There are local regions where emergency care and advanced health care are lacking, particularly in snowy areas such as Hokkaido where there are issues with transportation during the winter and the circumstances make access to health care facilities more difficult. For such areas, the ability for people to manage their own health is important to preventing illnesses from becoming serious. The current trend is to reduce the number of long-term care beds in hospitals to promote shorter hospital stays and home-based nursing to reduce health care costs. This being the case, home medical care is fast becoming important in Japan. For remote locations, even a home visit by a doctor or nurse requires considerable time and effort. Therefore, there is a need to increase efficiency through the ability to remotely monitor patient risks and symptoms.
"The collaboration between Qualcomm, MedPA and other project participants will increase access to quality health care", stated Jun Yamada, senior vice president of Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm Japan. "We are committed to applying 3G wireless technology to improve public health in rural areas of Japan where there is currently limited access."
MedPA will provide the 3G-enabled communication equipment in collaboration with Chealcomm, a Japan-based MVNO that specializes in advanced wireless and wellness services. The equipment, which is distributed through MedPA's affiliated medical facilities, is used for monitoring vital data from people - seniors and patients with lifestyle diseases - living in areas that are located far from a medical facility or that face other issues, such as a scarcity of physicians.
"MedPA is fortunate to have these companies involved to aid in the adoption and advancement of wireless medical and wellness services in the Japanese home market", stated Masanori Nishiyama, M.D., chairman of the board of directors of MedPA. "This project will provide close monitoring of a local resident's condition and, by utilizing 3G wireless technology, a doctor can remotely provide diagnosis and treatment recommendations on a regular basis."
"In Japan, there are areas where it is difficult to see a specialist and there are quite a few patients who don't receive adequate medical services", stated Kazuaki Shimamoto, M.D., Ph.D., president and chairperson of Sapporo Medical University. "I have been building evidence via epidemiological research of patients who have had high blood pressure for more than 30 years and in order to receive the latest treatments based on real-time and vital data, there is a need to improve medical access. The Japanese Society of Hypertension has stated the importance of having home blood pressure measurement included in hypertension treatment guidelines. With quick and simple monitoring of blood pressure at home and the ability to receive remote treatment by specialists, this project is an important step in improving medical access. I welcome this initiative to support underserved patients and I truly appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in this project."
Medical Platform Asia is a public corporation, funded by individual and corporate membership fees, which was established in December 2009 to promote human and material exchange between Japan and Asia in the medical field. Medical Platform Asia believes that the collaborative efforts of a large number of health care professionals in Asia, who stand on a single platform to promote the prevention and treatment of hypertension, diabetes, cancer and infectious diseases, would greatly contribute to achieving better health for the people in Asia. The 1st Asia Medical Forum was held in Tokyo in June 2010, with discussions taking place on the current state of health care and related issues in China, South Korea, Indonesia and Japan.
Qualcomm believes access to advanced wireless voice and data services improves people's lives. Qualcomm's Wireless Reach initiative supports programmes and solutions that bring the benefits of connectivity to underserved communities globally. By working with partners, Wireless Reach projects create new ways for people to communicate, learn, access health care, sustain the environment and reach global markets.
Qualcomm Incorporated is a world expert in next-generation mobile technologies. For 25 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of wireless communications, connecting people more closely to information, entertainment and each other. Today, Qualcomm technologies are powering the convergence of mobile communications and consumer electronics, making wireless devices and services more personal, affordable and accessible to people everywhere. More company news is available in the VMW April 2009 article Qualcomm and telcos implement wireless health care with 3G technology in Africa.