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Lifestyle wrist monitors to be used to prevent more diabetes

July 25,2016 15:20

The move is aimed at slashing medical costs by treating lifestyle-related diseases in the early stages, as medical expenses associated with that category of illness are said to account for a quarter of Japan's total national health-care expenditure of ...



The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will begin monitoring the physical activity of people suffering from diabetes and those at risk of the disease with wearable monitoring devices.
The devices will gather and analyze the data on a trial basis by the end of July, and the information will be used to prevent their conditions from worsening.
The move is aimed at slashing medical costs by treating lifestyle-related diseases in the early stages, as medical expenses associated with that category of illness are said to account for a quarter of Japan’s total national health-care expenditure of 40 trillion yen ($380 billion).
Under the plan, presented at a July 11 meeting of the ministry’s expert panel, the ministry will work with Toyota Motor Corp., Mitsubishi Estate Co., Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. and other major companies, as well as local governments and medical institutions, to monitor employees who are diagnosed as having mild diabetes at health checkups or those who are highly likely to develop the condition.
After obtaining the individuals’ consent, various data, such as the number of steps they take and calories they consume, will be collected for six months with a device worn like a wristwatch and other instruments.
The weight and blood pressure of such employees will also be measured daily at their workplaces.
The collected information will be used by company doctors to give health advice to workers. Such data will also be anonymously accumulated in a database so that physicians can more effectively give advice.
The program is expected to cover more companies and conditions other than diabetes starting in the next fiscal year. Necessary expenses for the plan will be included in budget requests for the next fiscal year.
The economy ministry estimates 1 trillion yen of medical expenditure can be cut by taking countermeasures against lifestyle-related diseases in the early stages. It intends to cooperate with the health ministry, which attended the meeting as an observer, to proceed with the project.

Japan News,Social Affairs,Asahi Shimbun,Japan,news

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