Personal Healthcare Service Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2022
Personal Healthcare Services Poised to Grow as Population Ages
Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) carried out a survey on the domestic personal healthcare service market, and found out the trends by service category, the trends of market players, and the future outlook.
PHR (Personal Health Record) is defined as a “mechanism for individuals to gather, store, and utilize their health information for the purpose of maintaining and improving their quality of life”, and the goal of PHR is to provide a consolidated system for individuals to use for a lifetime, which covers health data, medical records, and nursing records in a single system. Currently, the free mobile apps that provide simple recording function only is widely adopted. Meanwhile, there are also paid mobile apps that allow users to receive professional consultation and/or customized information, and blanket apps that provide several healthcare apps in a pre-set package.
Quite a few PHR services for individuals are focused to expand their data coverage from healthcare data to medical records. Smartphone-based services enable users to have access to their health data and medical records seamlessly.
Furthermore, some of the PHR services are using the knowledge gained from B2C experience to expand the target to enterprises, medical institutions, and local governments. They have developed PHR service that assists corporations and local governments to promote “Health and Productivity Management (H&PM)”.
Healthcare Management & Disease Prevention Apps as Insured Medical Device / Collaboration with Life Insurance Company
Owing to widespread adoption of smartphones, healthcare management and disease prevention using smartphone apps is attracting remarkable attention. Developers of apps for management and prevention of lifestyle diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as mental health apps designed for prevention and improvement of mental health, aims to earn a license to provide them as ‘medical treatment apps’ (i.e., to be approved by government authority as medical devices, which can then be insured). Obtaining a license as medical device is garnering attention as a new way to monetize healthcare apps. Meanwhile, healthcare app developers are also starting business collaboration with life insurance companies, not only in the field of lifestyle apps but also in mental health apps.
The personal healthcare service market in this research indicates the following three segments: 1) health information management services, 2) healthcare management & disease prevention apps, and 3) other healthcare services. Against the background of rapidly aging society, where the interest on preventive medicine is increasing, personal healthcare services are expected to expand in all of the three fields. Trends by segment are as follows:
- Public-private initiative is accelerating in the health information management services market. The government has been actively promoting attempts to improve social infrastructure for broader adoption of PHR, including establishment of PHR service business association with private companies, on an assumption that if managing/viewing health records become accessible via PHR, people will use PHR to manage their health condition more proactively. Spread of PHR is expected to solve some of the ongoing issues in Japanese medical systems through streamlining operations of healthcare professionals and improving effectiveness of insured medical treatments.
- The market of healthcare management and disease prevention apps is anticipated to expand hereafter, since apps for enterprises and medical institutions are either still in consideration phase or in an early stage of development. Considering that the launch of services for local governments and rising interest among municipalities to become a “smart city” or a “super city”, the market is expected to grow going forward.
- Various private enterprises, including clinical testing companies, IT companies, startups, and food companies have entered the market of services regarding prevention of dementia/cognitive decline. In view of the aging society, the market has a huge potential.
- Rehabilitation programs covered by health insurance and long-term care insurance have some quantitative/qualitative issues, besides the fact that the number of days users/patients can apply for the insured rehabilitation program is limited. For this reason, the uninsured rehabilitation services market is growing, particularly the services using smartphone apps.
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