the modern world. By integrating experience design, complex engineering, and data expertise – we help our clients imagine what’s possible and accelerate their transition into tomorrow’s digital businesses. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, GlobalLogic operates design studios and engineering centers around the world, extending our deep expertise to customers in the automotive, communications, financial services, healthcare and life sciences, manufacturing, media and entertainment, semiconductor, and technology industries. GlobalLogic is a Hitachi Group Company operating under Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), which contributes to a sustainable society with a higher quality of life by driving innovation through data and technology as the Social Innovation Business.
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