Table Speech

Various Measures to Extend our Healthspan

May 16, 2018

Mr. Shoji Nomura
President, NOMURA JIMUSHO, Inc.

 Many of us are familiar with the term “healthspan” which refers to “the years in which a person is healthy and free from diseases”. Japan is categorized as a super-aged society and there is a pressing need to reduce social security costs. Extending our healthspan brings positive effects and benefits to the government, local municipalities, companies, and above all to each individual who can enjoy life in later years. Today, let me share different initiatives taken to extend healthspan together with some challenges.

 The Japanese government identified “realization of a society of healthy longevity” as an important health and medical strategy, with focus on early detection and prevention of various diseases related to lifestyle and aging. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies and medical-device manufacturers have begun developing new business models that provide comprehensive health care solutions including prevention and monitoring. We also witness new entrants into the market, such as consumer electronics companies, house builders, IT companies and entrepreneurial ventures. Based on the concept of “Point of Care Testing,” various wearable devices, remote monitoring and smart sensors that utilize AI and IoT technologies are revolutionizing the medical and healthcare landscape. In addition to traditional medical practices that provide treatment for recuperation, we now have access to multiple healthcare services and devices for better health management and guidance. Having said that, let me emphasize that the most important factor in health management is each one of us to be more proactive about our own health. By making good use of the latest technologies, we must take control and improve our health and wellbeing.

 I must say there are multiple challenges that prevent widespread use of newly launched healthcare products and services in this country. Due to high-quality medical care with comprehensive insurance coverage, there is limited awareness of prevention efforts and willingness to pay for such services. The government and companies in the healthcare industry struggle to initiate behavioral changes for healthier lifestyles. The government also strives to formulate standards and legislative systems to make the healthcare device and service sector more transparent and consistent, while companies join forces to form industry groups and consortia for a sound healthcare infrastructure.

 Our company imports various sensors that monitor vital sign data from overseas and sells them in Japan and Asia. In order to make effective use of such data to extend healthspan, we must work in close collaboration with companies that transform sensors into devices and then to make practical use of data to develop products and services. I am determined to provide vocational services by making a positive impact on people and society as a whole, working in partnership with companies across different sectors.