Japan’s healthcare is well acknowledged as one of the best in the world. The country continually ranks at the top when it comes to longest life expectancy of population. However, efficacy of healthcare and sustainability of wellness are always moving targets for any country looking to serve its people.
This is not a deep dive into Japan’s healthcare industry, but rather a quick glance at where some of the health and wellness trends are heading. So, we stopped by the 2023 Care Show Japan to explore the many creative solutions that companies and organizations are offering to address the ever growing needs.
Technology Driven, Human Oriented
Japanese tech companies continue to push the boundaries of innovation and the integration of robotics and AI in medical practices. However, there still remains very human issues that smaller companies and organizations look to address.
We met Tamura-san of Epitemiyabi who’s company specializes in creating prosthetics for disfigured or dismembered patients. Her booth showcased an array of skillfully sculpted examples of her work. Laid out alongside these prosthetics were binders filled with hand-written testimonials from her patients. These testimonials include sentiments of gratitude and newfound confidence. Thanks to the meticulous efforts by Tamura-san and her team, their patients now not only achieve regained functionality of limbs but also a sense of empowerment.
Another example of human-centered problem solving can be seen in how some organizations seek to alleviate the difficulties in obtaining proper contraception. Birth control related products and services can already be expensive in cities like Tokyo. However, this problem can be exacerbated in rural areas due to the lack of proximity to hospitals and clinics. Organizations like Sowledge work to lower the barriers of accessibility for young women seeking resources and information in contraception and counseling.
Other services, work to connect people to communities and professionals in more discrete and easier to access ways, like apps or online programs.
Nutrition Trends and Food Services
A large portion of the exhibit area was also dedicated to foodstuffs and meal-prep services. Sustainability, accessibility, and cooperation appear to be the main threads connecting most nutritional and food-based products and services. One of the booths we visited outlined the refinement procedures and relationships between the various interconnected businesses. Their goal was to reduce waste while further optimizing the supply chain.
Other companies highlighted similar philosophies to incorporate or affect much smaller, local scales. A traditional sake company, for example, utilizes distilling techniques to create healthful non-alchoholic drinks out of soybeans. And catering companies such as Conoiro have positioned themselves to exclusively service maternal hospitals.
Sure, Japan’s healthcare may be best known around the world for its efficiency and technological expertise, but tradeshows like this also serve to highlight the valiant efforts of smaller yet innovative companies in helping to fill the gaps of the ever-growing health and wellness needs of the people.
Special thanks to Saya Fujihara for translating and interviewing!
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