The population of Japan is aging fast, and with the oldest average in the world, has become the market to observe for AgeTech. The AgeTech business in Japan, worth some JPY 30 billion (EUR 210 million) by 2025, will provide strong clues on how the aged care market will develop around the world.
AgeTech, also known as SeniorTech or ElderTech, is an emerging field of technology focused on improving the quality of life of elderly people. As the world’s population ages, there is an increasing demand for technology that can help seniors live independently and comfortably in their own homes.
Agetech is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of technologies, including wearables, smart home devices, telemedicine and digital health tools. Some of the more promising agetech applications include:
Smart Home Devices – these allow seniors to live independently by automating routine tasks and providing greater security. Smart home devices such as voice-activated assistants, smart locks and automated lighting systems allow seniors to stay connected and comfortable at home.
Wearables – wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers allow seniors to monitor their health by tracking physical activity, heart rate, sleep patterns and other vital signs.
Telemedicine – uses technology to deliver healthcare services remotely and is beneficial for seniors who have difficulty leaving their homes or who live remotely. Telemedicine allows seniors to receive medical consultations, monitor chronic conditions and manage medication from home.
Digital Health – includes medication management and dietary management apps, health monitoring systems and online support groups providing seniors with easy access to healthcare information, medication tracking and providing active support and guidance when required.
Further under development in the agetech business in Japan includes tools for family support including AI diagnosis and medication support, systems to prevent wandering as well as unique transportation solutions, remote monitoring and recording as well as robot assistants and living companions, an area of technology in which Japan is a world leader.
There are particular challenges facing agetech, one being the ‘digital divide’ where older folk are less literate with digital tools as well as the requirement for personalized solutions as elderly people do not necessarily all have the same needs.
The agetech business in Japan should allow for Japanese culture where there has always been a higher level of reverence and concern for older folk and therefore a disinclination for aged care facilities, and where older folk often live alone. Accordingly agetech seeks to provide solutions for older people to live well and safely with dignity while remaining connected with families and communities.
As populations in the developed world age further, the agetech industry is poised for significant global growth. The agetech business in Japan is at the leading edge of this development. Japan is already the world’s second largest healthcare market with over a quarter of individuals aged 65 and over. Japanese are naturally amongst the longest-lived people on the planet and further, enjoy a significantly higher disposable income than younger demographics. Excellent opportunities exist for western companies that manage health concerns around dementia and diabetes, as well as improving cognitive care, however research is required before moving. Companies that plan to enter the Japanese agetech market will need to gather relevant information on demographics, government initiatives and regional needs before entering the market. For example, there are many municipalities in Japan that specifically focus on welfare for the elderly, with many of these looking to cooperate with advanced welfare countries.
Japan is therefore a rich and fertile laboratory for western companies in the health and personal care sectors. Asian Insiders provides consulting services to foreign companies wishing to enter the agetech business in Japan, including market research and partner searches across a wide range of sectors. Foreign companies considering the agetech business in Japan are encouraged to talk with Asian Insiders.
For a no obligation call please contact Managing Partner Jari Hietala, jari.hietala(at)asianisndiers.com or Seiji Yamanaka, Japan Partner seiji.yamanaka(at)asianinsiders.com