Takeda introduces the In Their Shoes experience to the Middle East in support of the IBD patient community


Dubai, UAE: Takeda (TSE: 4502) (NYSE: TAK) has introduced the “In Their Shoes” platform, an award-winning, immersive simulation program to promote greater awareness and empathy for patients with Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a condition to describe Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, to a group of healthcare providers in the Middle East the first time. 

The subscription-based program launched with a two-day simulation where healthcare providers and Takeda employees learned about the condition most effectively and profoundly: by “living with it.”

The program utilized a mobile application to guide participants through some of the everyday struggles patients face. An “IBD kit” of materials was used to participate in “challenges” prompted by the app. These challenges were designed to simulate several physical and emotional aspects of the disease. Through role-play scenarios and interactions with actors playing nurses, and healthcare professionals, participants gained unparalleled insight into the impact that IBD can have across all aspects of someone’s life, including professional and personal relationships. While a simulation can never fully replicate the pain and disruption associated with IBD, physical discomfort and regular interruptions incorporated into the program helped participants walk “in the shoes” of someone with IBD.

Toby Shepard, Head of Medical Affairs for Takeda in ICMEA, said, “The platform has been highly successful in helping both employees and healthcare professionals gain more knowledge about IBD by ‘becoming the patient’ and experiencing what it’s like to live with IBD. The program has been developed in consultation with immersive learning experts to help participants gain a deeper understanding of how IBD negatively affects people in their daily lives, inspiring new facets in their work in serving patients with IBD, whether it be in research and development, marketing, or patient outreach. The program seeks to support the wider healthcare community become true advocates with a deeper emotional connection to the disease, and ultimately improve how our healthcare partners and we support these patients.”

An evaluation study[1] conducted by the University of Westminster, London, UK, and published in Frontiers in Psychology demonstrated statistically significant increases in understanding, empathy, and connection to patients living with IBD, as well as a greater desire to help raise public awareness and improve access to patient support among the “In Their Shoes” participants.

As part of the program, over 1,900 participants from more than 30 countries worldwide have had the opportunity to simulate an IBD patient’s daily life via mobile app challenges, experiencing first-hand the emotional and physical burden of living with the disease. In early 2019, following the global success of In Their Shoes, Takeda expanded the program’s scope with the launch of a new version simulating a patient’s life with Crohn’s disease living with a complex perianal fistula.

1. Halton C, Cartwright T. Walking in a Patient’s Shoes: An Evaluation Study of Immersive Learning Using a Digital Training Intervention. Front Psychol [Internet]. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02124/full.

About Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited:

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE: 4502) (NYSE: TAK) is a global, values-based, R&D-driven biopharmaceutical leader headquartered in Japan, committed to bringing Better Health and a Brighter Future to patients by translating science into highly-innovative medicines. Takeda focuses its R&D efforts on four therapeutic areas: Oncology, Rare Diseases, Neuroscience, and Gastroenterology (GI). We also make targeted R&D investments in Plasma-Derived Therapies and Vaccines. We are focusing on developing highly innovative medicines that contribute to making a difference in people’s lives by advancing the frontier of new treatment options and leveraging our enhanced collaborative R&D engine and capabilities to create a robust, modality-diverse pipeline. Our employees are committed to improving quality of life for patients and to working with our partners in health care in approximately 80 countries.