From 14 – 18 October 2019 the Embassy of the Netherlands in Tokyo, the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and Task Force Health Care, organised a Health Mission to Japan, led by Minister of Health, Welfare and Sports, Mr. Hugo de Jonge.
Approximately 11 companies or organizations participated in the program. This mission had a focus on ‘Healthy Ageing & Digitalisation’. We visited the “The 2nd Well Aging Society Summit Asia-Japan” and the group also visited a number of organizations and healthcare institutions that are innovative in the field of healthy aging and digitization.
We visited the ‘Silverwing Social Welfare Corp Shintomi nursing home‘. This is an innovative nursing home, which uses 20 different robot models to care for its residents. The Japanese government hopes it will be a model for harnessing the country’s robotics expertise to help cope with a swelling elderly population and dwindling workforce.
We also visited the ‘National Cancer Center Hospital‘. Founded as a hub for cancer treatment and research by the central government in 1962, the National Cancer Center has since lead the field. The mission of the National Cancer Center is not only to provide the best possible care including genomic medicine to each individual cancer patient, based on genomic and other clinical and biological information, but also to prevent the onset of cancer by identifying high-risk groups, developing and implementing effective prevention measures.
Afterwards we visited the ‘Kanagawa Prefecture’s Healthcare New Frontier ME-BYO (tbc)‘. The Kanagawa prefectural Government is accelerating advances in healthcare through academia-industry-government collaborations rooted in the ME-BYO CONCEPT – a unique response to Japan’s ageing society. Kanagawa established the Association for ME-BYO Industry Creation in August 2014. Currently, over 250 companies and organizations are a part of this association working together to implement health care business models, networking, exchanging information, and other activities related to the growth of ME-BYO industry.
Well Aging Society Summit Asia-Japan
Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 we visited ‘The 2nd Well Aging Society Summit Asia-Japan‘ in Tokyo. Organised by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), and co-organised by the Office of Health Policy, Cabinet Secretariat Japan, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), Aging Japan, and Life Science Innovation Network Japan (LINK-J).
Those who want to delve further into the topic can download the summit program here (pdf) to get acquainted with experts from this specific area of knowledge.
Speech by Minister Hugo de Jonge
On Thursday 17 October 2019, Minister Hugo de Jonge (VWS) spoke at the Well Aging Society Summit 2019. He praised Japan for the many innovations the country is known for and also praised the Dutch companies that participated during this health mission. About Frenetti he said the following: “The IT-company called ‘Frenetti’ developed an innovative approach to manage nursing capital to improve the quality of health care professionals and the way their teams function as a whole by individual and team assessment.” You can read the full speech here
On Friday, October 18, we visited the ‘San Advance Midorigaoka Rehabilitation & Day Care Service Facility‘ run by Sanyo Homes Cooperation. Sanyo Homes Cooperation is a larger scale Japanese housing company that operate multiple rehabilitation and senior care facilities and are also involved in developing and testing innovations, like a newly developed nursing robot that prevents fracture by fall assistance. See an example below:
If you would like to know more about these applications that use robotics, then please watch this video from Sanyo Homes.
Healthcare in Japan & The Netherlands: Shared Challenges, Smart Solutions
Founder & CEO of Frenetti, Freda Vasse gave a presentation during this health mission. On Friday, October 18 in Osaka, she spoke during the seminar “Healthcare in Japan & The Netherlands: Shared Challenges, Smart Solutions”. The title of the presentation was: ‘A disruptive IT approach to Improve the Quality of Care through managing Nursing Capital and other Health Care Professionals – Performance Measurement, Learning and Optimization’.
This seminar focused on knowledge exchange and connecting relevant Japanese and Dutch healthcare providers, companies and agents / distributors and was attended by approximately 54 relevant invitees and / or stakeholders from the Japanese healthcare industry.
What did we learn from this health mission?
It was a very educational program. It was impressive to see how robotics can support well-being and in particular the vision of staying in a well-being situation for as long as possible. A great deal of work has also been done in the field of research and, in addition, the concept that the food industry and restaurants are involved in a longer healthier life was also impressive. They are seen as “second hospitals”.
An impression of this health mission: