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Life Intelligence System Consortium
Director: Jun Murai (Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies)
Issues such as an aging population and uneven distribution of doctors have already become apparent in Japan, and improving the environment is now an urgent issue that needs to be addressed for Japanese citizens to receive equal, high-quality medical service without depending on their region and environment.
According to the 2017 Annual Report on the Aging Society published by the Cabinet Office, the population of elderly people aged 65 and above in Japan is currently 34.59 million, that means that Japan's aging rate (the percentage of the population aged 65 and above) is 27.3%. Both the number of elderly people and aging rate continue to increase as the total population declines, and by 2025 the aging rate is expected to exceed 30%. On the other hand, against the backdrop of rising medical expenses, the Japanese government has decided to implement a policy that aims to slash the number of hospital beds throughout Japan by up to 200,000 from current 1,350,000 by 2025. It is assumed that this will result in an additional 300,000 to 340,000 patients receiving medical services in their homes.
Under these circumstances, discussions are being made on the appropriate state of medical systems based on in-home telemedicine that allows doctors to remotely examine home-based patients while physically being in medical centers such as hospitals and clinics. These systems are expected to reduce the time spent on visiting patients at home, thus allowing doctors to examine more patients.
The range of in-home telemedicine service depends on the precision and reliability of network environments and equipment such as sensors and cameras used to grasp patients' conditions. Devices with higher performance and more sophisticated environments will expand the range of in-home telemedicine service, consequently reducing the burden placed on both patients and healthcare practitioners. As IoT devices are rapidly advancing, there is a large expectation that these devices will be used as tools to help reduce costs and improve efficiency and profitability in various fields including healthcare.
Using evolving information technology, this consortium aims to establish a collaborative system that comprehensively researches and develops technology that circulates and controls healthcare data to help promote next-generation telemedicine and in-home medical care, to show its feasibility and significance in the real world. This consortium will collaborate with the Shonan Keiiku Hospital and will promote research analysis, clinical application, and collaboration between industry and academia together. Specifically, common experimental platform will be operated and maintained and empirical dissemination and deployment plans will be formulated.
Overview of Research Activity Plans (First Year)
1. In-home Telemedicine Platform WG (Tentative)