BreakThrough Interview

Dramatic improvements in nursing care through large-scale collaboration among various nursing care-related SMEsPanasonic Corporation

Series 1 (Total 2 series)


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The nursing care industry is expected to have a shortage of nearly 380,000 workers by 2025. In the nursing care field, "Panasonic Corporation" is working on a "Nursing Care Support Platform" project which aims to significantly improve productivity by sharing data while cooperating with numerous SMEs. This project is being conducted with assistance from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED). This two-part series introduces a discussion with Project Manager Masaru Yamaoka of Panasonic Corporation. Yamaoka discusses topics including an overview of the project, project goals, important points of the collaboration, and advice for SMEs.

Improving efficiency and service through data sharing utilizing the platform

Nursing homes use a variety of devices provided by various manufacturers. Some examples include nursing care software for recording data, sensors for monitoring, and instruments for measures vital signs such as blood pressure and body temperature. The aim of the "Nursing Care Support Platform" project is to collect and utilize data obtained from these devices on the same platform, with the ultimate goal of significantly improving work efficiency and service quality. As the representative of all participating companies, Panasonic Corporation is in charge of platform development, support for implementing services at nursing care facilities, etc.

"In the past, the use of IT in the nursing care industry was mainly to replace certain portions of specific tasks. However, in order to significantly update nursing care services, it is essential to improve efficiency by establishing a common infrastructure for all tasks. Therefore, we decided to promote device integration and data aggregation using an open platform."

On the 100th anniversary of its founding in 2018, Panasonic declared that it will transition from a manufacturer which supports daily life by providing home appliances and other equipment in the physical environment to a corporation offering "Lifestyle Updates" which utilize the data acquired from devices in the cyber environment. In the field of nursing care, Panasonic has been working hard to create a new style of nursing care that utilizes sensors, systems, and other forms of IT technology.

Collaborations for utilizing the knowledge of leading niche companies

Currently, in the "Nursing Care Support Platform" project, Panasonic is collaborating with 15 companies, mainly SMEs, that provide tools such as nursing care records, sensors, nurse call equipment, instruments for taking vital measurements, and robots for assisting walking.

"Initially, there was an opinion that we should use sensors and AI to monitor our subjects' activities and sleep rhythms, and then provide all necessary services and equipment in-house through services such as our Mimamori Anshin Service." However, it is impractical for one Company to provide all these products and services. Therefore, we selected a way to leverage our services and work top niche companies in each area to provide even more valuable services."

Some of the participating companies were contacted directly by Panasonic.

"In order to prioritze actual needs at working care facilities, we emphasize the two points of "having a record of performance at nursing care facilities" and "being able to provide valuable data to the platform" when entering into a partnership with another company."

Data analysis for identifyin signs of worsening health

So, what benefits can nursing care providers expect from using the platform?

"In the past, when using a monitoring sensor or similar device to collect data, it was necessary to re-input the results into software for recording nursing care data. However, the need to re-input results is eliminated by connecting various sensors to the platform and recording software. Furthermore, the information will be stored on the platform and can be viewed immediately upon logging in. This eliminates most of the hassle involved in requesting information."

The effect goes beyond work efficiency. Using a health management system to analyze the data also enables early identification for signs of a worsening physical condition. This makes it possible to engage in proactive response, which had previously been difficult for anyone other than experienced staff. Panasonic intends to use such data to improve the quality of nursing care services.

Series Cooperation aimed at solving nursing care issues creates significant benefits for both users and participating companies

Series 1 Dramatic improvements in nursing care through large-scale collaboration among various nursing care-related SMEs
Series 2 Cooperation aimed at solving nursing care issues creates significant benefits for both users and participating companies

Company overview

Panasonic Corporation

Masaru Yamaoka, Project Leader, Project Manager for the Smart Aging Care Project, Business Innovation Division

A general electronics manufacturer established in 1918. Involved in a wide range of businesses including the manufacturing of consumer home appliances, AVC equipment, industrial devices, and in-vehicle equipment, as well as business related to housing and nursing care. In the nursing care field, Panasonic provides nursing care services for in-home care, management of nursing care facilities, and manufacturing of nursing care products. In fiscal 2018, Panasonic started the "Nursing Care Support Platform" project, which is a large collaborative project among corporations and is supported by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).

Coverage date January 20, 2020

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