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The 3rd Well Aging Society Summit Asia-Japan Held

- Opportunity for sharing worldwide knowledge toward aging societies full of vitality -

October 26, 2020

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) held the 3rd Well Aging Society Summit Asia-Japan in Japan, the country with the world’s most rapidly aging society. This is an international event bringing together experts with outstanding knowledge at home and abroad to hold discussions on future directions of aging societies full of vitality. The 3rd Well Aging Society Summit Asia-Japan held discussions on a variety of trends and challenges which are changing and emerging worldwide in the “with- or after-coronavirus” era as well as solutions to the challenges, and aimed to accelerate innovations which contribute to the extension of the healthy lifespan of people worldwide, bringing together approximately 1,000 people from ten countries as on-site and online participants.

1. Outline of the event

Title of event: 3rd Well Aging Society Summit Asia-Japan

Date: October 12 (Mon.) and 13 (Tue.), 2020
Notes:
The event on October 12 (Mon.) was held online and at the venue below.
The event on October 13 (Tue.) was held online alone.

Venue: Halls 1 and 2, 9th floor, Nihonbashi Takashimaya Mitsui Building
(Address: 2-5-1 Nihonbashi, Chuo Ward, Tokyo)

Organizer: METI

Co-organizers: The Office of Healthcare Policy of the Cabinet Secretariat, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), and the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED)
 
Notes:
1. For more information on collaborative events and other initiatives, visit the website above.
2. A detailed report on the event will be released on the website above at a later date.
 

2. Outline of the respective sessions at the event

October 12 (Mon.)

Title: Contribution to Healthcare Innovation

Speakers: Summary:

President Dzau, U.S. National Academy of Medicine, explained the “Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge,” a movement calling efforts contributing to solutions to the challenge of aging societies with fewer children, while President Mishima, AMED, briefed the second round of the efforts tackled by AMED.

Title: Introduction of Moonshot Research and Development Projects in the Health and Medical Fields

Speakers: Summary:

President Kitano, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, explained the concept of moonshot research and development. Specifically, he suggested that moonshot research and development refers to development of systems which make impacts on society taking advantage of power of technology.

President Hirano, QST, focused on the goals of moonshot research and development in the fields of healthcare and medical care and suggested the importance of controlling chronic inflammation, which may lead to causing a variety of diseases, and maintaining the quality of life (QoL) of patients in overall medical treatments.

At the discussion following these keynote speeches, it was suggested that public understanding of chronic inflammation combined with sensing technologies allowing control of such inflammation would lead to social implementation of such technologies.

Title: Expectations for Moonshot Research and Development in the Health and Medical Fields

Speakers: Summary:

Bringing together representatives of companies engaging in innovative efforts in a variety of countries as panelists, this panel discussion explained innovations in the fields of healthcare and medical care and the panelists made briefings on cutting-edge efforts taking advantage of advanced technologies. In addition, the panelists held discussions on hurdles to social implementation and integration of advanced technologies and medical care.

Title: Equity and Longevity

Speaker:

Mr. Erwin J. Tan, Director, AARP

Summary:

Mr. Tan explained that the average longevity of people in the United States has been extending as a whole, while the gap of such longevity is becoming wider between geographical locations. Based on certain data, he also uncovered that racial differences lie in the background of this gap. Moreover, he stated that now, in the middle of expansion of the novel coronavirus disease, is a good opportunity to remove structural differences by uniting international efforts to achieve equity, which is an important approach to building a better aging society.

Title: Toward Well-Aging Society During/After COVID-19

Speakers: Summary:

Speakers discussed the fact that in the middle of expansion of the novel coronavirus disease, people in a variety of countries have been discovering best practices for addressing the disease, although some health-related problems have also been found, such as worsening of dementia patients’ conditions due to the avoidance of outings. They pointed out the importance of not only providing remote healthcare to the elderly but also improving their level of IT and healthcare literacy in order to prevent widening of the digital divide among people and also stated the need for hybrid measures combining online means and physical means to this end.

Title: New Efforts for Aging-related Diseases

Speaker:

H.E. Mr. Ernst van Koesveld, Vice Minister for Long-Term Care, Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, Kingdom of the Netherlands

Summary:

H.E. Mr.van Koesveld explained that the Netherlands has increased the budget for the measures for addressing dementia and has been providing care and support measures necessary for achieving a participatory society in which dementia patients are also able to participate. He stated that as social or physical distance is recommended to address the novel coronavirus disease, the need for measures for addressing dementia taking advantage of technologies is further growing, and that the Netherlands hopes to further advance the partnership with Japan in the future in many fields including business.

Title: Prospects for Public-Private Partnerships to Create Innovation for Dementia-Inclusive Societies

Speakers: Summary:

Speakers shared the recognition that as an approach to achieving dementia-inclusive societies, introduction of private innovative efforts is important against the backdrop of collaboration of a variety of stakeholders, including dementia patients. They also stated that the current situations of the novel coronavirus disease should be considered not only as a crisis but also as an opportunity, and based on this, they held discussions on sustainable businesses, quality of solutions required for dementia-inclusive societies and other issues. Following this, they presented the need for advancing worldwide collaboration.

Title: The Digital Transformation in Health under COVID-19

Speaker:

Ms. Francesca Colombo, Head of Health Division, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Summary:

Ms. Colombo presented roles expected for digital health, persistent challenges in the field of digital health, and urgent challenges to be tackled amid expansion of the novel coronavirus disease. Based on this, she stressed the need for not only digitalization of the existing processes but also political leadership and bold reforms to achieve a substantial digital transformation in the field of healthcare.

Title: Digital Healthcare Innovation under COVID-19: Possibilities for Using Personal Health Records in New Ways

Speakers: Summary:

Speakers explained the current situation of efforts for digital health in a variety of countries, the “Common Pass” system for issuing electronic certificates between countries and other issues, and, through discussions, they confirmed recognition of challenges that countries are commonly facing, such as the need for inclusion and mutual operation between countries, and fostering public trust in data utilization. They also deliberated that as digital health is rapidly advancing, international collaboration and cooperation are significant and that in such collaboration, the government of Japan should exercise leadership at home and abroad in order to show its presence to the world.

October 13 (Tue.)

Title: Special Session of Digital Health

Speakers: Summary:

Upholding the theme “Decision Making x Technologies x Healthcare,” speakers held discussions on such issues as: details of their efforts and challenges therein, ideal approaches that societies should take to the elderly, ideal approaches to measures for supporting dementia patients and the elderly in making decisions on their property, and ideal approaches that companies in the fields of well-being and healthcare should take for their development.

3. Photos of the event

October 12 (Mon.)

October 13 (Tue.)

Division in Charge

Healthcare Industries Division, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group