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Responding to Medical Issues

Case of Human Centric Innovation 2 : Responding to Medical Issues Toward the Construction of ICT Environments to Support Advanced Medicine, and toward New Services to Care for Mental Health

In 2030, seniors aged 65 or older are expected to account for 31.6% of the population of Japan. Limiting the accompanying increase in social security, including medical, expenses has become an urgent issue. Achieving a society in which people can live healthy and long lives requires that regions come together to nurture the health and medical industry and the medical partnerships that support the health of every citizen. At the same time, maintaining and enhancing mental health is a key issue, with companies called upon to boost their efforts to check on employees' mental health burdens.

Amid this, Fujitsu is aiming to provide diverse ICT solutions to support preventive medicine and individualized medicine. An example is digital medical records, with which Fujitsu has a wealth of experience. Fujitsu is also taking up challenges such as support for drug discovery using supercomputers, and the creation of services to sustain mental health in disaster-stricken areas.

Establishment of the Next-Generation Healthcare Innovation Center for Medical Innovation and the Creation of a Healthy Society

In December 2013, Fujitsu established the Next-Generation Healthcare Innovation Center to tackle diverse medical-related issues facing Japanese society. The mission of the Center is to create new business in health promotion, early disease detection, prevention of disease exacerbation, new drug creation, and individualized medicine by taking full advantage of ICT and working with progressive research institutions and medical facilities.

In particular, Fujitsu will leverage its track record and expertise in electronic medical record systems, in which we hold the leading share of adoption in Japanese medical institutions. We aim to achieve individualized medicine and to construct next-generation electronic record systems that are integrated with genome data and daily lifestyle information, in addition to existing treatment information. In partnership with Japanese and foreign pharmaceutical companies and research institutions, Fujitsu is also engaged in "In Silico drug discovery" using supercomputers. By using simulations, this enables significant reduction in the time required to identify compounds that work to curtail the outbreak of diseases.

From here on out, Fujitsu aims to leverage the advanced technology and expertise we have built up through our business, and to contribute to the realization of innovative medicine and the formation of a society that supports people's health.

Image of Next Generation Healthcare

Picture: Hitoshi Tanaka, Ph.D. & Dr. Med., Professor, Medical Research Institute Tokyo Medical and Dental UniversityHitoshi Tanaka
Ph.D. & Dr. Med., Professor,
Medical Research Institute
Tokyo Medical and Dental University

VOICE

Without ICT, New Healthcare will Never Develop

My research has centered on two fields: bioinformatics and medical informatics. For about two years now, I have been working with Fujitsu on a new integrated database in hopes of eventually reflecting genome and health-related information in electronic medical records and helping medical professionals diagnose and treat conditions in a "total" package that includes environmental and genetic (genome-related) factors. The Next-Generation Healthcare Innovation Center is instrumental in combining all the genome-related information that I have gathered over the years with Fujitsu ICT.

Why did I decide to pursue joint development with Fujitsu? I have plenty of relationships with many other companies, all of which have similar perspectives on and approaches to genome usage and other topics. Fujitsu, however, was the only one to start at the idea development step, put the project under the president's direct control, and work as quickly as possible to make something of it. In Fujitsu, I see the spirit of challenge and the flexibility it takes to accept change. The company also boasts an extensive ICT background and infrastructure in wide-ranging sectors of the healthcare field, including electronic medical record systems, regional healthcare integration, and supercomputer-powered organ simulation.

In that sense, I hope Fujitsu continues to blaze trails as the leader of genome medicine in Japan. There is no way to develop new healthcare without the aid of ICT. Fujitsu, I believe, is going to play a vital role in propelling Japanese healthcare forward.

In Iwate Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture
Disaster reconstruction support: Disaster prevention and security systems, and guardian support systems for citizens living in temporary housing

Picture: Temporary housing in Iwaki, Fukushima PrefectureTemporary housing in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture

In the process of reconstruction following the Great East Japan Earthquake, we recognized that, besides building infrastructure, preventing isolation through person-to-person communication is an important issue.

Fujitsu is addressing this issue by using ICT to allow local governments to enhance their information delivery capabilities, and for victims to receive mental health-care. In Iwate Prefecture, we are cooperating with the city of Oshu to build up a mechanism for unified management of disaster prevention and security information, as well as for dissemination of information by mobile phones, SNS, and other means. In this way, we help local governments to make optimum decisions and to deliver information properly to residents.

In Fukushima Prefecture, we are partnering with the city of Iwaki and with Iwaki Meisei University to construct a guardian support system composed of health information management and stress checking functions, so that we may support the mental health of citizens living in temporary housing.

In Ireland
Using sensing technology to support safe and secure independent living in an aging society carrier

The use of ICT is being investigated to address social issues brought about by the aging of society.

Under the theme of support for health in everyday lifestyles, Fujitsu has launched the KIDUKU Project*1 to provide monitoring and assistance for independent living by seniors and patients in smart houses in Ireland. The project is a collaboration between Fujitsu and two Irish research institutions, TRIL and CASALA.*2 Both of these institutions are engaged in advanced initiatives involving the use of sensing technology.

In this research, we collect data from the daily lives of seniors and patients through a variety of sensors. The aim is to develop a system and construct solutions for health management and daily living assistance that pairs expert medical knowledge with data visualization and analysis technologies. The system is expected to aid the optimization of treatment plans through ongoing observation of illness, and to facilitate communication among concerned parties.

Through the project, Fujitsu aims to make use of ICT in assisting independent living in an aging society.

*1 KIDUKU:
The name of the project incorporates the meanings of Japanese words for awareness (of changes in conditions) and building (of good relations between Ireland and Japan).

*2 Two research institutions in Ireland:

  • TRIL (Technology Research for Independent Living): A medical research institution engaged in applied research involving sensing technologies.
  • CASALA (Centre for Affective Solutions for Ambient Living Awareness): Operates and conducts testing in experimental smart houses equipped with sensing environments.