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Japan, Israel to cooperate in medical care

The Yomiuri Shimbun The Japanese and Israeli governments will embark this month on a cooperative effort to synergize their strengths in medical care fields, according to sources.

While Israel has advanced the field of “digital health care,” in which health data is optimized to improve medical treatments, Japan can learn how to proliferate high-quality care with such data and in turn provide its know-how in care for the elderly and other areas.

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko is scheduled to visit Israel in mid-January to sign a memorandum for the planned cooperation, the sources said.

Seko is expected to confirm the cooperation on a government level, and representatives from about 100 Japanese companies will accompany the minister to sign tie-up agreements with Israel’s medical institutions and other entities.

Israel has been using information technology in medical care fields since the early 1990s.

The Israeli government has taken the initiative of collecting medical data from its population of about 9 million, accumulated via medical institutions and other sources, and companies have been allowed to utilize this data for business purposes.

In Israel, there were more than 380 companies operating in the digital health-care field as of 2016.

For example, living conditions and the levels of severity of illness for diabetic patients are converted into data to examine the relationships among the factors, and studies are going on to predict how far patient’s symptoms will progress in the future.

In Japan, where the population is graying at an increasing level, it is predicted that demand will grow for more comprehensive medical care using such data in response to individual health conditions.

Based on Israel’s know-how, the Japanese government intends to spark developments of necessary medical care services and medical equipment. The government also aims to encourage tie-ups between Israeli start-ups and Japanese companies so that new kinds of medical businesses will be created.Speech

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