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Interim Report of the Future Innovations Working Group Released

March 19, 2019

Aiming to discuss ideal approaches to the medical care and welfare sectors in the future, targeting approximately the year 2040, in which people and advanced technologies will symbiotically coexist, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) jointly started convening a “Future Innovations Working Group” from January 2019.

Since its inauguration, the study group has held three meetings, and it has hereby generated an interim report based on the discussion results.

1. Purpose

The medical care and welfare sectors are facing advancement of technological innovations brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as IoT, AI and robot technology. To address this trend properly, the government of Japan has been committed to reforming regulations and enriching support measures for introducing and disseminating medical equipment and services that the sectors intend to develop.

Meanwhile, in considering ideal approaches to the medical care and welfare sectors in approximately 2040, it is necessary for Japan not only to forecast the progressive improvement of technologies that the sectors may introduce in the near future, but also to establish a mid- to long-term strategy through a “backcasting” approach, considering expected changes in society and communities and estimated levels of technological innovation.

To this end, METI and MHLW launched the Future Innovations Working Group under three councils: the Next-Generation Healthcare Industrial Council; the Council for Promotion of the Next-Generation Medical Equipment Development; and the Next-Generation Medical ICT Council. The working group hereby generated an interim report based on the discussion results.

Based on the interim report of the working group, METI and MHLW will advance efforts for implementing specific measures, such as promotion of mid- to long-term research and development and demonstration projects and discussions on enhancement of technology intelligence functions.

2. Members of the working group

See the Japanese language press release.

Appendix

*NOTE: The report’s summary in English version was posted on December 25, 2019.

Divisions in Charge