Diabetes – A major problem for Japan’s elderly
It is a known fact that Japan has an aging population. The country is struggling with a growing number of diabetics, but a new approach to managing type 2 diabetes mixes a bit of psychology with Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This is part of a broader trend in which Japan is deploying advanced technologies to combat the aging of its population. As developed countries around the world face demographic changes, Japan is in a position to lead the way. It has a rapidly aging society, a wealth of high-quality health data and new approaches to using this data and the latest technologies to improve the lives of its citizens.
The PRISM-J study examines how IoT devices can help people with diabetes, according to Kohjiro Ueki, director of the Center for Diabetes Research at the National Center for Health and Medicine around the world. According to a survey conducted in 2016 by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, about 10 million adults in Japan are suspected of having diabetes. The survey of 11,000 adults from approximately 24,000 randomly selected households resulted in levels higher than that of the same survey in 2012. Some 6.9 million Japanese were suspected of being diabetic in 1997. According to a 2015 study of 160,000 published in the Journal of Diabetes Investigation, researchers from centers in Japan and abroad concluded that a substantial increase in the prevalence of diabetes is expected in Japan in the coming decades, mainly due to the aging of the adult population. Japan is an old-fashioned society and many older people do not know how to take care of their health, according to Kohjiro Ueki, Director of the Center for Diabetes Research at the National Center for Health and Medicine in the World (NCGM) in Tokyo. They still do not know how much they can do to improve their blood sugar. However, Japan is probably leading other countries on this particular issue.
The costs associated with the disease are increasing. Every year,about 16,000 people undergo hemodialysis and the cost of hemodialysis due to diabetic kidney failure is 8 billion yen ($70 million) a year, according to Ueki. On the bright side, though, diabetes can be managed effectively with lifestyle changes. To control both the financial burden and the progression of diabetes, Ueki and his colleagues launched a randomized controlled trial called Preventing Aggravation of Diabetes through Behavioral Changes through an Autonomous Surveillance System based on IoT (PRISM-J) in Japan. Japan’s goal is to prove these numbers using IoT devices that can lead to better blood glucose scores for diabetic patients, added Ueki.
A Wealth of Health Data
User-generated data is uploaded to the Shichifukujin cloud, where patients’ physicians can monitor their progress. Two thousand patients between the ages of 20 and 75 are participating in the two-year PRISM-J study, which began in January 2018. Supported by the Japan Diabetes Society, PRISM-J is the longest study in this field in the world.Patients in their twenties are better able to adapt to the devices used in the study, feels Ryotaro Bouchi, a diabetes researcher at NCMH, who recruited patients. Older users can succeed if they get enough explanations. The exitrate was less than 1%, which is much lower than similar studies. The unprecedented opportunity for physicians to track vital patient data between clinical visits is made possible by the IoT. The researchers hope to develop more sophisticated IoT data algorithms, which would send users messages about strengthening their activities or seeking additional help. In the meantime, the technology could also be used to study other lifestyle-related diseases, such as hypertension and hyperlipidemia. The country’s goal is to prove that using IoT devices can lead to better blood glucose scores for diabetic patients added Ueki.