Health Information Consortium
Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
We could probably enhance the quality of medical practices and health in Japan if we could integrate the health information of individuals that are currently being stored in various places in a dispersed manner, such as at medical institutions and local communities, and realize an environment where information can be shared between the person, their families and medical practitioners to enable receiving medical services based on medical history regardless of which medical facility in Japan a person goes to, while also making use of such information toward managing the person’s health. A technology that would be essential toward developing such a framework is the ICT (Information and Communications Technology). If we could utilize ICT and realize the development and management of an information infrastructure for medicine and health with a focus on the individual, we would be able to accumulate a “life log” that could continuously manage and analyze the gathered data in cloud. This may help toward acquiring an even finer understanding of an individual’s health conditions, such as discovering the factor causing an illness or the side effects of the administered medication. However, health information is closely kept in the storage (in other words, the database) within individual companies, local governments, the national government and other organizations, so that there has not been much progress in adapting the use of such data. A few initiatives are being implemented in a vertically segmented manner related to the application and usage of health information, but this will not solve the inherent problem. What will likely be required in the future is to create a framework and develop data by creating apps for things that are being utilized by the consumer side (health data of patients and healthy persons, etc.), such as their prescription records and the Maternal and Child Health Handbook, and by connecting these apps to health devices, while being sufficiently careful of the way that personal information is handled. Furthermore, the use of information from school health exams and open data in the medical and health fields, as well as the usage of data from both the consumer and supplier sides, will make it possible to develop many policies and provide various services, and in the future, may develop the logic for discovering the presymptomatic diagnosis index and the signs of disease at an early period.
Thus, the goal of this consortium is to create health-related information through collaboration with the industry, government and academia, and seeks to promote the following research and education. By these efforts, we will make SFC into a global base for research and education on a city that makes use of health information.
(Issue 1) Technology to acquire all-encompassing information from the health space
If we could make use of IoT (Internet of Things) to acquire various medical and health data of the living body on a daily basis with a focus on individual persons, and create a framework for taking chronological recordings of such data without the conscious effort of the individual, we would also be able to develop a PHR model with a focus on data related to Health Japan 21 (second term). Moreover, it may also be possible to create a new service model from the data (health space) related to health. In Issue 1, in addition to using equipment (sensors) to acquire direct information on health and the environment, we will promote research, development and education on various technologies that acquire information by utilizing the human five senses as well as through open data such as from webpages.
(Issue 2) Resolve children’s health issue and environmental issue, and create services regarding these issues
Ever since the problem of the ozone hole became apparent from the 1980s and the 1990s onward, ultraviolet rays have been demonized especially by women who are sensitive to issues related to beauty. This has resulted in decreased development of vitamin D within the body, causing reduced fertility among women and increased rickets among children. We will develop a framework for acquiring information on the amount of sunlight that has been taken in from the environmental space and conducting automatic screenings on rickets and bow-leg development in each region, and promote the research, development and education of technologies, systems, etc. that combines and coordinates the various health and environmental information.
(Issue 3) Technology to create services for women’s health that make use of health information
We will promote research, development and education of various technologies to realize a service that provides information with new values. This will be done by combining the various health information acquired from the health space from different women, and processing the acquired information in multiple stages.
(Issue 4) Resolve health issues by utilizing information from the health space
Conduct practical implementation of a solution that would contribute toward resolving regional health issues by acquiring information from the health space, adapting technologies that create services, and creating a package that in particular is enabled for usage at the level of regional governments. These activities will be conducted mainly for issues related to heatstroke and the duration of sunlight (lack of creating vitamin D).
For Issue 3, SFC is already working with the Kanagawa prefectural government in a number of projects for Mibyo-joshi (presymptomatic women). As for Issue 2, the Center for Global Environmental Research is working on a research project related to the development of vitamin D through ultraviolet rays, as part of their efforts to advance research related to the ozone layer. Thus, SFC aims to initiate innovation by implementing advanced initiatives together with the Kanagawa prefectural government and the Center for Global Environmental Research and spreading these efforts to other regional governments.
■Outline of Research Plan
Technological issues (Issue 1)
- Develop and evaluate elemental technologies
Verification issues (Issues 2-4)
- Understand the health issues and grasp the current situation
- Extract and analyze the real voices on health issues for each life stage
- Promote verification tests (develop information coordination model on children’s health and environmental space, issues related to heatstroke and the development of vitamin D, issues related to preconception care, issues related to the health handbook)
Host research meetings (each month)
- Share information amongst members on the situation of efforts being made with each issue, and hold discussions
- Host health information events
Researchers, managers and professors
|Jun MuraiDirector||Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies|
|Yoko Hamada||Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies|
|Miki Akiyama||Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies|
|Jin Nakazawa||Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies|
|Tadashi Okoshi||Project Associate Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance|
|Yuka Honda||Project Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance|
|Yoriko Inoue||Senior Researcher at Keio Research Institute at SFC|
|kenji Watanabe||Visiting Professor, Keio University School of Medicine|
|Yuko Oguma||Associate Professor, Graduate School of Health Management|