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Hikari

Master of international business

Joined in 2016

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Project Manager
Medicine, Medical Device Development Supervisory Department
Rakuten Medical

What are your current responsibilities?

As a project manager at Rakuten Medical, I am involved in developing medical devices for cancer treatment through light. The team I belong to is developing pharmaceuticals and medical devices based on Illuminox™ platform technology. I am in charge of project management for the development of medical devices using light irradiation.

Specifically, I am working together with the person in charge at the medical device development base in Germany to discuss improvement plans for existing medical devices, as well as with medical device vendors in Japan and overseas to develop new devices from scratch. I also collect insight from doctors and experts both inside and outside the company and compile the contents so that they can be reflected in the actual development.

Where do you feel you have improved since joining Rakuten?

I learned more about teamwork and rely less on myself alone to accomplish goals. In my studies or playing sports, I was sometimes required to perform alone, but after I started working as a project manager, I began thinking more about how to achieve goals as a team. As a result, I think I have developed my ability to motivate others while keeping a broad perspective. When I was first assigned to this position, I had only basic knowledge of medicine, not just medical equipment. On the other hand, most of my colleagues are professionals in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. With the help of a group of experienced and respected colleagues, I feel that I am able to fulfill my role in a way only I can.

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What was a moment when you felt empowered through your work?

I receive many messages from cancer patients and their families every day, telling me how they are suffering and that they are hopeful about this treatment. I was happy to witness the approval of a drug or medical device I helped develop with such high expectations. Especially since I was in charge of setting up the commercial supply chain at the time, I felt a great sense of accomplishment in terms of delivering products to end users. I believe that health is the most important factor in a person’s ability to lead a fulfilling life. Rakuten Medical’s treatments are making significant contributions to society as a whole in terms of helping people overcome cancer and live healthy lives.

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What does your typical workday look like?

I have a meeting first thing in the morning. with my team members. After that, I start working on device development. The development base for the equipment is in Germany, however, there are times when it is made in Japan, and we actually produce the design plans for the equipment.

Meetings with team members and outside experts are an important part of development, so some days they take a lot of my time. We discuss and test the daily progress of the project and its development.

After work, I often enjoy playing sports.

SCHEDULE

09:00
Start work. Morning meeting with the development team via video conference. We share the progress of medical device development.
09:15
Draft drawings of related equipment for treatment.
10:30
Meeting on clinical trial progress. This is also a valuable opportunity for us to gather feedback and opinions on how to improve the equipment.
12:00
Lunchtime.
14:00
Shading test of equipment. Using a laser, we measure the shading power with a power meter.
15:00
Internal meeting. I discuss with our in-house physicians and development managers how we can approach each organ with our existing devices.
17:00
Meeting with the Germany office. Check the progress of the project.
18:00
Leave the office. I usually do physical exercise to refresh myself.

*This article is based on information provided at the time of the interview.

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