Business Activities

Projection of 2018

Trends in the medical setup

The MHLW’s 7th Medical Plan, which will begin in 2018, aims to realize the seamless provision of healthcare services in the local areas through promoting the differentiation and collaboration of medical functions, and to secure a setup for efficiently providing high-quality and appropriate healthcare services. The 7th Medical Plan focuses on the following points.

  • Match the reexamination cycle between the Medical Plan and the Insured Long-Term Care Service Plans.
  • Reexamine the formula for calculating the standard number of hospital beds; reexamine it every year in areas where population has increased.
  • Reexamine the indices so that it will become possible to implement the 5-diseases, 5-businesses and home healthcare medical collaboration setup, and the PDCA cycle.
  • Grasp the maintenance and inspection status of hospitals’ advanced medical devices as well as clinics’ CT, MRI and other devices.

R&D in the medical sector

Since 2013, Japan’s growth strategy has aimed to unify the budget, distribute it in a concentrated and strategic fashion, and proceed in a seamless manner from basics to practicalization, in order to step up the speed of medical R&D. 
Regarding medical devices, we have been offering seamless support, and have been promoting the development of medical devices originating in Japan, as well as industrial growth and development. The following changes in the environment are being anticipated to take place:

  • Technologies that comprise the so-called 4th industrial revolution, such as IoT, big data, AI and robotics, will also be incorporated into healthcare and long-term care industries, and will increasingly be put to practical use. 
  • Support of image diagnosis has been named one of AI development’s six key areas, and rules are steadily being established on the ideal form of evaluations that use AI, to ensure the quality and safety of medical devices.
  • Rules and setups are steadily being established, such as for the mechanism of gathering medical information at medical institutions, and for accrediting “certified business operators who formulate anonymously processed information (certified operators),” for example.
  •  With the enactment of the Clinical Study Act, matters relating to the drawing up of the clinical study implementation criteria, and the evaluation of reports on serious diseases, etc., will be established as a ministerial ordinance in early 2018, and enacted.
  • The R&D setup in the medical sector, featuring an “all-Japan team” led by AMED, is being operated.

Globalization of the medical devices industry

As the Healthcare Policy, aiming at deploying our medical technologies and services to newly-developing nations, for example, it would become important to double the value of medical device imports by 2020, and construct evidences (such as establishing a competitive edge) that contribute to deploying Japan’s medical technologies to developing countries by 2030.
As concrete actions, the following measures are being promoted:

  • Bases have already been set up in Russia, India, Cambodia, Qatar, and Mongolia, among other countries; the aim is to establish bases in twenty locations by the year 2020, such as China, Egypt and Kenya.
  • Efforts will be made to foster common awareness and understanding, and to make concrete responses towards the deployment of community-based integrated care systems in the Asian region, and the promotion of Japanese long-term care providers’ advancements into Asia.
  • In terms of long-term care, medical devices and pharmaceutical products have a broad-ranging potential, and growth of industries such as nursing-care robots and IT is being expected.