Leveraging Real-world Data and Artificial Intelligence: The Story Behind the Outstanding Leadership Award

In June 2023, in Dubai, Yutaka Kitazawa, the Head of DX Promotion and Data Science, was awarded an international accolade in the healthcare sector.

He received the Outstanding Leadership Award at the Health 2.0 Conference 2023, a prestigious recognition given to those who contribute to advancing knowledge and technological innovation in the healthcare industry. Known as one of the “Top 100 in Healthcare” for the year, this award is a testament to successful collaborations with stakeholders both inside and outside his company and is a reflection of Kitazawa’s lifelong dedication and passion.


Delving Deeply into Areas of Interest

From a young age, Kitazawa was the type of child who needed to thoroughly investigate anything that piqued his curiosity. This relentless pursuit of interests led him to be drawn to Japan’s esteemed manufacturing industry. He majored in chemistry at an engineering faculty in the university, where he developed a passion for the pharmaceutical industry and decided to join SHIONOGI Pharma, headquartered in his hometown of Osaka. When asked “Why SHIONOGI?” He explained that his graduate research focused on applying machine learning to the field of chemistry, aiming for a career similar to what we would now consider as a data scientist. SHIONOGI’s high regard for data analysis and clinical statistics at the time was a decisive factor for him.
Kitazawa initially found the transition from chemistry to statistical analysis challenging but soon recognized the importance and untapped potential of analyzing clinical trial data. He saw the opportunity to apply his engineering background to utilize machine learning and AI technologies in clinical trial and real-world data. His imaginative approach, although often fraught with challenges, opened new doors to possibilities.

Utilizing Real-world Data (RWD) and Artificial Intelligence

A pivotal moment came with the societal shift toward leveraging real-world data (RWD) or big data. Kitazawa decided to revolutionize the medical and healthcare fields by integrating his expertise in AI and machine learning with clinical statistics. His development of AI-driven analytical programming systems significantly streamlined the traditional resource-intensive process of clinical trial analysis, offering new perspectives to the pharmaceutical industry.
Kitazawa’s motivation was simple: “I just want to help people in trouble. Can’t our expertise contribute to solving the challenges facing the healthcare industry?” He took the initiative to develop and launch the “AI Analysis Programmer” system, not just for internal use but also as an external service. This move aimed to address the challenges in the healthcare sector, known for its slow digital transformation, by advancing data utilization to solve people’s problems. His efforts, along with his diverse research achievements, leadership, and talent development, led to the international recognition.

Aiming for a New Future in Healthcare and Medicine

Kitazawa believes the healthcare industry is also an information industry, emphasizing the importance of how information is utilized. Improving data quality, conducting proper analyses, and interpreting them correctly are crucial. He is passionate about providing new value to society through evidence generated in the healthcare industry and aims to improve healthcare literacy among the public by offering clear and accurate information. This, he hopes, will help people lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Kitazawa’s story is one of passion, creativity, and a desire to contribute to society, marking him as a dynamic figure whose efforts and beliefs are paving the way for a new future in the medical and healthcare sectors, inspiring hope and courage in many.
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