Japan: engineering age care for the future
From March 30th to April 6th, 2019, a delegation of Australian executives took part to a study mission organized by SAGE in Japan. Age care in Japan is at the junction of modernity and tradition. The delegates discovered how Japan is engineering the future of elderly care and how they could import this knowledge in their home organisations.
Japan is facing a demographic tsunami: its population is aging fast thanks to a low birth rate and an exceptional life expectancy, and its workforce is shrinking, especially in the health and social care sector. To face these challenges, the Japanese government invests in new technologies and robotic to help elderly people stay at home and to compensate the workforce shortage.
During the five full days of the program, the Australian delegation had the opportunity to visit 10 different facilities, from top universities to modern skilled nursing facilities. At the Koba laboratory of the University of Tokyo and at the Synerdine Robotic Care Centre in Shonan, the participants have learnt about the latest Japanese innovations and technologies in Age Care: for example an exoskeleton to reduce the repetitive strain injuries (RSI) of health carers, assistive robots developed to promote independent living for the elderly as well as a connected medical bed making possible for carers to check the patients' condition (blood pressure, heart rate ...) without waking them up.
The study tour has been a great opportunity for the six Australian Age Care Executives to observe the development and the practical implementation of new technologies in Japanese elderly care and to network among themselves and with the Japanese experts that SAGE selected for the tour.